Friday, February 5, 2010

Take better photographs.

With today's digital point and shoot cameras, anyone can take a good photograph. Just point and shoot! If you want to take better photographs the easiest thing to improve on is the composition of the picture. The automatic camera can do all the technical stuff.

The composition of the photograph is where, how and what you point the camera at. The first thing to think about is what you want the viewer of the photo to see, understand or feel. Then grab the camera and start shooting.

The very best thing about digital cameras is the freedom to experiment. You can take as many pictures as you want, review them, delete those that did not work out, and try again.

A small creek can be magical.

When you are composing a photo, look for various patterns, squares, circles, triangles, swirls, etc. When you see an interesting example take several shots and vary your position as you shoot. Shots from different angles, higher or lower or different backgrounds can make an ordinary subject more interesting to view.

An interesting construction detail from a mining ghost town.

If your subject has a lot of detail in it, try to keep your composition symmetrical. Have the prime detail centered and equal space around it, to draw the eye to the item, not the background.

A butterfly on an echinacea flower.

A simple way to add interest to the photo is to have either radial (expanding outward from the center) or diagonal elements in the photo. These lead the eye from one item to another, and kind of give the photo some energy.  Static horizontal or vertical images tend to be flatter and less interesting.

A pine cone in a clear blue sky.

Another composition trick is to have subject elements overlap to increase depth perception. Our eyes easily show us the range of depth, but a flat photo will be more interesting if you can trick the brain into imagining the spacing between items.

A view of the Sydney Opera House in the distance.

Also, try not to put too much information into each photo. It is better to have several well composed photos to view than one photo where you tried to get everything into one picture.

A rainbow you can just about reach.

So grab the camera and get out there. The world awaits.

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