Want to take decent photographs without diving too far into the technical stuff? Here are 6 simple, non-technical photography tricks of the trade to consider:
Visualize the photograph you want to take. Although spontaneous shots can be a lot of fun to do, it helps significantly to plan the photo you want to take. Do some research on where, when, and what you would like to shoot. What do you want your photo to represent? Consider the story that would like to tell through your photo. Go on a photo walk and look for things that may illustrate or inspire your story. Look for symbols, colours, objects, and other things that you feel represents something in your story. Think about the feelings and emotions you want to evoke from your audience.
2. Keep the horizon level
Generally, photographs shot on the horizon level are simply more aesthetically appealing. With that being said, trust your eye. Follow your intuition or vision if you feel your photograph does not look right shot on the horizon level.
3. Use natural lighting
Notice when and where the light hits. Watch how the shadows fall. Notice where light is beautiful. Try to keep the sun behind you with light falling onto your subject. This ensures that your subject is well lit. Have the sun behind your subject if you wish to create a more ominous photograph and capture the silhouette of your subject.
4. Pay attention to details.
Sometimes if we get a little bit closer, we may find beauty in something we might have missed otherwise! Get physically close and look for things that may not be considered beautiful normally. Look for beauty in the ordinary. Capture how the green lentil beans seem to glimmer under the hot sun, overflowing in the burlap sacks at the local farmer’s market. Take a closer look at the cracks in the sidewalk. Instead of using the zoom function on your camera, physically get closer to your subject.
5. Play with angles
Have fun and move around! Get high, get low; lay on your stomach, climb up a tree; shooting from a different angle completely changes the way your photograph looks. If you are shooting with a child, try to get at the child’s eye level.
6. The rule-of-thirds
Generally, avoid taking photographs with your subject in the center. Try to have your subject off to the center instead. The theory of the rule-of-third is that the human eye naturally gravitates towards intersection points that occur when an image is split into thirds.
Written and photographed by Lenee Son