As the year 2015 passed by, one of the most commonly seen internet trolls is the picture of a monkey holding DSLR with a caption “Every monkey that owns a DSLR calls itself a photographer”. It’s truly disturbing and de-motivating especially if you are so crazy and want to make it big in photography. Isn’t it? While photography is an art and it takes a creative eye to make that killer photography, there are few other technical aspects that you might want to take care of which would add that “Wowiee!!” touch to your works. Below are 6 key points that you must pay attention to should you create your killer photograph.
1. The Precision of Focus
The optical system of human beings is wired in such a way that if you want to see something your brain instructs your eye to view that, collect the visuals and processes it. While this is biological, a camera is not. It is the job of the photographer to act as a brain and set the lens to view the right thing. While how to focus is something you can learn with your camera, what to focus is the key to understanding what you see from your photo.
As a general rule, it is best to set the focus on that part of our subject of interest that primarily communicates or expresses about self.
For example, when our subject of interest is a living person or animal it is best to lock your focus on the eyes. If our subject of interest is a car, it is best to lock your focus on the headlights.
2. The Triangle of Exposure
Do you know that what you see in your eyes is only the light that is reflected off your subject of interest unless your subject itself is a source of light?
The light from a light source hits your subject and a relative intensity of light reflects off the subject on the respective colors of the subject. Your camera exactly sees the same thing and its effectiveness in reading the intensity of light reflected off your subject is Exposure. Having the right level of exposure in your photo for your subject is as simple as setting exposure parameters in the camera to click the shot. These exposure parameters are called the exposure Triangle as the parameters are Shutter Speed, ISO and Aperture (F stop). We will cover more details around these parameters in our following posts.
3. The Art of Composition
Composing a photo is the art of arranging and positioning the subject, the background and the foreground in a photo. There are multiple rules and guidelines for composing a photo, the most commonly and effectively practiced would be the rule of thirds.
A well composed photo would naturally draw the viewers’ attention to that parts of the photo which is most important and this provides a clear context of the expression from the subject or photo.
4. The Focal Length decision
The choice of the focal length for clicking your subject is the key to a good photo. Each focal length has its own personal perspective with respect to the angle, Depth of field, Bokeh and distortion. Depending upon the subject in interest and the feel you are trying to project in your photo, you can choose the appropriate focal length.
Beware, the choice of focal length can make or break your photo. Choose a wrong focal length and you would be making damage beyond repair.
For Example, ultra wide angle lens brings in a wide angle distortion skewing the shapes and sizes. Hence wide angle lenses are not advisable for portrait and people photography
5. The play of Lights and Shadows
Light illuminates, Shadows define. Both are equally important
By all means control light that falls on your subject. Don’t over expose the subject. Watch out for the shadows. Too dark a shadow with little or no details, add little or nothing to your photograph. As a best practice, try not to maintain more than 30% of your subject of interest in the shadows.
6. The magic of Rich Editing
No, Editing is not a sin; neither is it a way to cover up for the mistakes done. Editing embellishes the photograph. The camera is never as powerful or as dynamic as human eyes, but it can surely sees more than you think it could. It is always good to edit your photos in your favorite editor software to slightly adjust contrast, saturation and correct white balance which would make your photos look richer and desirable.
It is a best practice to shoot in raw and process the raw files to JPEG to recover maximum dynamic range and details. However ensure to edit the raw file before processing to JPEG format as most details that you would require for editing are lost in JPEG compression
So Next time, when you are out there with your gears, keep all these points in your mind and impress your friends with some amazing clicks.