sasha_feather: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
My photography tips. All of these are guidelines not rules!

1. Take more pictures than you think you will need. Then take even more.

If you grew up before digital photography, you'll probably feel like you are "wasting film"-- you'll have a conservative approach to hitting the shutter button. Film and printing photos were expensive. It's a process to unlearn those old habits and take more photos, to take a liberal, abundant, and playful approach to taking photos. To snap with abandon.

2. It's not a rule to have fun, but being experimental and playful can help.
(Have fun should not be a rule from real social skills)

3. Get closer, especially to people. I want to see their eyes and faces and expressions. I want the subject to fill most of the frame.

4. If you are able, get at eye level or a little above. Taking a photo from below the person's eyeline is rarely flattering. One reason the Dogist (thedogist.com) is so great? He has hard knee pads. He gets down on the ground to get on the dog's eye level. Then he squeaks a toy so they will look at the camera. (I know that not everyone can kneel.)

5. Pay attention to what is in the background of your photo. Junk and clutter are distracting. There are many funny photos online of mirror reflections of people's naked butts, or sex toys sitting out on the counter, etc, that they missed because they didn't look at the background.

6. Natural light is best! Flash tends to wash things out. Sometimes bathrooms provide good lighting too; I think it's the mirrors and the typically white walls that reflect the light around.

7. If you want to try the "Rule of thirds", dividing an image into 3 or 9 parts, or aligning the eyes on the top third line, (again this is not really a rule but a guideline), many cameras and iPads have built-in guides-- superimposed lines over your screen that divides the image into thirds both vertically and horizontally. I think that the iPad also has a Fibonacci spiral guideline on it!

Some of the reasons I got more into photography:
It doesn't hurt my body (unlike other hobbies like knitting)
You don't have to learn much to see some results (low point of entry)
It's relatively cheap and portable, due to the advent of digital cameras and phone cameras
I find that it helps me pay attention to my environment, in a meditative, mindful way: even on horrible days I can find interesting things to look at and snap photos of.
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