Taking a Good Photograph: Composition and Lighting
Not a lot of people stop to think about how to take a good photograph. For many of us, a photo is just a way of documenting that we went to a certain place or were with a certain person. We don’t stop to think about composition, color, sharpness, etc. And in this age of selfies, the angle of the photo is often so strange that people seem as though they were looking in one of those distorting mirrors that make you look longer, shorter, etc.
This is not to say that everyone has to take professional-looking photographs. But if you follow a few easy tips, you might be able to come up with something that you’ll enjoy framing and looking at for years to come.
Think about what you would like to have included in the photo. If the photo is of a person, is it a full-length photo or a close up of their face? If it is a full-length photo, make sure that it includes the person from head to foot without cutting off their head or feet. If it’s a closeup, is it well-lit?
Composition is one of those things which is quite intuitive. Most of us can just look at a photo and tell when it seems to be missing something. This usually means that the composition is off. So take a few photos of the individual and their surroundings until you get it right.
It’s important to make sure that the photo is well-lit. If the weather agrees with you, then take advantage of it. Photos taken in sunlight always look good. But you’ll have to make sure that the sunlight is falling on the subject and that they are not in the dark.
You can take photos with flash but, in general, you’ll find that they seem a little too bright in an artificial kind of way. So if you can work with natural lighting or ambient lighting within a studio or whichever indoor space you’re trying to photograph, that will probably work a lot better than a flash.
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