If you’re fairly old now, your first camera might have been a “point-and-shoot” camera. So that’s all it takes to make a great photograph, right? Point and then shoot? Maybe so. You can take a photography class, though, or even go for a degree, and what more could they possibly teach you? I already know how to point and shoot, you tell them, and fall asleep in class. Wake me up when it’s time to point and shoot some more! You still have to learn the developing process in some classes. Anyhow, here are some tips from a published photographer about improving your game.
1. Don’t be afraid to “cut through” some objects.
When I first started taking pictures, I saw the subject and kept taking a step back, and a step back, and a step back, so nothing was cut off. The original subject kept getting smaller and smaller and smaller. Try picking a subject and fill the frame, and if it cuts through other objects, just feel the slicing intentionally. Slice it like a delicious pie! For instance, if you want to make a tree your subject, and then a house is slightly in the frame, instead of backing up to include the whole house in the picture with the tree, cut through the house at the first windows on the upper and lower stories. You can even frame the windows nicely.
2. Be in a good mindset when you take the picture.
I didn’t realize for many years as a photographer that your mindset is captured in the photograph in addition to the subject. Good thing I’m always in a good mindset! Try to have a good day before taking a picture. Have a good breakfast. Wear comfortable clothes. Make sure at least your basic responsibilities for the day are done.
3. Frame the picture until it evokes a good feeling for you.
If it evokes a good feeling for you, it will evoke a good feeling for the viewer! Slowly move the viewfinder to the left, right, up, and down. Do I want more sky in it? Now it feels like too much sky!
4. Be immersed in your surroundings.
Smell the air, feel the grass underneath your boots, let the sunshine warm your back. Then the viewers can be immersed too. If you’re photographing a flower, smell it first!
5. The more you know about what you’re photographing, the better.
Look up the flower’s name. Better yet, learn it in Latin too! Now you’re a batting 400 photographer!