Having the right picture and an eye-catching one is what we crave for when we pick up the camera. And we definitely do so with the growing popularity and the use of phone cameras, DSLR etc. However, at times, you take a bunch of photos, upload them on the computer and what you see is not what you expected, at times the images just look blah! All you need is some tips to capture the right picture!
There are chances that you are missing some key components. Getting an artistic, professional picture is a puzzle which includes a few calculations, maths and aesthetics.
Clicking the “right” picture doesn’t mean the most generic. Oliver Curtis, a well-known British Photographer took all the “wrong” pictures, but he still did it the right way in terms of the tips we mention below!
Read his article to understand what we’re going on about: Oliver Curtis and his Wrong Way Approach to Iconic Monuments.
7 Tips to Capture the Right Picture
Well, I will be introducing you to some very basic tips to capture the right picture, which are quiet important and often neglected or slipped from mind while shooting. Are you ready to get some crazy learning and creating great pictures at the end of the article? Let’s go for it.
1. Lighting is the God
If photography is the religion, LIGHTING IS THE GOD. It’s the first and foremost essential factor in creating a photograph. Just imagine, with no light a photograph is just a dark frame. Light is the key factor behind creation and destruction of a photograph. Not just lighting but good and correct lighting will make your photograph “WOW”.
Different photographs require different mood and hence lighting. There are a lot of variations when we study about light in photography like we have hard light, soft light, diffused light, reflected light, natural light, artificial light etc.
But, here we are sticking to very basic fundamentals of lighting that we use in our day to day pictures whether its for our social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook or just for our blogs or just for memories, whatever it is we should always focus on creating wonderful images.
Natural light is one of the best light to use in photography, even for some of our commercial shoots I choose to use natural light and its modified forms. Yes. We can modify natural light through a lot of DIYs and techniques, that we shall study deeper into coming posts. When shooting in natural light we need to be very specific regarding the time we are shooting.
If you are trying to shoot at 12 in the afternoon when the sun is just above your head and giving you really ugly shadows under your eyes and face do you think you can make a great picture? No. You cannot just anytime go out and shoot if you are aiming for having the right picture.
So, the golden hour of shooting in daylight is when sun is coming up or going down; an hour before sunrise and an hour before sunset. These times of the day you will surely have the most gorgeous light (considering all the apt climatic conditions) and this light is going to give you that “WOW” in your images.
Also, if you are shooting indoor in daytime and you don’t much have the lighting setup and stuff, window light becomes your best friend. Do you know why? Because, window light that enters our house is a side light and SIDE LIGHTING is amazing as it gives a proper definition to the subject and the image has a very subtle touch of light.
Try out shooting in different lighting conditions to know it better, make lighting your best friend and you will rock every image you create.
2. Beauty is in The Background
When we create images we have three zones Foreground, Midground, and Background. What we generally look for is our subject. When we shoot we do all the hard work by focussing our subject, properly exposing it, in all making the Subject look beautiful. But do you really think that’s all and you are through?
Backgrounds and foreground (if there) are equally important in a photograph. Just imagine, you are taking a street style fashion shot in which everything is perfect – you have the most beautiful model you can ask for, lighting is in place and you choose to stand your model near a place where in background you have a garbage dump.
Does it sound beautiful enough to get that one picture? No, right. In short, a photograph is made if everything in it is synced and it shows a clear message out.
3. Aperture – A Wise Use of it Can Create Wonders
Know your camera! 8 Tips for DSLR Beginners.
You can make your images look stunningly beautiful by simply choosing the right aperture. In a way, aperture helps us to play with our background and foregrounds too. The concept of Depth of Field is majorly based on aperture. I would like to now point out two most widely used range of aperture which at times stops you from making a great photograph.
Smaller f number – larger aperture – Shallow Depth of Field.
Is that all that you need to know? No. Undoubtedly smaller f numbers (also used when lighting conditions are really low) lead to the shallow depth of field giving you amazing blurry BOKEH in your images. You will be very happy, the client at times will be super happy after seeing it but there is more to it.
When we use really large apertures i.e. 1.8, 1.4 etc we tend to put some important areas of our picture out of focus. For example, we are shooting a portrait and try to focus exactly where we want, we might end up giving unwanted blur to eyes, nose etc which needed to be taken care of. So, make a point to use aperture wisely when you are going low on f numbers and leave a small room by using a slightly higher number unless you are damn sure with your focus.
Greater F numbers- smaller aperture – High Depth of field
Will you like the haze in your image even when you are using f22 aperture? You are expecting a super sharp image with point details and what you see is a little haze on some parts of your image. This happens because of the phenomena of diffraction that takes place inside the camera when light is passing through a very small aperture forming an image a little ahead of the exact point of the image creation and results in a hazy image even if everything is in absolute focus.
Aperture is a such a powerful tool but it shows its wonders only when used wisely and smartly.
4. Framing it Right
What is framing? Why is it important? Why do we say that it’s a good or bad composition or a good or bad framing? What does this mean? Framing is a technique that draws attention to your subject, gives your photograph a meaning and give depth to your photographs.
When we see any photograph or painting your eyes in the frame is guided from one point to other by different factors such as lines, spaces, lights and shadows, patterns, textures, points, colors etc. These factors are very vital to get your composition right and hence your framing.
Clever and good framing helps the viewer to actually step into your shoes and understand your vision. Always have a reason to frame your picture in a certain way. Do a QnA session with yourself before framing an image. You should look for basic rules of composition and framing so that YOU CAN BREAK IT!
5. Interact with your Subject
To connect well to your subjects and to bring out the real essence of your subject, you must interact with your subject. This is so because your equation with your subject will be reflected in your photograph. Also, when you interact with your subject you will get to know the reality, excitement, curiosity and many more emotions which you will project through your image.
The interaction with your subject can happen in any way – it depends on you and only you how you establish a connect, a string between the viewer and the subject.
The right picture will be the one which will generate HIGH SENSE OF IMMEDIACY in the viewers mind, which means the feeling of being present exactly at the time the action is happening. There are few ways and tricks to achieve the same which we shall explore in coming posts.
6. Adding Life to Your Photographs
We humans can greatly connect to photographs if we have a sense of life shown in the photograph. We feel more connected towards it, the presence of life in our images builds a very strong connection between the viewer and the photograph. If you are trying to take a picture of a bouquet of flower, there are ways to take it.
You can just take a snapshot of flower bouquet as it is or you can have a hand holding it. All you can see in the frame is the hand holding a bouquet no face nothing. When the viewer will look at the image, an emotion will be generated in his mind, an emotion of holding the flower, an emotion of wanting a flower.
7. Processing Your Images
Last but not at all the least, the key element to the right picture is EDITING. However professional the photographer is, editing is the must. Every photographer does at least some degree of editing to enhance the photographs and get that one picture they saw before clicking. A bit of editing gives your image an edge and make it look more professional. You don’t have to be a pro when you edit, it’s just a little bit of cropping, exposure, noise reduction and sharpening, and adding contrast and saturation can do wonders for an image, particularly if you shoot in RAW. You can use any basic software such as Lightroom, Photoshop etc to make your image look just the way you wanted.
This is it! Here we are to the beginning of the creation of great pictures. I hope you find these tips to capture the right picture helpful and I promise to come back with a lot of more tips as we advance towards perfection. All you need to do is PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE and come back here with great pictures.
A great image is one which evokes emotion in you.
Not feeling your photography while clicking on your phone or fancy DLSR?
Do you want that authentic instantly-in-your-hands feel?
Having read these tips to capture the right picture what are you waiting ? Go out and start clicking!