Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How to take better pictures



Some of you have commented on the photography that has been used recently for the images displayed on Patches of Pink, and you have asked for photography tips. Well, here they are...

(1) Subject Matter - First of all, you need something to take a picture of, and it helps if this "something" is interesting. For instance, it is much more interesting when you focus on something that people usually wouldn't expect.


(2) Lighting - I can't stress enough the importance of good lighting. Depending upon the lighting and the time of day, you will have very different pictures. The reflection of light is what creates the colors that we see, and it also creates contrast (making things look 3D). Depending upon what you are wanting, you will make different decisions about your lighting. With people, I like to see the "light" in their eyes (otherwise they look boring and lifeless). For instance, in the picture below, the lighting isn't all that great, but I made sure to get a reflection in my daughter's eyes and the light source is also creating some warm contrasts on her face.


Here, I am using lighting for dramatic effect...


And here, I waited until just the right moment in the day to take the picture...


(3) Cropping - Many individuals are too traditional in their picture taking. Just look at the majority of pictures out there, and you will see full body shots, where they tried to get everything in the picture...Boring! Get creative! Cropping can be so much fun, and it can really give your pictures more spunk. Check out how I cropped some of the images in this post. Also, check out this one below...


Look at how I didn't even try to get her whole head (cut off some on top), and where is the rest of her body? Who needs it. This image is much more interesting when we focus in on exactly what we want to see. And here is another example...


As you can see, you can also make pictures black and white for a special impact, but don't overdo it. The occasional black and white image is cool, but I have seen too many people who try to take an average picture and make it "cool" by changing it to black and white. Black and white is especially effective when there is high contrast in your picture (i.e. see the shadows in this picture? Light and shadow has a high impact in black and white photography).

If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this post. Thanks!

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