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Tips for Photographing with Purpose

January 27, 2015 8:00 am

With digital cameras, camera phones, and the increasing storage capacity of SD cards, it’s possible to take an almost unlimited number of photos. While this is an advantage because it’s easier, quicker, and less expensive to learn photography, it’s also a disadvantage because too many people snap photos without paying attention to basic photography concepts. This practice of taking random photos results in a lot of rejects and wasted storage space on devices. Those who truly want to improve their photos can learn to photograph with purpose and intent by following some helpful tips.

Composition rules
Before pressing the shutter on the camera or clicking the camera phone, photographers need to take a moment to consider what their vision is and how they want to express it. Remembering and using composition rules helps any photographer improve their craft.

  • Depth of field and focus – The right depth of field and focus leads the viewer’s eye exactly where it’s supposed to go. If the image in the view screen lacks subject and focus, more thought is required to recompose the image. With practice, this technique becomes second nature, happens faster, and improves image quality.
  • Rule of Thirds – We covered Rule of Thirds examples in a previous blog post, but the importance of using it can’t be overstated. The position of the subject matter in the frame is the most important decision in composition.
  • Patterns – When an artist pauses and truly looks around them, they realize that patterns are everywhere. Capturing repeated patterns and even broken patterns adds unique visual interest to images.
  • Negative space – Too many people try to cram as much as they can into their images, but this can create confusion and clutter. Using negative space in clever ways increases the emphasis on the subject matter and strengthens images.
  • Color – Unless they’re shooting in black and white, photographers use color as a strong tool in composition. If the color is distracting from the subject matter, converting the image to black and white is a viable solution.
  • Use of lines – Finding leading lines and using them in an image is a powerful tool to guide the eye and create intriguing composition.
  • Light and shadows -Having an awareness of the light quality, whether it’s soft or hard, and how it affects objects in the shot helps a photographer improve their images. By playing with light and shadows and harnessing them properly, great shots are possible at any time of day.

Background awareness
When a photographer focuses too much on their subject matter, they can miss the fact that there’s distracting elements in the background. Taking the time to wait for people to move out of the shot, or changing location, eliminates distractions from the frame.

Filling the frame
Background becomes less of an issue when photographers get close to their subject matter and fill the entire frame with it. This technique makes even ordinary objects interesting.

Simple is better
Including too much in the frame is distracting so it’s important to know what to leave out to improve composition. Even though cropping is possible during processing, it saves time to crop in camera, reduce unnecessary elements, and keep it simple.

Adjust the frame
Exploring different perspectives by shooting low, shooting high and tilting the camera creates images that are more dynamic.

Unless they’re shooting action, a good photographer takes the time to pause and see the whole picture before clicking the shutter button or touching the camera phone screen. Following these tips for photographing with purpose consistently makes them second nature. Everyone has the ability to capture amazing shots with fewer throwaways and Baboo Digital has various ways to develop and enhance those improved photographs.