The other day, I asked if anyone would be interested in any photography “How To” related posts. I didn’t get a lot of suggestions for topics. However, Laurel did ask if there was anything that I could suggest for those without any fancy camera’s and lenses. I am going to attempt to answer that challenge. I think there are a few simple things that can improve all photographs. I might post a few other ideas over the next few weeks.
Today, I am going to focus on just one simple improvement most anyone can make in their photography—Get in close. Actually, closer than that. Now just a liiitttttttle closer. Okay, that’s about right! Getting in close simplifies your photo allowing your subject to shine. Simplifying your photos will give a photo more impact and draw more attention to your subject. The easiest way to simplify is to get in as close as you can. Getting in close eliminates clutter in the background that may detract from your subject. Maybe this seems obvious to you, but I think it is the number one characteristic that separates a typical snapshot from a great photo. Most photography books call this “filling the frame.”
To simplify effectively, you must first decide on the focus of the photo you are taking. Once you decide what/who your photo is about, FILL the viewfinder with what you are trying to capture. Sometimes that may be a just a face or one person. Other times it may be a beautiful landscape or a whole group of people.
Here are a few examples:
If I wanted to capture a picture of the beautiful flowers my husband brought for me the other day, which would be more interesting. . .
(this is okay but does it really allow the flowers to shine? Have you seen this picture before? Does it stand out from the last bouquet you saw photographed?)
If I wanted to capture the beautiful red leaves on the bush outside my door, would you rather see this:
A couple of things to remember. First, most rules in photography have been beautifully broken. I am sure this one has, too. Second, if your subject is a person, you have to be a little more specific about what you are trying to capture of that person--their beautiful expression, their interaction with a sibling, how much they have grown, or this person in the beautiful surroundings they are in. Each one of those scenerios would require a photographer to frame the photo differently.
Try this out for yourself. Take a few pictures this weekend for fun and see if it makes a difference in the photos you take. It is a pretty simple trick that can make a big difference. I'd love to see your results.