World Photo Day – Tips for Taking the Perfect Pic

World Photo Day

How to take better holiday snaps…

So you’ve managed to get everybody in place, the kids are smiling and you’re as positive as you can be that everyone has their eyes open… only to find the finished product is far from great. Here’s how can you make sure those holiday snaps are going to be Facebook worthy and something to be proud of!

Lighting

We all hope that our holidays are accompanied with plenty of sunshine, but this can cause havoc when taking decent images. Most portraiture photographers will avoid full sun at all costs so it’s understandable to get frustrated when you can’t get the results you’re looking for.  Before you even lift your camera, take a look at the sun’s position and place your subject in the most ideal place, or if it’s a more relaxed shot, move around until the lighting looks good. Open shade is the most ideal as you can capture the brights of the sun without people squinting and details being blown out. Use a beach brolly, a building or even find a tree, but be careful to avoid hotspots from any dappled sunlight. If there’s no shade then backlit images are the next best thing and can give you amazing sun flare and light leaks, so look for the sun being positioned behind the person you’re shooting.

caption pic

Composition

Composition can make what would be an ordinary photo look amazing. There are numerous rules you can use including the rule of thirds, which is great when taking pictures on the beach or with far reaching views.

Rule of thirds

Rule of thirds

Or try framing the image with trees for example. This works great for more closed in shots and where you want beautiful surroundings without detracting from your subject.

Framing the image

Framing the image – the wall, tree on the right hand side and sunny bokeh give depth and interest but work to lead your eye back round to your subject.

If you’re looking to take pictures of the kids then it’s important to get down to their level. Taking images whilst angling your camera down to the ground won’t usually produce great results so kneel down and move around to find the best perspective. It’s great for seeing the world from a child’s point of view and even works well for taking pictures of your dog.

Low level photography

Getting down to their level

Capture the moment

Capturing the moment is one of the greatest pleasures of photography, especially when it comes to children and families. Instead of choreographing your photos, try having your camera within easy reach so you can react quickly and get that perfect shot. Most cameras now come with a continuous mode, even the camera on your smartphone, which means you can press and hold the shutter button to take multiple images per second. By doing this it means you have a much better chance of getting that perfect image.

Use your camera’s settings

If you have a DSLR camera, don’t be afraid to change your camera’s setting to suit your style. Play around with a bigger aperture to get that beautiful blurry background or bokeh, or try a faster shutter speed to avoid any blur when the kids are running through. A slower shutter speed will give you a soft blur to any movement in your photos, so flowing water for example, but be warned, you will then be in need of a tripod to avoid camera shake from your hand.

It’s not all about DSLRs though. Cameras on smartphones take some amazing images and some come with large apertures, allowing you to capture more light and create that blurry background for a shallow depth of field.

Vicki Andrews is a professional photographer in East Lancashire and North Yorkshire. Take a look at her website for more photography hints and tips. 

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