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Photography is a wonderful way to express your creative side but it can also be a highly lucrative business to get into; and so, you might be asking yourself, ‘How do I get started?’
Practice really does make perfect so the best way to get started is to take lots of pictures! Getting into the habit of taking photos every day will help you find your own style and get used to capturing the essence of your subjects in a wide range of conditions and contexts.
You don’t need an amazing camera at the beginning, although later you will no doubt want one! At the start of your journey you can use your phone which probably has a high quality camera built into it.
The Benefits of Camera Phone Photography.
- The picture quality is fairly high on a camera phone and getting better every day as the technology improves.
- Super convenient, easy to carry and quick to use with the autofocus feature.
- You can immediately share your photos on social media where you can get valuable feedback and learn what’s working and what’s not.
Your Camera Phone is the Beginner’s Best Friend.
Getting into photography using your camera phone is a fantastic way to take the leap in the craft of photography – never let the equipment you have available hold back your creative spirit. Your camera phone lets you take photos quickly and at no cost. It lets you start learning about composition and the best ways to frame a picture so that on top of feeding your passion you will also be learning about the more technical side of producing professional quality pictures.
Start Learning about Composition to take your photos to the next level.
Composition is partly intuitive but there is a more technical side to it where trusted methods have been tested down the centuries. Many of the techniques used in photography emerged from the world of fine art, including painting, architecture and sculpture.
Framing your Subjects.
When you take a photo you should try to ‘frame’ the subject in the image. This will allow you to create a context for the subject that can be used to help you create a narrative within the photo.
You can use strong natural horizontal and vertical lines to do this, a tree or building for example, a storefront or a powerful skyline.
Framing your picture will let you lead your viewers eyes to the subject and add depth to your photo. It will take some practice but once you have internalized the concept you will be doing it without thinking in no time at all!
The Rule of Thirds.
The rule of thirds is a conceptual technique where you divide the image into 3 sections both horizontally and vertically so you end up with 9 parts in between grid-lines. Some cameras can also add these grid lines onto the viewfinder for you as well. Once you have the image divided up you can use the intersections of the grid to create a more powerful image. When you take your photo try to place the points of interest on the inner intersections of the grid. This will naturally draw your viewer’s eyes to the subject of the photo.
General Composition – Things to keep in mind.
There’s a lot of things you can consider but try to keep the following in mind as you start to take more photos. Over time many of these tips will become second nature to you but at the beginning it’s good to remember them. A useful way to practice is to go for photo walks where you focus on trying out new techniques. For example, you could head out, with camera in hand, to take photos where you use framing, or concentrate on the rule of thirds and so on.
Compositional Techniques You Can Try Today!
- Fill the Frame. Avoid having a busy and distracting background so your viewer can focus on the subject of the photograph.
- Look for natural symmetries or patterns and make use of them. Architectural motifs, reflections in water and other naturally occurring patterns in the scenery make a strong backdrop to your photography.
- Keep things simple. Often the best photographs are very simple but still manage to capture the essence of the subject. Don’t over complicate things and instead try to bring out one or two features in each image.
- Pay attention to the horizontal and vertical lines in the scene and use them to lead your viewer’s eyes to the subject of your photo.
- Create Depth in your photos. It can be tough at first but once you learn to compose images with a foreground, a middle ground and a background you can start to take photos that have a great sense of depth.
- Keep an eye out for contrasts in light and dark and try to use it in your photography. Utilizing convergences of light and sweeping shadows can turn a good photograph into an outstanding one!
- Try using props in your photography. This is particularly fun when taking portrait photos. Use hats, umbrellas, mirrors and other props to add interest and character to your portrait photography.
Try Attending a Workshop.
Taking part in a photography workshop is a great way to meet other photographers while learning valuable new things. Workshops are designed to be a highly effective way to learn about photography and even if you are just getting into photography they are suitable for all levels of skills and knowledge!
In Philadelphia, the Digital Photo Academy offers affordable classes (live and Online) on topics such as composition and camera control. Some of these classes are held in places such as Rittenhouse Square and Manayunk.
- Meet new people who share your passion for photography. Being around other people who love photography too is a great experience and you’ll learn a lot from them. Everyone has their own take on composition with a bag of tips and tricks that you can pick up from them!
- Many workshops are run by real experts in the field so you can absorb a huge amount of information in a short time. They will teach you the techniques that you need to know while helping you to develop your own unique style with one on one advice and guidance available throughout.
- Practice what you learn as you learn it! Workshops are arranged so that you can try out the new techniques you’ve learned immediately. This not only helps you to remember it better but it’s also fun and highly rewarding.
Take up photography as an Amateur or Become a Professional.
Getting into photography can seem daunting however once you take the leap you’ll never look back! If you have a passion for photography then let it guide you and be your inner drive to succeed with your own unique style. Practice to become familiar with your camera and try to take some photos everyday and in no time at all you’ll find that you are taking some really stunning pictures.
How did you get into photography?