Lake Päijänne, photo: Jussi Judin
Nowadays every one carries some sort of camera. It records our daily lives, our holidays and helps us remember our travels. Often when we tell our friends what we have been doing, we do so by means of photographs. We take a lot of pictures, but at the same time we are becoming more demanding and critical of the photographs that we see in every day life.
Good photographs stand out from the crowd and convey a message. Many of the things that apply to other aspect of life also apply to photographs: less can be more. Here are a few tips how to take better pictures with any camera.
Make sure that the background does not overpower the main subject. Look around and select a background that complements your subject. A good background should highlight the subject and add punch to your photograph.
Even if the scenery or sunset look fabulous, they can appear dull and flat in photos. This is because the sense of depth is not conveyed in a photograph in the same way as when you view the scene with your own eyes. You can add drama to a landscape photograph by including something in the foreground that gives perspective to the distant scenery. This will give a sense of depth to the photograph and make your landscape image far more dramatic.
There are many things that increase the impact of photos, and symmetry is one of them. A photograph taken from one side of or obliquely to a subject often appears flat, making the photo less dramatic. But if you place yourself directly in front of the subject, the viewing angle becomes symmetrical, which gives more drama to the photograph.
Lines can also be accentuated in other ways aside from symmetry. If you take a photograph that includes strong natural lines, the viewer’s gaze will naturally follow the lines to the main subject. Strong natural lines can be anything from a path meandering through the woods to ordinary roads crossing a landscape.
One important thing is not to move the camera when taking a photograph and so make it blurred. Sometimes this may create a nice effect, but if that is not your intention, it is advisable to hold the camera steady or use a tripod/support. Even a simple tripod can help considerably. Use your imagination when looking for a suitable support on which to rest or hold the camera. This will help you take blur-free photos, especially at night, and your photos will be sharp and easier on the eye.
But, in the final analysis, it is just a photograph – nothing more serious than that. So go and take photos just the way you feel you want to. However, before pressing the shutter button, pause for a second to think about the picture’s narrative and what you want to say with it.
A photographer, nature adventurer and instagrammer from Jyväskylä.
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