Every day we take dozens of photographs to save moments, events and memories, so every year we accumulate thousands of images. However, despite the advanced digital cameras on the market, one detail persists: the cameras do not take good pictures by themselves. They do what we tell them, this seems very obvious, but having a great camera is not enough if you don’t know how to handle it.
Why does this happen? Simply because, no matter how sophisticated the camera is, most people do not know the basic principles that make the amateur photographer a professional. For this reason, we have prepared a note, where you will learn how to take professional photos to highlight in the field.
1. The three basic concepts of photography
Learn the three basic concepts that every lover of Photography you must know:
Control the amount of light that passes through the lens.
Control the time of light input through the lens.
Control the camera’s sensitivity to light.
2. The rule of thirds
Where should the subject be in our photograph? To the center? On the left? On the right? The truth is that, if we place the subject in the center, the image could be uncreative. Therefore, it is advisable to place the protagonist of your photo moved to the side, so you will achieve two things: highlight it and make the image more fun.
The best way to make a stunning photographic composition is to apply the rule of thirds. This means the following: divide your image with two vertical and two horizontal lines, creating a 3 x 3 grid. Then place what you want to highlight on any of the points where the lines intersect (not inside the rectangle but at the linear crosses) .
These points are known as impact points. Did you know that people focus unconsciously towards these points of an image? Use it in your favor.
3. Photography is the domain of light
Many professional photographers conceive photography as the study of light. They are always looking for the best light, they even study it, because without it, there would be no shapes, colors or details in an image.
In the photograph, we identify two types of light:
– Hard light: generates greater depth, offers more contrast to the image; Therefore, it is more dramatic.
– Soft light: it is flatter, creates very subtle shadows between objects and is less dramatic.
In that sense, soft light favors any person, thanks to less shadows. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more emotional effect, your best option will be hard light.
4. Adjust the image resolution
Keep in mind that images taken in low resolution are the most difficult to modify in post production. In general, these photographs do not allow to obtain a better result as one would do with a higher resolution. Check your camera and discover the types of image resolution it offers. Which one should I choose?
Before, it is essential to acquire a memory card with greater capacity. Now, change your camera settings to take pictures in RAW format. This is the native or “raw” format with higher image quality, since the data that compose it is not compressed.
5. Choose the lowest ISO
The ISO is one of the main concepts you should know to know how to take professional photos. Often, the digital cameras you use will allow you to choose the ISO value. Some do not know, but photographing with the default value can cause images full of noise.
Therefore, we recommend that, before photographing, you take the time to check the ISO of your camera. It is best to lower the ISO as low as possible (the actual sensitivity of the sensor usually matches the lowest ISO value). This change will ensure images without noise and much more vivid colors.
6. Understand the manual mode of your camera
Leaving, little by little, the Automatic mode of the camera is the first step to experience professional photography. Dare yourself. In addition, there are two quick ways to learn to take control of our images:
If the image is overexposed:
– Increase shutter speed
– Choose a larger diaphragm, a larger diaphragm, less light and vice versa.
– Decrease ISO
If it is underexposed:
– Decrease shutter speed
– Choose a smaller diaphragm or aperture.
– Increase ISO
7. Opening and Depth of Field
Did you know that the aperture of the diaphragm (also known as number f) alters the depth of field? Yes, it is about how much the whole scene or an object is in focus.
If you want to keep most of the scene focused, such as when you take landscapes, you must use a larger “f” (for example, 8, 11, 16). On the other hand, if you want to focus on a specific object, you must use a smaller “f” (2.8, 4, 5.6).
8. Search the “Magic hours”
Maybe you’ve heard of this term when sunset comes and you see someone taking photos. Why are these hours so special? Well, for everything. Mainly, because the colors have a special tone. You start seeing everything more pink, yellow, purple, blue or red. Colors are transformed with light and somehow everything acquires a new dimension.
The magic hours are two:
It is the moment when the colors become redder and the light becomes soft, you can even tell people to look at the sun and no, they are not going to dazzle! It really is something magical.
– AM: when the sun rises
– PM: when the sun goes down
Blue Light (Twilight)
It is the moment when the lights of the cars are already on, but you can still distinguish well between the objects, because there is enough light to see correctly. It is the light mostly used for landscapes, portraits and photographs of the moon. The colors turn more blue and the shadows are more diffuse.
– AM: before the sun rises
– PM: after the sun sets
9. The tripod and the flash, two good friends
Within the whole set of accessories that photography requires there are two pieces on which you must rest. The first one is the tripod. Always use it, as it will improve the stability of the camera, which is particularly beneficial in low-light scenarios. Thanks to the use of the tripod, the sharpness of your images will be assured, as well as the focus on times of long exposure.
Your second best ally is the flash, especially when looking to make portraits. Although it is a very sunny day, the flash will help prevent the shadows that appear on the face of the lens. Remember that the “fill flash” is not intended to illuminate the darkness, but to fill the face of the light subject so that it is uniform with everything around it.
10. Something very important: tell a story
Your photos should “speak” for themselves. If your photograph manages to have a narrative, you will make the person who sees the image identify in a special way with it. Many times we believe that with a “pretty picture” is enough, but in reality there should always be something else behind it.
The narrative can be told in a single image or in a series of them. For this, we recommend the following:
– Don’t see, observe.
– Everything is in capturing the moment.
– It can be a change of light, a gesture, an emotion, a scene.
– Go with your eyes, not with the camera.
And you, what kind of photos do you like to take? Do you have any additional tip or recommendation to take good photos?
Remember that in Crehana you can delve deeper into photography and become a professional. You can start by enrolling in the Course of Fundamentals of Digital Photography where you will learn to correctly handle a digital camera and its accessories. What do you think? We read soon.