2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 06:26
Do you like taking pictures? Then this article is for you. Here you will find 10 simple photography techniques that will improve the quality of your pictures.
The renowned French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson said: “The lot of the photographer is constantly disappearing things. And when they leave, no ingenuity, nothing in the world will make them come back. " In order not to miss "disappearing things", you need to hone your skills. Here are some tips to help you.
Rule of thirds
This is a compositional technique invented at the end of the 18th century and was originally used in painting.
Divide the frame with two horizontal and two vertical lines into nine rectangles (like in tic-tac-toe). The frame will be split into equal thirds vertically and horizontally. At the points of intersection of the thirds, special points are formed - "nodes of attention". The main objects of the frame should be located at these points.
According to the laws of perception, a person cannot keep attention on the whole picture at once. The attention knot catches the eye and makes the viewer focus. Therefore, the rule of thirds not only streamlines the composition, but also simplifies perception.
The viewfinders of many modern cameras are equipped with a rule of thirds grid. In this case, all you have to do (for example, in landscape photography) is to make sure that the horizon is parallel to the horizontal grid line and that key objects (trees, mountain, etc.) are at the intersection of thirds.
The Rule of Thirds is simple and quite versatile (even suitable for portraits). But don't get carried away. There are shots where the subject just asks to be in the center; and sometimes it is better to place it at the edge.
Building a composition is one of the components of the photo process. It should be thought out in advance. But if there is no time or ideas, then feel free to use the rule of thirds.
Photos usually look good at their native aspect ratio (usually 2: 3 or 4: 3). But the alternative ratio can have an unexpected effect and dramatically improve the picture.
Instead of leaving thinking about aspect ratios and playing with crop for post-processing, it is better to take a closer look at the subject of the picture and decide which ratio is right at the stage of shooting.
Many cameras allow you to set the aspect ratio right in the camera, but when shooting in RAW and JPEG at the same time, you will have the source to crop during editing.
The main advantage is that you will see the picture in the selected aspect ratio and move the camera or subject to improve the composition.
At the same time, it is not recommended to crop pictures arbitrarily - when cropping, it is also better to observe a certain aspect ratio.
Gradually, you will learn to see which aspect ratio best emphasizes the composition.
Metering is an estimate of the brightness of an image by the amount of light entering the camera. It allows you not to darken or light up the pictures. There are three types of metering: center-weighted, matrix, and spot.
With spot metering, brightness is usually determined from the center of the frame or from the active focus point. Spot metering is used when the brightness of the subject is very different from the brightness of the background, as well as when there are very light or very dark objects in the frame.
Spot metering is usually used to get photographs with the main subject correctly exposed. The brightness of other objects is ignored.
The more you use spot metering, the more you will understand about exposure.
If you shoot in RAW, then the white balance can be tweaked later. But if you want to use JPEG images right away and still photograph in artificial or mixed light, then it is better to set the white balance manually.
The specific settings depend on the camera model. But the principle is the same.
Photograph a subject that is neutral in color (for example, a gray card) in the light in which you plan to shoot the main frame. Set the captured frame in the settings as a reference for white balance. A neutral reference will allow you to correct subsequent shots and make the colors in the frame natural.
You can also use your own white balance to accentuate color tones in your photo. Use the technique described above, but the standard should not be colorless, but colored. For example, cold blue. It will give a warm yellowish tint to the frame - just what you need to shoot the haze of dawn.
Many people are afraid to use flash, whether built-in or external. But once you "make friends" with her, the quality of your photos will increase significantly.
The bounce flash built into the camera is often ridiculed. An external flash really does the best. But the built-in can also be used to add sparkle to the eyes or highlight shadows.
Flash is easy to use. There are a variety of external flash units that work with the camera's built-in metering system and produce balanced exposure.
Once you start using the flash, you will soon be happy to tinker with it and experiment with manual control. The flash is a great tool for everyday photography, not just for special occasions. Just try it!
Depth of field
This is the range of distances in which subjects appear in the frame as sharp. This is one of the key parameters of photography, which, among other things, can cause blurry pictures.
A wide aperture (f / 2.8) results in a shallow depth of field. Conversely, a smaller aperture (such as f / 16) increases the field of focus.
You can also control the depth of field using the focal length and distance to the subject. The closer to the subject you shoot, or the longer you use the longer focal length lens, the shallower the depth of field - only a narrow strip of the picture will be in focus. And vice versa.
Therefore, when choosing a lens for shooting, think about how it will affect the depth of field. Adjust the aperture and / or distance to the subject as needed.
Another concept associated with depth of field is hyperfocal focusing distance. You've probably seen landscapes where the background and foreground are equally sharp. To achieve this in your images, you need to learn how to use hyperfocal distance.
Hyperfocal distance is the distance to the front edge of the field of focus when the lens is focused at infinity.
In simple terms, it is the same depth of field, but when focusing at infinity. Like depth of field, hyperfocal distance depends on lens focal length and aperture. The smaller the aperture and the focal length to the subject, the shorter it is.
There are applications that can help you determine hyperfocal distance and depth of field. They will tell you the ideal focal length, and the distance to the subject, and the aperture.
If you don't have a smartphone at hand, you can estimate the required focal length by focusing about a third of the distance to the scene, which is supposed to be sharp. This ensures that the foreground and background are as sharp as possible, and avoids wasting the field of focus by focusing on distant objects.
Many have come across shots where there is a beautiful blue sky and a dark foreground, or where there is a great foreground, and the sky has merged into a white spot. Typically articles on photography in this case are advised to use ND filters, which reduce the amount of light reaching the camera. But in the era of digital photography, there is an alternative method.
Take two or three shots from the same point, but with different exposures. Then combine them. You will get a wider range of brightness.
This technique, known as HDR photography, is often associated with pictures with a lot of halo (unnatural halos around objects), no blacks or whites, and vibrant colors.
But HDR shots can be much more delicate.
For example, take a series of two or three photographs with an exposure difference of 1-3EV. This may be enough to create a blended image where details are present in both highlights and shadows.
You can combine frames in any photo editor that supports the function of layers. Combine the shots and adjust the transparency of the desired areas. At the same time, do not try to make the same brightness everywhere, play with midtones, shadows and light.
When photographers used cameras that mirror and upside down, they developed a sense of composition. They saw an ordered collection of shapes, not just recognizable objects.
Try to see geometric shapes in your surroundings. This will allow you to improve the composition. A great workout in this case is city and shadow photography, but portraits and still lifes are also fine.
Black and white photography
Many photographers convert color photographs to black and white after shooting. But it is better to shoot right away in monochrome, thinking over the black and white photo in advance.
To do this, you can configure the camera so that images are saved simultaneously in JPEG and RAW. Then choose a monochrome style or a b / w film emulation mode.
Thus, color images will be saved in RAW. This will allow you to work with them after shooting. Whether you're using a DSLR live view, compact or mirrorless camera, you'll be able to see the scene in b / w on the screen before taking the shot.
Any photographer who eats his bread for good reason takes tens of thousands of disgusting pictures. Ansel Adams
The described photo techniques will help you to improve the quality of your pictures. They are especially useful for beginners. Do not be afraid to try, because with practice comes understanding.