Friday, July 17, 2009

4 Ways to Improve Your Photos

4 Ways to Improve Your Photos:

I've been in Israel and with a little time to kill, I went outside into the neighborhood to find photo opportunities. If you think your area is boring, think again! Here are 4 tips to help get your creative juices flowing.

Expore your angles!
Check out those shadows!
Find those colors!
.... Play with the light!

Explore your angles:
You're going to sometimes get high or low...There are times you're going to have to put in some effort to find those angles, but it'll well worth it!

In this photo, I had to get low to the ground to capture this image. I used an 18mm lens on my Nikon D300 to distort the image. As your eye scans the image, it leads from the man crossing the street to the in focus ground. When you shoot, shoot with purpose and you want to convince the viewer that there is some logic in your photo.

It was evening, so I had to use a higher ISO, but for digital users, don't free about high noise... just capture the image. Subject matter is more important than being very sharp or slightly noisy.

Check out those shadows:
Using shadows conveys a different outlook on reality. Shadows are distorted shapes based off real objects.

I loved the warm tone here given by the sun and the shadow really jumped out. I like the contrast as well. For me, there remains some mystery in the shadows! Really, shadows and reflections are akin in that they both represent a distorted reality of things that are. The Greek philosophers believed that what we see are shadows of what really exists. So what or whom do the shadows really represent?

Find out those colors:
Colors just draw the eyes in... especially bright, vivid, primary colors.

The red and the green just pop out! The reflections also contain some "hidden" details if you should look harder. I like to make the viewer dig deeper and deeper into a photo. It remind me of the Dutch painting at the Toledo Museum of Art whereas a kid, the art teacher pointed out a man off to the side relieving himself at a tree. The details are important as well.

You probably have an eye for looks good and what does not color-wise. Color can be found everywhere and contrasting and complimenting colors can be both used with intention.

Play with the light:
Mix shadows, reflections, different types of lighting, etc. This helps to make your photos look dynamic.

I just felt something about the warm colors and the bright, golden light being thrown off from the evening sun. You'll notice that most of these have been done with wide angle. I usually don't use wide angle for head shots, but for scenes, I like to squeeze everything in.

Hopefully you can make use of the tips in various situations to improve your photos. One important thing I've learned is to NOT bring many lenses. I've been using mainly my 18-70mm Nikkor lens. I've only used my 50mm 1.8 once this entire week.

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