How to take great photos
The old Chine
proverb says: ďa picture can tell more then a thousands wordsĒ, so I will use
several of my own pictures to illustrate these hints. Most
of these pictures combine some of the hints.
You can click on the thumbnail to see the larger picture
or more easy click on the link under the last row of pictures on this page.
different kind of formats to keep you pictures
interesting, landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical), square or panoramic.
Use your zoom to catch the interesting part of the scene and/or crop your
pictures afterwards. A good and free program for this is:
Horizontal (landscape) and panorama
more information about panoramic pictures see:
Square, vertical (portrait) and panorama
people take too much on one picture. Donít make your picture a puzzle. Guide the
eye of the watcher to the most important part of the picture.
Give a point where the eye can rest.
real world is 3D, pictures are 2D, so you have to use some Ďtricksí to
create an illusion of depth in your pictures. Use a
foreground to make the pictures more interesting. Also diagonal lines can give
an illusion of depth to a picture. In landscapes put in the horizon on 1/3 or
2/3, not in the middle.
Foreground and background
Repeated objects can cause interesting effects.
your viewpoint according the situation. E.g. for
photographing children go low. A low viewpoint can Ďdramatiseí a scene, a high
viewpoint (a birds eye view) can be good to give a total impression of a
If you take
pictures of people then donít cut their feet, get
them in total or take close-ups. Zoom in for taking portraits else you will get
distortion (too big nose). Especially watch the background also, keep it
neutral. Donít make these endless boring series of your family for this and
that, if you want to show your pictures to others.
I was surprised
that e.g. being at the Golden Buddha in Bangkok,
99,9 % of the people took their family before this Golden Buddha and used flash,
which completely distorts the atmosphere. And although most flashes donít go
further then about 3 meter (10 feet), I have seen a lot of people trying to
light out complete temples.
The advantage of
having a strong zoom (10-30 times optical) is that you can take pictures of
people from a distance, without them noticing that.
It is important to
keep your camera steady, when you use your
zoom or a long shutter time
in low light situations. It is important to press the camera against your
face, holds your arms against your breast and hold your breath. The way most
people use their camera by watching, with stretched arms, their LCDís in front
of them is NOT the way to do this. So it is an advantage as you camera has a good EVF (Electronic View Finder).
best time of taking pictures is the morning or
evening. The light is warm and the shadows are longer. From 11:00 till 15:00 the
light is bluish, cool and the shadows are short.
best light is mostly side or backlight. It gives
shadows and contrast to a scene, which makes it more interesting. Donít use
front light in taking pictures of people; they will squeeze their eyes.
Best time and light
use a flash if possible. It will distort the whole
atmosphere with unnatural artificial light. By holding your camera steady or
using a tripod with longer shutter times the atmosphere of the object is much
better captured and also you will not disturb people. You can use a flash as
fill-in in high contrast situation
And the last, but
most important one: before showing your pictures to
anyone, carefully select them. The great advantage
of a digital camera is that you can make several shots of difficult objects.
Later simple delete the not great ones. With a lot of software it is easily
possible to make slideshows with music, which can be played on your computer or
DVD player. In this case try to make a little story in your slideshow (as in a
movie) and vary your shots from totals to half totals to Close Upís. An example
is: Around Bangkok Damnoen
Saduak Floating Market. Add titles to finish your project.
Some interesting links about taking
Taking Great Pictures
Digital Photography FAQ