We get asked a lot by people as to how they can take better images for their social media or how they can make their photos stand out? The first thing I’d always say to anyone is that you need to remember that photography is still an art form and like all art its subjective, so what might be appealing to you might not be to others. With that in mind the first thing to keep in mind is who is your target market and what do they or will they like? It’s no good doing deep dark and moody images if you are a florist for example.
The second thing I’d say to most is that you don’t need thousands of dollars, worth of equipment. The gear is only as good as the person using it and I’ve seen plenty of people taking consistently bad photos with top of the line cameras. Most smart phones have at least a 10 mega pixel camera built in and this is fine for just about all online applications as you are only ever shooting for a 72dpi screen. 10 mega pixels will also give you a great clear image up to A4, so again perfect for any corporate presentations or brochures (just remember to switch your phone camera to high definition if it has that as an option. We could sit here all day talking about what camera to use and what setting as well as a whole load of photography topics, but the first one to master is your composition. Once you have this mastered then you place yourself in a much easier position when it comes to editing. So where to start? The rule of thirds is perhaps the most well-known ‘rule’ of photographic composition. The “Rule of Thirds” is one of the first things that beginner photographers learn about in classes on photography and helps you to create well balanced and interesting shots. Remember though that rules are meant to be broken, however if you intend to break a rule you should always learn it first to make sure your breaking for the right reasons. What is the Rule of Thirds? The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. If you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines then your photo becomes more balanced and will enable a viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally as it is more aesthetically pleasing to the human eye.
Research shows that when viewing images, people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot. It also shows that red is the first colour that the human eye is drawn to, but that’s another whole new blog. Using the Rule of Thirds comes naturally to some photographers but for many it takes a little time and practice for it to become second nature.
So, with this in mind take a look at your camera or your phone and 9 out of 10 times there will be a setting to turn on the grid on the screen (is that what that is I hear many of you cry). Yes, the rule is right there for you ready to use, but many have no idea what it’s for. So, when you are framing up your next shot ask yourself, what are the points of interest in this shot and where am I placing them and why?
Look to also keeping the rule of thirds in mind as you edit your photos later on as you can sometimes turn an average shot into something a bit more special, especially with the online editing tools and apps now available for quick on the go editing.
Have fun and happy shooting.
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