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Tips for taking great photographs
Get down on their level
- Hold your camera at the subject’s eye level. The subject doesn’t need to look directly into the camera; the eye level angle by itself will create a personal and inviting feeling.
Use plain background
- Before taking a picture, check the area behind your subject.
- Lookout for trees or poles sprouting from your subject’s head.
- A cluttered background will be distracting while a plain background will emphasize your subject.
Use flash outdoors
- Use it in bright sunlight to lighten dark shadows under the eyes and nose, especially when the sun is directly overhead or behind your subject.
- Use it on cloudy days, to brighten up faces and make them stand out from the background.
Move in close
- To create impactful pictures, move in close and fill your picture with the subject.
- Move a few steps closer or use the zoom until the subject fills the view/finder. You will eliminate background distractions and show off the details in your subject.
- For small objects, use the camera’s macro or ‘flower’ mode to get sharp close-ups.
Take some vertical pictures
- Many subjects look better in a vertical picture – from the Eiffel Tower to portraits of your friends.
- Make a conscious effort to turn your camera sideways and take some vertical pictures.
Lock the focus
- Lock the focus to create a sharp picture of off centre subjects
Move it from the middle
- Bring your picture to life by placing the subject off centre
- Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid and place the subject at one of the intersecting lines.
Watch the light
- Study the effects of light in your pictures.
- For people pictures, choose the soft lighting of a cloudy days. Avoid overhead sunlight that casts harsh shadows across faces.
- For scenic pictures, use the long shadows and colour of early and late daylight.
Be a picture director
- Take an extra minute and become a picture director, not just a passive picture-taker.
- Add some props, rearrange your subjects, or try a different viewpoint.
- Bring your subjects together and let their personalities shine. Then watch your pictures dramatically improve.