Taking Better Holiday Pictures
There are no hard and fast rules about taking better pictures. After all, it’s a very subjective matter. However there are plenty of rules of thumbs that you can use to guide you towards improving the way you take pictures for a given subject matter. The tips we gathered here are intended to expand the way you look at photography. There are no right or wrong approaches, just different ways of expression. We have found that there are generally three key elements to a great picture: what’s in the picture, colour and the moment. Nail any of these and you’ve already got a great thing going.
Equipment Doesn’t (Really) Matter
It’s nice to have the best gear, but it’s often not necessary. What you have in your hand is the best equipment to use.
Especially with little ones or pets! Go low, down to the floor if you have to. Having the picture taken at the eye level of vertically-challenged subjects creates a perspective that is interesting for everyone else.
The Time Of Day
If you’re taking photos outdoors, try to avoid shooting at noon. You get really harsh shadows (especially under the eyes) and and things tend to look whitewashed. If you can, go for either early morning or sunset during the “golden hour”, when sunlight has its softest, most dreamy quality.
Fill The Frame/Go Off-centre
You remember those family photos where everyone is right in the centre and like way small? Think about what’s the most important part of the picture, and try to fill the picture with it. If it’s a family, make sure everyone fits snugly within the edges. If it’s a smaller group, get comfortably close, but put the subjects a bit to the left or the right.
If you’re using a smartphone, don’t hesitate to try different apps that give you more picture taking options. Explore these and play with the settings available to you.
The camera is a creative tool. Even the simplest of devices offers some control over the way the picture is taken. Tilt the camera, put it out of focus, get waaaay close to something etc. Experiment and keep shooting. Try different variations and see what you get.
Look For The “Boring”
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a moment only to miss other interesting and engaging themes. Things like reflections, shadows, shapes, patterns and chaos for example, all make great pictures. There’s often a great picture hiding in plain sight. You just have to look carefully.