• Cara Cilento

Simple Photography Techniques I Try Using When I Take My Pictures

Updated: Aug 5

In order to create good images, I know I must have a fundamental understanding of how to compose them. If I cut out key sections of my subject with the edge of my frame, I will ruin the overall image. I have to consciously keep my horizons level and minimize any potential distractions by repositioning the subject in the frame. I am always looking for a sense of balance and simplicity in my image. Not to mention, I am always experimenting until I get it right. I curse at myself a lot, but I don’t give up. Sooner or later, I will master the camera and some of these basic techniques.

The Rule Of Thirds

I think it would be best to begin with the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is based on the concept that positioning your objects off-center results in a stronger, more natural-looking composition. I didn’t believe it at first, but if your pictures are slightly off center the viewer’s eye is naturally drawn to it. It allows creative use of negative space and creates strong, natural-looking compositions.

Following the Rule of Thirds also provides the perfect chance to photograph subjects from a variety of perspectives. I think The Rule of Thirds allows me to take photographs that are more distinctive. Most cameras are equipped with a grid, which I use to assist me in composing photographs using The Rule of Thirds. Otherwise, I’d be lost just like I was in Photoshop class.

Long Exposure

Long exposure photography is one of the most versatile photographic methods to learn and master. It can be used in a variety of contexts, either to produce a dramatic impact and show you something your eyes are unable to see, or as a tool to better document exactly what you are able to observe. The theory is that by leaving the shutter open for a longer period of time, you will allow in more light and will be able to capture where the light is travelling to or from more effectively. I am just beginning to play with long exposure. I would love to master it so I can achieve these photos, especially at night.

Light trails, which require long exposure, are an effect I rarely use but it is very popular. Light trails refer to the phenomena created when a moving source of light is photographed with an exposure setting that is too slow to lock it in place. It produces a point of light with a trail that extends from its final place within the image to its point of origin. A light trail gives an image a sensation of movement and speed. If you would like to create a light trail on purpose, you must employ long exposure photography techniques and equipment such as tripods or pan the camera. Like I said before, I shoot simply and without a lot of fuss. Light trails, to me, are time consuming and not what I am going for in my photography.

Shutter Speeds

Short shutter is the opposite of long shutter speed. Short shutter speeds are particularly beneficial in strong light or when attempting to catch images of items that are moving quickly, such as athletes or animals. I use short shutter speeds when I photograph nature mostly. Short shutter speeds mean that the faster the shutter speed, the easier it is to capture the subject without blurring or "freezing" motion, and the less noticeable the effects of camera shake. Camera shake is used to describe the act of accidently shaking a camera while shooting a photo. It results in fuzzy photos.

This isn't so much a technique as it is a personal preference, but there is a strategy to taking nice black and white photographs. I love taking them and it is possible to train your eyes to switch off the “color” element of their vision and imagine what the photo would look like. I find that black and white photography is best when I take found object or street photos. I think it makes for a more striking image.

Another easy technique photographers readily apply is framing. Framing is where I place elements within another to add a focal point to the image. It doesn't matter what shape or form the object takes as long as it helps draw attention to your main subject. It can take the form of anything from natural frames to man-made frames. I have used windows and openings in rock formations to create the effect, but it doesn’t matter what I use. I can use any shape or form I want to help draw attention to my subject. It will definitely result in a more visually appealing photograph.

Using colors to create great shots and to emphasize the meaning behind your images is another simple photography composition strategy. Your subjects will stand out more if you use one or more bright and eye-catching colors to draw attention to them. I use this technique a lot, especially if I want to highlight certain aspects of the photo. I also use some editing to dampen as well as brighten some colors to achieve a desired visual effect. Since beautiful and well-balanced images can be created by combining hues that are complementary to one another. I also experiment with other color temperatures to see what I come up with and what emotions they evoke in the viewer.

Two more related techniques are symmetrical and asymmetrical balance. Most of the time, photographers will shoot a photograph with elements that are perfectly balanced. Our eyes like balanced images. So, in response, photographers like to take pictures that are visually appealing to them. But even a visually unbalanced image can be turned into a visually attractive photograph if the process is carried out appropriately. There is something unnerving yet intriguing about seeing something that doesn't appear quite right.

Asymmetry

To achieve asymmetry, I have to include two subjects that are different or in opposition to one another. After that, I have to position them slightly off-center. The subjects can be anything - two separate objects, two different versions of the same object that change in size or color, an uneven but balanced distribution of bright and dark tones, or two completely different concepts. The results can be quite stunning, and I find it difficult to do with the type of pictures I take.

So, there you have it. A few photography techniques that I use or attempt to. Trust me, I wouldn’t use any that were difficult. Simplicity is key for me because I want to move on to the next shot and I don’t want to miss a thing.




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