Six Steps Toward Learning Digital Photography
In our society of instant gratification we want to learn to be great digital photographers faster than ever. However, learning digital photography well can only be done if you apply basic principles of good ol’ fashioned photography. Digital cameras are just tools for capturing images and there is no real way of learning digital any faster than you can learn basic photography. However, by applying these six fast and easy photography principles you will be well on your way to learning digital photography quickly. And I mean “quickly” as in a couple of hours.
1 – Carefully choose your subject
The subject is the centerpiece of your image. Be certain you identify and focus on a suitable subject for what you are trying to convey. The subject must be clearly identifiable in your image, meaning the viewer has no doubt about what you are photographing. If it’s not, then your picture is below average.
2 – Understand and use the Rule-of-Thirds
Mentally divide your viewfinder into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Now, imagine where those dividing lines cross. The points where the lines meet are the sweet spots, this is where you want to place your subject. If the horizon is visible in your picture place it so it runs along one of the imagined horizontal lines.
3 – Get up close to the subject
Usually it is the subject that you want to remember in the scene you are photographing. This is especially true about photographs of family and friends. Therefore, get as much of the subject into the frame as you can and fill the frame with the subject.
4 – Remove the clutter
Be sure you don’t have tree limbs or telephone poles growing out of the head,s of your subjects. Remove from the scene anything you don’t want to remember it twenty years. This includes trash cans, clutter on the ground, signs in the background, or heaps of leaves and grass clippings.
5 – Photograph from different angles
Experiment and find an angle that presents your subject in a uniquely and with an interesting look. Try to shoot from a position that is higher or lower than your subject, so the camera is looking down to, or up at the subject.
6 – Shoot from different viewpoints
This is more than just taking photographs from different angles like tip number five above. This includes moving all around your subject. Step in closer, move further away. Here you move around your subject while looking through the viewfinder looking for a position that gives the most interesting image.
Putting it all together
Pick a subject for your photograph and capture it in fifty different ways or more. Photograph it from every which way. From the left to the right, from very high to very low, from front to back, even from directly above it. Change your viewpoint by moving in close and shooting from every which way again, then move out and do it all again. Try shooting from you back, and then your stomach. Tilt the camera left and right so the horizon is diagonal in the viewfinder.
That may sound like too much to do, but when you try it you will see it can be done fairly quickly. Browse through all the photographs you have made and you’ll be surprised at what you can do. You will amaze yourself, friends, and family with the unique angels and points of view you have captured.
By following these six principles of photograph your skills will improve quickly and dramatically. In just a few hours you’ll be hearing compliments from your friends about your great pictures.