My last blog entry while helpful (to some) was done a bit tongue-in-cheek. Let’s face it; every person wielding a camera is looking for that one great shot to admire for years to come. Whether it’s a brilliant Hawaiian sunset or your child’s first smile. Pictures are the closest way any of us comes to freezing time. So what can you do to make sure you don’t squander these precious moments?
Here are some tips:
(My blog title didn’t lie–I told you these were common sense tips.)
If you are taking a shot of your child planting her first tulip bulb on a bright, sunny day, you can shoot to your heart’s content and you’re likely to come away with a pretty decent shot. However, if you are indoors taking a shot of your daughter modeling her new wool hat on a dreary winter day your camera’s auto exposure is going to open up the aperture and slow down the shutter speed. Which means if you jostle your hand, your photo will turn out blurry. Hence, the need to stand still. It’s not a bad idea to practice holding your camera with your elbows pressed against your chest. Don’t rock or sway and try not to take any deep breaths. Also, resist the urge to remove your finger until the shutter has gone off. It gives the camera time to auto focus and you end up with a clear picture. If you are a fidgety person, consider using a tripod and your camera’s self-timer feature.
Composition Is Everything
Do you have a painting by a well-known artist hanging in your home? Take a minute to study it. Look at the main subject and all of the surrounding objects in the image. It all adds up to the picture’s composition. Now take a look at one of your most recent photographs. I’m sure you would agree that most of what is included in the shot (save for the main subject) is likely accidental. I noticed this happening a few months ago in many of the shots I took of my young daughter and infant nephew. Not enough attention is paid to composition. For example, how many times have you shot a picture of your toddler while you are standing up? So many parents shoot down at their children. Doing so accentuates their foreheads and you don’t end up with an accurate representation of their facial features. Take a second and kneel down. Get your camera level with their face. Then, before you snap the picture, look at the LCD or through the viewfinder and observe what the surroundings. Is there a tree growing out the top of your son’s head or a stuffed animal “floating” in the background? If so, scout out a better location.