Photography is an ever evolving subject with all manner of different business applications, from doing your own product photography for online marketing to personnel portraits or architectural images. Below are some simple techniques for producing more engaging photographs. Watch the birdie!
Composition is key as it’s everything your audience sees and applying the rule of thirds
or the golden ratio/Fibonacci spiral – is a great place to start. What you choose to exclude from the shot is the other half of the story, a wide angle shot where you cram in everything isn’t always the most effective solution. Cropping the framing tighter into the subject can help to create a cleaner and crisper look which in turn is more engaging with the intended audience. Avoid really cluttered backgrounds and keep it simple.
Don’t simply shoot from eye level, consider shooting from ground level (a worms eye-view) looking upwards to give the subject more presence. Or try shooting from an elevated position for a more unique look - this can be effective for architectural shots or for larger group shots.
Lighting is a huge part of taking a ‘good’ photo as without light you can’t. A common mistake is immediately turning on the flash; I recommend switching it off and using a tripod to give you longer exposures to avoid having to boost your ISO which can make a grainy/noisy image. Use as much natural light as possible before resorting to artificial lighting as it’s softer and for portraits looks much friendlier. Using flash outside - be very selective – don’t use it for wide angle images, only consider it when you’re photographing people when the sun is strong and there is high contrast - using an off camera flash as a fill light can be very effective. A flash indoors or out produces a cold and flat light and can ruin a strong composition.
A tripod is a frequently overlooked piece of equipment, however using a tripod can really help with your composition as it gives you more time to consider the framing and it helps to ensure that the horizontals and verticals are completely level with the composition. If you’re going for the edgy skewed look make sure it is clear a Dutch tilt needs to be obvious to not look like an error! Tripods also enable you to achieve longer exposures which enable you to deal with darker and more problematic lighting situations. For professional looking shots square and accurate framing is essential.
TIP – Break the rules!
For more dynamic shots an off tripod camera can be the way to go. Try Zoom Bursting which is when you zoom in during a long exposure (while the shutter is open). It can work well with high contrast environments with defined light sources. Motion blur on moving objects such as vehicles can add to the shot so they don’t look ‘frozen’.
That will do!
Take multiple exposures exploring compositions/angles. Taking a single shot from any angle and saying that will do – it probably won’t!
Take your time with your photography and your skills and techniques will develop over time and it will get quicker to select the best composition.