Disclaimer: This is NOT, I repeat, NOT the article to read to become *insert name of famous photographer*. Read this article if you’re an Idiot Photographer (or just an idiot, uncapitalised). To qualify, you must fulfill these requirements:
- You do not know what exposure, aperture, ISO or shutter speed is.
- You have lost all your friends with benefits by turning them into red-eyed devils in important once-in-a-lifetime shots.
- You do not take photos every day. Or every other day.
- You accept blur photos as A Way of Life. Anyway, most people don’t look that good in focus.
If you have established yourself as One of Us, you may now proceed to read these photography tips which are unlikely to turn you into even an Amateur Photographer. However, it will hopefully entertain you for 5 minutes.
It seems important to address the classic problems I have highlighted above. So first of all, buy a mobile phone with a camera that explicitly promotes its Anti-Red Eye feature. This is very easy, only reading required (which we already know you can do).
Secondly, most phone cameras come with auto-focus which usually means you have to press and hold the shutter button, allowing the camera to focus, before releasing to complete the shot. Ta-da-da! (Now everyone can no longer blame You for the way they look.)
You know why they yell “Lights, Camera and Action!”? Because other than the camera and the subject, light is the most important element so you should use it well.
- Bright lights often highlight details sharply while softer lights are more forgiving (perfect for Aunt Sarah who doesn’t want her wrinkles to be so obvious).
- Position the subject such that the light falls on them rather than behind them to avoid seeing only a dark silhouette (unless you really don’t like Aunt Sarah).
- Avoid flashlight as they can be tricky to use. It’s easier to look for an alternative light source even in a dark place like a club. (Porsche headlights, anyone?)
Putting aside the technical elements of photography (phew!), here are some points to keep in mind when you’re planning the shot.
- Avoid distracting background and clutter (if there’s a tree growing out of Aunt Sarah’s head, this is as good a time as any to move her away). Keeping your shot simple will make it less confusing to look at.
- Move in close so that the subject fills most of your frame. This allows interesting details to pop, such as cute freckles. But not too close or the camera will not be able to focus, resulting in a blur photo. (If you can smell what Aunt Sarah had for lunch, it’s too close.)
- Most people take photos from whatever position they’re in, just standing or sitting. Use interesting angles, such as crouching low to shoot upwards (makes the subject seem taller so if you’re shooting dwarfs, this is really useful) or standing on a chair to shoot downwards (makes the subject seem smaller so Barney might appreciate the gesture).
- Instead of always placing the subject of your photo in the middle, create variety by Moving the Subject to One Side. Outdoor shots really benefit from this as the great scenery gets some attention as well.
The truth is, there are many more photography tips out there, some of them are even useful, but this is all I know which should at least be enough to get your friends with benefits back. If it doesn’t, you can always download Paktor and make some new Asian friends (Aunt Sarah included)!
Photo Courtesy: www.popphoto.com; www.dailymail.co.uk; www.ephotozine.com; kodak.