Basic DOs and DONTs in Photography
Watch out the Light! If the light is hard and strong, make sure the shadows fall in the right place to compliment the subject. Otherwise just place the subject in shade, or add a diffuser between the light source and the subject. Alternatively, you may place the subject against the light as well. yes, you read it right, against the light. As long as you are shooting a tight frame, it won't really effect the exposure.
|Unwanted shadows and highlights not complimenting.||Good diffused uniform light|
Avoid excessive contrast. A good high end camera will be able to handle a higher dynamic range much better than an entry level camera. It's safer, though not always possible to keep everyone in a group in the same kind of light.
Avoid distracting elements. If you wait for a few seconds or just recompose your frame, you can avoid irrelevant elements.
Distractions can be just behind as well. Avoid them.
or use an opened aperture to keep them out of focus.
Don"t always keep your subject right in the middle. Follow the rule of thirds. Leave space in the direction the subject is moving or looking.
In the first photo, the man is moving towards the edge of the photograph while in the next one is moving into more space in front of him.
Move around. A slight change in the viewpoint can change the overall appearance of the photograph. You may include the trees or the monument in the background by just shifting a bit to the left or right.
Understand how your lens focal length influences the appearance of the subject. To get the same shot and frame, Its better to use a longer focal length from a distance than a shorter focal length at a closer distance.
Focus at what is your subject - when shooting with a shallow depth of field, its important that you focus at the right person or subject.
If the focus is on the chain, the car is out of focus.
Although its the same photograph as above, the car shot through the gate bars. Because the focus is on the car and not the chain or the bars, its the car which is sharp and the chin/bars are hardly visible.
Set the Auto focusing on single point focusing so that you can select the focusing point of your choice to overlap the area you wish to focus. When all the points are selected the camera generally focuses at the subject nearest to the camera.
Remember that there is a minimum distance within which your lens may not be able to focus. switching over to manual focal is not the solution but you need to step back or go for a macro lens which can go quite close to the subject.
Blurred images cant be corrected so do not shoot hand held at slower shutter speeds.
Munish Khanna is a well experienced creative photographer based in Delhi, India
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