This lesson is all about the basics of photography. If you’re the type of person who’s always looking at stuff and thinking, “I should take a picture of that,” then this lesson is for you. How to get the lighting right, this, that, all that kind of stuff. So, let’s get started!
Take a flower, for example. Whenever you’re shooting flowers, remember to get closer to the flower and focus on your camera. Usually, an easy way to do this is by looking at the flower from the side, instead of straight from above. You can also take these kinds of pictures with a digital SLR camera if you have a macro or telephoto lens (lenses that let you get close-up). And remember to keep the flowers simple. Flowers with more depth and detail are more intricate and require skill to photograph. Stick to the basics:) If these tips still don’t get the flower in focus, try photoshopping the picture into black and white. The flower stands out here regardless of whether the background is blurred or not!
The last section was all about focusing and making your subject (in this case, a flower) stand out. This time around, I’ll discuss lighting. Lighting is a key aspect of professional photography. Say you were out on a photo shoot, and you saw a field of lavender and an oak tree that you could focus on. Maybe there’s a piece of the sun shining through the oak tree. If you position it right, you can get some gorgeous highlights and a silhouette (which we’ll discuss in Lesson 4). If this is not done, a great photo opportunity could be wasted by some untidy flowers and a messed-up oak tree. An easy way to keep lighting on your side is to use diffusers. A diffuser is a type of shade that reflects light in just the right way. Or you could always change your position so the light is right on the spot. In another scenario, say your subject is in a dark area, and your flash/speedlight produces awful shadows and brightness. So just use a white surface, reflect your flash upwards, and it should bounce off whatever’s above you and come back down as natural light. This is an easy and simple way to create a great imitation of natural light!! This technique is called amazing and it’s very effective at creating a softer, more wholesome look. Additionally, it can be used to fill in shadows and achieve a more balanced result. I’m not sure what this technique is referred to, but we’ll call it the ‘Miracle of the Flashy Skies’ because that sounds a ton cooler!
Say you’re outside watching the sunset, and you take out your camera and take a picture. But the sun now looks bare and has nothing surrounding it, so it looks like you took a meaningless picture of a big yellow blob. This is the effect that can come out of not having a good surrounding object. Say, you had a book. Just a book on a table standing up. Wouldn’t a picture of it look a ton better if you put a bunch of flowers around it? That’s what I’m talking about. If you’re lucky enough to live around some mountains or some other rising land formation, then there’s nearly no way you could encounter this mistake, especially with a picture of the sunset. But if you live around a bunch of flat ground, try taking a shot from behind some shrubbery, or maybe a tree. This way, if you keep the sun peaking out from the top, then this picture-ruining phenomenon is fixed just like that. Always keep something in the background and the front of your subject, unless you’re photographing a portrait. This is bound to keep everything tidy.
As we come to the end of this chapter, I hope you have learned some valuable tips and techniques for on photography basics. Remember, photography is an art form that requires both technical skills and creativity. With practice and dedication, you too can capture beautiful moments and memories that will last a lifetime. Keep experimenting and pushing yourself to try new things, and always remember to have fun with it. Now, let’s move on.