Got a new camera to play around with? Or are you perhaps someone who developed a passion for photography and wants to improve your skill? Whatever circumstances led you here, this guide will help you get started on making your shots look better starting by understanding each component that makes up a photo.
Learn how to take better pictures here at SpoutFIRE and see what aspects you need to know about below:
Photography basics: Components of a photo
It might not seem like it for a beginner photographer, but photos actually have different aspects that you can control to make them look more appealing and dramatic depending on what feeling you are trying to invoke in a shot.
Take a look at all of these key components below:
Exposure is defined as the lightness or darkness of an image. If an image is too bright, it is overexposed but if it is too dark then it is underexposed. The idea of exposure was created with the basic mechanics of how the camera works. This involves exposing a digital film or sensor to light to capture a scene. The three main parts of the camera that affect exposure are the shutter speed, aperture and ISO.
It can take some time to master exposure, but the best way to do it is to start with the basics. Let us begin with the aperture, which is defined as the opening in the lens of the camera. The wider your aperture is, the brighter your image will be.
As for the shutter speed, it helps you control how long the camera sensor would be exposed to the sunlight. You can use a slow shutter speed if you want your image to appear lighter and do the opposite if you want it to appear a little less exposed to light.
If the photo is still too dark after you have turned up the shutter speed and aperture, you can turn to use the ISO. The ISO is the sensitivity of the camera to the light you can turn it up to make the picture look brighter.
Motion, depth and noise
Once you have mastered the use of shutter speed, aperture and ISO, you can move on to how it affects the photo as a whole. For example, your camera shutter speed can affect the motion in the picture. All the things that are moving while the shutter is still open will appear blurry in the shot. If you want to create the illusion that something is moving in your photo, you should set the shutter speed low.
The aperture can create a change in how the photo focuses on the objects. For example, you might have seen pictures that appear dreamy with out-of-focus backgrounds and shots, these are all created by minimizing the aperture of the lens. If you want to make it appear brighter and clearer, all you have to do is to widen the aperture.
Finally, the ISO creates noise in the photo or what we call graininess. A low ISO camera would work best for you if you are planning to take shots that are smoother in appearance and closer to reality rather than the sharp and grainy images you will capture in high ISO lenses.
Composition is all about what you draw focus on in your camera. You can change the composition of an image by making subtle adjustments to the zoom and angle. This is the reason why some photographers kneel or position themselves on a higher perspective than the subject of their photographs.
The composition is usually what most people refer to when they say that you have an eye for photography. It is something that relies on the talent and perspective of a photographer, but there are aspects of it that can be taught. One of these aspects is the rule of the third, which helps you decide where to position your subject in the frame.
Focus is the aspect of photography that tells you how to control the sharpness of the image. What’s interesting about this is that focus is not just all on creating a crystal clear image. It also involves how to balance the sharpness with the blur.
Some cameras have an automatic focus option that will help you create clean and sharp images. Single-point autofocus allows you to decide which subject to focus on in the picture while the rest will appear in a blur to draw attention to the subject of the image.
Light bears a huge impact on photography. Even the word photo came from the Greek word for writing with light. It is not enough for an object to be beautiful in photography, to truly draw out the aesthetic appeal of a subject, a photo needs to have good lighting.
Finding the best lighting is all a matter of knowing how and when to look for it. You should also be capable of manipulating the light you want your photos to appear professional. Think about what you want to focus on and what emotion you are trying to invoke then position the light based on that. You can place the light at the top, behind or by the side of your subject to create a shadow.
Photo processing today is easier now than it was before. Back then, you need to have a darkroom to create the perfect image, but now there are applications like Photoshop and Lightroom that makes it easier to control the elements of your image including the white balance, image sharpness, exposure and lighting.
It takes some skills to edit an image without making it obvious that you did some work to make it look as flawless as it does. The best edits are after all those that appear natural, seamless and flawless.
No matter how great a driver is, he still needs a good car to win a race. The same thing goes for photography. You can create excellent images with low-level gears, but perfection requires the top of line tools.
Find the camera that works best for the type of photography that you want to practice then find a lens and tripod, which are all basic tools in photography.
What is the best way to learn photography?
If you think that the information above is too much for you, there are still some other ways to learn. Below, our professional photographers shared what would help you move from beginner level to expert. Read the options below and get ready to put your photography skills into practice:
Nothing works best for learning than having an actual teacher to show you to do things. In photography, it is important to have someone with experience to guide you in taking your masterful shots. Self-learning is great, but having someone to review your shots and offer their suggestions is one of the best and fastest ways to learn.
If you know a professional photographer, make sure to ask them for a favour to learn and practice under their tutelage. You can also hire professionals to teach you or if you want to have the experience of learning alongside other students, you can attend photography classes. It is a fun way to learn about the perspective of other aspiring photographers.
Reading can take you a long way in life and photography. There are a lot of source materials available online you just have to know what to look for. There are even professional photographers creating blogs and sharing their experiences.
If you want to go deeper into your understanding of photography, you should start researching these blogs and studies. Who knows, you might pick up a tip or two on how to make your image appear better than it already is.
Photography is all about exploring what photography style resonates with you. Sometimes, it can take time before you find the technique that works and the only way that you can find it is if you get up and take some photos.
There may be some people who have a natural eye for photography, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be on par with them. By practising as much as you can and trying to improve your skills, you can also become an excellent photographer.
Try different perspectives on your image and don’t be afraid to explore no matter how bizarre your idea might be. The greatest photographers are often those who don’t settle for the conventional.
Join a photography challenge
There are a lot of photography challenges available online and these competitions can help motivate you to work on capturing the perfect image. It is also an excellent way to learn from other photographers.