Photography 101

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The world is an unbelievably amazing place. And there’s so much time during Spring Break to notice it! Look at those mountains way off in the distance. Or look really closely at that tiny flower and the even tinier ladybug nestled inside. And no, I’m not trying to get you to donate to the Save Our Earth Foundation.

But if you take a few minutes, a camera, and go into your own backyard, you may be surprised at what you find. Everyone should be surprised by things in their backyard more often. And if these photography tips can’t help you do that, then I don’t know what can! 

First things first: The subject

The subject of your photos can be anything from that flower in your garden to your mom’s best friend. It honestly doesn’t matter. Whatever looks interesting to you would make a good subject. And if you don’t like the way the subject looks in the photo, you can always delete it and start over. (Before you find a subject, you probably want to make sure there is good light in that spot. If the photo is too dark or really bright, it won’t look very good. But more about that later.)

Okay, now you have your subject, and it’s time to start thinking about how the subject will look in the photo.

Background

The most important thing to remember about your background is that the subject is the main part of the photo, not the background. If your background is bright and colorful with lots of shapes, it could be distracting from the subject, and you don’t want that. So pick a nice simple background that compliments your subject, instead of clashing with it. 

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 In this drawing of a photo, you can see that the subject, the tree, is not in the direct center of the photograph. You will also notice that there is a grid on the photo. This grid illustrates a rule known as the rule of thirds. This rule states that the subject of a photo looks more appealing and interesting if it is to the side of the photo. This applies to the lines going horizontally across the photo as well as vertically. You can see that in this drawing, the horizon is roughly lined up with the bottom horizontal line. This does not always mean you have to use the rule of thirds. Some subjects will look much more interesting in the center of a photograph. As the artist and photographer, it’s up to you to use your judgement. This also does not mean that everything in the photo has to be perfectly lined up with the grid. It’s just a rough guideline.

Lighting 

Lighting is a very important part of the photo. Good lighting can make a good photo great, while bad lighting can make a good photo… well, bad. For most photos, you’ll want to make sure the main source of light is behind you, the photographer, when you’re taking a photo.  Burt sometimes, you may want to consider placing the source of light in the photo, in an artistic place, such as in between two people in your picture. 

Action Shots

Instead of having people pose for a photo, pictures of the action can be very interesting. There are certain moments when things just go click, and they make great photos. You’ll know one when you see one. If you notice a time when everyone is smiling and laughing, snap a picture. They don’t even have to know you’re doing it. Sometimes those make the best photos.

I hope you take lots of photos of all the fun you’re having during Spring Break. Using these tips, I’m sure you will!

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