What is it about some pictures that make them so striking and memorable? Have you ever wondered what professional photographers know that you don’t? Unfortunately, many think it’s all about expensive camera equipment — but what if I told you that using 3 simple steps or techniques, you could drastically improve your photography and begin you on your way to start taking shots like a pro. Sound interesting? Let’s take a look.
Here are the three steps and the order to apply them. Doing these three steps every time will elevate your photography from simple snapshots to professional quality pictures. It really is that simple.
1 – Know the subject
Think about what it is you are taking a picture of and make sure you have a clear understanding of the main subject of the photo. Is it a landscape with your family in the foreground so you can remember that vacation or is it the landscape and your family just happens to be standing there. Many times people take a picture and don’t pay attention to what’s going on in the picture and therefore distractions get included into the picture. Check out the picture below:
Now that’s a busy picture. What can we do improve this?
2 – Focus attention
Choose what is going to be the focus of the attention of this photograph. Once you choose the subject we need to focus the attention of the viewer on it. We can accomplish this in a number of ways such as using a relative size, lighting, framing, selective focus and my favorite moving around for a better angle and especially getting up close and personal.
3 – Simplify
Now that you have chosen the main subject of the photograph and have chosen a way to draw attention to it, we have one last step. While looking through the viewfinder, take the time to look around and try to get rid of the distractions that will detract from a great picture. For the picture below I chose to use two ways to focus attention and simplify. I got close to one item and used depth of field to make the background out of focus. This ensured my main subject was clearly defined. Granted, it’s not one of my better pictures however, it does illustrate the point of these three steps.
So once again the steps are:
- Know the subject
- Focus attention
If you can get into the habit doing before you press the shutter release, you will begin to see better and better pictures. Guaranteed. It’s that simple.