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What constitutes a legitimate photographer? I pose this question because ever since the pandemic began, I started taking photos and creating photo essays all over Greater Boston/Boston and I thought to myself before writing this post, would I consider myself a photographer? And to that my answer is, sort of. I’m leaning more toward “photographer adjacent” specializing in cityscape photography. In addition, the reason I wouldn’t describe myself as one is that I’ve taken a break from taking pictures and one thing quality work needs is consistency. Furthermore, I believe the quality and story I tell behind every photo when compiling a photo essay is comparable to the visual message every professional photographer wants to convey. All that to say, I have more to learn and improve within photography and the purpose of this blog post is to give you three tips you can use to enhance (no pun intended) your next snapshot.
- Improve your composition
The foundation of great photography starts with proper composition. In other words, you have to know your subject, the exact focal points to target, and how to figure out the right frame positions that will capture and accentuate the photo. With that said, you want to see the result from your viewers’ perspective and where in the picture their eyes will ultimately be immediately drawn to. Moreover, it’s best to learn and practice the “Rule of thirds”, which is a photography principle that places the primary focal point of any composition at the intersection of vertical and horizontal lines. In regards to that, most modern cameras have the option for you to make these adjustments. Try this out as an experiment, hold your camera at different angles focusing on the subject at all times and once you’ve captured the shot, begin backing out another 5 to 10 percent to create an extra margin. As a result, cropping will be easier and done more precisely.
Modern cameras whether it’s traditional digital cameras or a smartphone are so advanced that a clear focus doesn’t need many adjustments and this is all thanks to the auto focus feature. Even if auto mode focus is on, that doesn’t mean you should neglect to focus the shot in terms of ensuring image sharpness. Furthermore, taking sharp photos is the telltale sign of a skilled photographer. In terms of sharpness, study all the ways you can configure the focal controls for maxim image sharpness. Equally important, you have to be cautious of natural conditions such as low light, moving subjects, and multiple focal points that can interfere with the quality and confuse the auto focus. So, you’ll have to understand how to compensate if that occurs.
Correct exposure is the third pillar that will ensure quality photos. Like focus, you can let the camera do much of the focus using the auto focus but exposure needs a bit more attention. In other words, there are multiple exposure settings on both digital cameras and smartphones and modern DLS or mirror less cameras have these settings that maximize the image quality in whatever condition the photo was taken under. Lastly, read over the camera’s manual to familiarize yourself with how and why exposure needs to be controlled in each of these modes. The editing controls are there for a reason, and once you become familiar with them, your chances of taking quality shots will increase exponentially.
Editors, The. “3 Rules for Improving Your Outdoor Photography Skills.” Pocket, 7 Jan. 2021, https://getpocket.com/explore/item/3-rules-for-improving-your-outdoor-photography-skills?utm_source=pocket-newtab.