Hey there folks hope u guys are doing good. Today I am going to write something which would be a little different than what I normally write. A few days back my very good friend (Serotonin) had asked me to make a recap of all the photography she had learnt. I told as much as I could but then again I thought, it would be a good thing if I could write all that in a concise way. Lets call it Photography Crash Course ;).
Also since this is the festival time of the year people would be going on vacations, and having loads of fun. This would be my 2 cents to make your pictures a little bit better. This post is dedicated to you Serotonin 😉
Any photograph’s exposure can be controlled by these three elements of the Exposure Triangle.
film speed or ISO
Usage of Aperature
This is one subject which we all love to photograph, be it our friends, taking selfies or some environmental portraits. It is even said that through a good portrait you can see and feel what the person in the photograph is feeling or trying to say. Let me broadly classify portraits as two parts
- Environmental Shots
To get a good looking headshot few things you need to remember
a) To keep your aperture as open as u can or the f-number as small as you can (Ex f/3.5 or f/2.8, or f/5.6) keep it as small as your camera would allow it to be.
b) To zoom in to the telephoto range of your camera, this separates out your subject from the background and you would get that creamy bokeh 🙂
c) To make sure your subject is as far from the background as possible. (E.g. If there is a wall behind your subject try and have as much distance as possible between the subject and the wall.)
d) To try and look for a clutter free background. (E.g. If you have a market place in the background, look around and see if there is an even toned wall somewhere and then take your subject in front of the wall. Just make sure that your subject does not stand just in front of the wall, but there is significant amount of distance between the subject and wall.)
e) Get close in on the head, since it is the headshot, what is the point taking the whole picture of your subject. It would be much wiser to concentrate on one portion i.e the face.
Combining all of these I think you would be able to get good looking headshots.
I went in close with my camera also zooming in quite a lot to get all the distractions of the background out of the picture. He was the newspaper man of the Darjeeling Mall Road area and when I showed him this picture he smiled slightly and said Thank you 🙂
Now coming to create environmental portraits
An environmental portrait is a photograph in which we show the subject in his/her own environment. So over here the environment is as important as is the subject himself.
a) Try to keep a deeper depth of field (DOF) if there is good amount of light. So the aperture can be anywhere from f/5.6 to f/8
b) Shoot a little wide to take in all the environment.
c) Also try and look where the light is, if possible place yourself in such a position where the light can be used in the best possible manner.
In all of the above pictures as you are able to see the environment in which the subject lives, is quite prominent and a main part of the frame. Also note how in each of the photos there is good light, i.e. the light was used in the best possible way. Sometimes it can be true that the subject occupies a very small space in the frame because the rest of the elements are supporting him well and the photograph becomes a homogeneous mixture of the separate elements.
This is what I love to shoot and I hope I can give a few good tips on shooting good landscapes.
a) Golden rule – Landscapes look at their best during the magic hour i.e. during sunrise and sunset. Period. So try and get up early or if that is not possible try and shoot during the sunset. The warm tone of the sky gives a rich and warm feeling.
b) Shoot with a tripod if that is possible and keep the aperture anywhere from f/8 to f/11 because you would want everything in the picture to be tack sharp.
c) Try to include some foreground elements, or clouds in your picture. It always adds drama to the photograph.
d) Sometimes you can also zoom in and compress the frame. It can create a few dynamic images too.
d) Most important enjoy and look at what mother nature has to offer us and appreciate that.
Combining the above points you can get some jaw dropping landscape shots too 🙂
This is that time of the year where you pack your bags and go on a trip. Here are a few tips and tricks for getting good travel shots.
Travel photography is about the place you travel to, the people over there, their culture, their food and habits. Apart from this it is also about you and how you feel in their environment. If you are comfortable then you are bound to get some great travel shots.
a) Shoot people of the place you visit depicting their culture and environment.
b) Shoot food as food is a important part of any trip or vacation.
c) Also shoot the interior of the hotels or restaurants you visit. It would lovely to go through all these pictures sometime later in your life sitting in that couch sipping on a cup of coffee.
d) Shoot portraits of your family and friends over there having fun and doing all sorts of things.
e) Look for contrast and good colors which would make your pictures pop.
I am no expert on food photography so it would not be wise on my part if I give tips on shooting food. But I would say one thing that, if you tilt your camera at an angle and shoot with soft light your food photographs would be better than usual.
Overall few important things
- Use cloudy white balance in most of the pictures if you like warm tones in your image.
- Keep the ISO as low as you can, and increase it only if you see that the shutter speed you are getting is slow and camera cannot be handheld.
- Use auto focus, if you are not so keen on manual focus. Theses days the autofocus of modern SLR’s are very good and would nail the focus every single time. Using autofocus speeds up the process of taking the photograph.
- Remember to back up all your images every night, you never know when the memory card gets corrupted. Also charge your battery every night so that you do not get a battery low sign when you would be photographing.
- For tips on composition see these articles
- And last of all, the most important tip
you have gone for a vacation or a trip. Have fun and only then would you be able to make good and memorable photographs.
Do you think I have missed any key point? Please do mention them in the comments section.