Thursday 30 August 2018

Photography 101

Your camera will NEVER capture great photos for you. ONLY you have the power to capture unique moments that defines a great photo.

No, it’s not that your phone doesn’t take good pictures. Clicking the shutter button on your phone or camera is child's play. In truth, the challenge is honing your skills to become observant, developing a third eye, that would come to you as second nature as you gradually shape yourself from that 'average joe with a camera' into that person who can document unique moments onto a canvas for an audience to admire. 

A professional photographer is not exactly always a talented photographer. The former may be a master at the technicalities of their equipment, but the latter is someone that also understands the basics and knows how to utilize them. 

I recommend these 5 rules whether you are out to photograph friends and family or any other genre: 
1) Perspective
2) Lines
3) Shapes
4) Shadows
5) Patterns

PERSPECTIVE is EVERYTHING! Like any good story, you always aim to convey your perspective as engrossing and clearly as possible. In photography, the angles and vantage points you capture an image can easily relay your intended story or idea. Click a picture of your fancy dinner from a birds-eye-view or, maybe, add a human element to your food by including your hand that's holding a knife getting ready to carve that juicy piece of steak. Ever heard the phrase, "a picture is worth a thousand words"? Changing your angles, position, or even adding a human element (like your hand) can automatically create an image filled with limitless stories. 

How everyone takes photos of their meal

 A simple adjustment by taking a picture from above. Also adding other elements like a cup of teh tarik can set that vibe - in this case, that mamak feel. Adding elements also helps with perspective. Try adding chopsticks to an authentic asian cuisine or, besides objects and food, include your hand that is about to hold that cup of tea. 

How do you read a book? Different cultures read it from left to right or, as most of us are accustomed,  right to left. The same thing occurs in photography, you have LINES that guide and lead your eyes toward a subject. Sometimes the lines are subtle rather than fully visible; regardless, though, lines can tremendously help demonstrate your perspectives in an image. Next time, before snapping a new Facebook display picture or #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) shot for Instagram, try seeking for LINES that may derive from the ceiling, walls, trees, or other objects that can help emphasize - point towards - your subject (e.g. the posing friend) even more. 

Notice a line created by this river that draws the eye towards the center? Also notice how the trees are lined up, too. Some lines aren’t obvious. 

Human beings are typically drawn to shapes since our toddling age. SHAPES can be geometric or abstract; SHAPES can also create an emotion. Imagine the silhouette of a tree, an abstract shape, it is an object that identifies with most people. Moreover, SHAPES can derive from a blurred background (e.g. bokeh from street lamps) and/or shadows which can have a psychological effect on viewers.

 Not exactly a specific shape, but a recognizable shape (or logo). It could be the shape of a house or tree and people would go, “Aha! I know that shape!”

Spiral! Shapes don’t have to be obvious. They can be found unexpectedly like how this staircase swirls around creating a spiral. 

Similar to the movies, light is important in photography because it allows better visibility but it also adds another crucial element: SHADOWS. When a thriller/horror movie wants to highlight an evil villain or monster, you can see shadows darkened over them - adding contrast and drama. Furthermore, SHADOWS can also be used to reveal hidden textures or an assist for directing an image's perspective. Try heading out to the street observing how one side of the street with bright lights look like and a dark, shadowy alley compares. And sometimes these shadows can create the perspective you are seeking for as well as shapes, lines, and/or even patterns! 

 The shadow of a leaf over someone’s face could create that moody forest vibe. 

Shadows can create silhouettes that can create patterns. 

When you combine the other basic elements of photography, PATTERNS can emerge. Becoming aware and attentive of your surroundings will help add perspective to any moment you capture. The shadows from multiple windows can create a PATTERN to create abstract art. The shapes and lines carefully constructed on buildings and roads could also reveal discernable PATTERNS and illusions that identifies an interesting perspective. When you can, walk around the city streets for a personal treasure hunt, observe all the elements - shapes, lines, and shadows - in your surrounding and try noticing if there are PATTERNS that exist. Remember, don't capture it from only one angle, sometimes PATTERNS can emerge from an angle/position you least expected. 

 Patterns are scattered everywhere when you look at things closely such as dining tables at a restaurant.

The sunshine from a window can also create unique patterns. 

Photography is an art and the results are commonly subjective. The life experiences of each individual help shape the unparalleled influence and beliefs when it comes to observing any artwork. Therefore, when it comes to photography, capture moments that are exclusive to your eye or, in a spiritual sense, your mind and soul. Simply, capture moments that you can appreciate, resonate, or anything that emits emotion, which would enable you to share a story both yourself and your audience can cherish together. 

Shared by Sharol Shamsor
Guest Blogger

1 comment:

  1. Useful article, thank you for sharing the article!!!

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