Photography as a hobby is on the rise, with several even investing in professional equipment. But the key to good photography does not just lie in having the right gear – you need to have the right eye for interesting photographs as well. If you’re ready to take your hobby to the next level, read on:
- Everything and anything can be interesting. With social media on the rise and more and more people snapping shots of their pets and food on their camera phone, why follow the crowd? Try capturing something different about these everyday subjects. For example, rather than shooting just the food itself, why not try to capture the wafts of steam coming from it as well? It adds a whole new dimension to the image, as it conjures up what the food might actually be like in the audiences’ minds – it looks so good that you can almost smell it. After all, you’ve invested in all the equipment, so you may as well put it to good use rather than snap another run-of-the-mill shot you can get with a camera phone. Look at getting into street photography – you’d be surprised at the plethora of interesting elements you can find in your daily commute, your neighborhood, on roads and side streets.
- Make use of the environment for dramatic effect. Pictures that are taken around certain times – such as during sunset or after a rainfall – often adds depth to the picture, be it in colour or clarity. Sunset shots are known for having a deeper, richer hue in colour while anything taken after a morning drizzle has a fresh, dewy feel. Interesting reflections can also be captured in the rain. Shooting at certain times in the afternoon results in interesting shadows that you can play with, depending on the position of the sun.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. With colour, lighting, angles and anything else. Have a look at the different effects and focus points you can have on one subject, simply by changing from an ECU (extreme close-up) to a panoramic shot or vice versa. Doing this sometimes allows you to notice something interesting about your subject matter that you may have overlooked before. Always have a focus point in your mind that you want to highlight or come across first in your picture, and you can experiment and build form there. For example, if you are taking a portrait, what’s the most arresting feature on the subject’s face? The eyes? Mouth? Focus on that feature and think of ways to bring it across the photograph so it’s the first thing your audience notices too.
- Take several shots of the same thing from different angles. Especially if your subject is in motion. You never know what you might capture in a split second in a moment of spontaneity.
- Colour is not always everything. Sometimes, treating a photograph in black and white or even monochrome, adds more character and depth. It can make how an image is viewed differently and also helps set the mood – bright colours give off a vibrant and upbeat feel, while monochrome or black and white can evoke sentimentality or romance.
There are many ways to get creative, but remember that artistic and creative does not mean weird and sloppy. At the end of the day, composition is key. Take the time to view and position your subject in the frame. Don’t distort your subject or take it from such a weird angle that you leave people wondering or second-guessing what your image is about or trying to convey. The whole idea of a good image is for it to be arresting, not confusing. Keep these tips in mind and see the difference in your shots today – even if it’s something as mundane as sleeping cats.