This article is a short photography course aimed at teaching you some of the basics of digital photography. Practice the photographic assignments to learn the techniques and ensure that you remember what you have learned.
1. Choosing a Neutral Background:
Choosing a good background can greatly enhance a picture. Try not to take photos in a cluttered room for example. Many a good photo has been ruined by an inappropriate background such as a kitchen with dirty dishes in the sink, or an unmade bed.
Take a look around your garden or house for a neutral background. A tree or plant with leaves is ideal, or if inside a neutral colored wall or closed curtains.
2. Blurring the Background:
If you have an SLR camera, or one which enables you to change the aperture and camera speed, then choosing a wide aperture setting will help to blur the background. If you have a zoom lens, shooting from a reasonably short distance will achieve the same effect.
If your camera does not allow you to change the aperture, then you could blur the background of the photo on your computer after using photo processing software such as Photoshop.
3. Take note of the lighting around you:
Natural lighting is optimal to capture the correct tone and warmth of the skin. It is therefore best to take photos outdoors or near a window when shooting during the day. When outdoors you should position the subject in a way that light from the sun hits it from the side. Taking a photo with the sun behind the subject results in shadows, and the opposite results in a over-exposure and burnt out colors.
Find somewhere in your garden or house where in addition to the background being neutral, the light is not overly harsh from the sun, or where natural light is coming through a window.
Take note of how you are framing the subject. If you would like to center the subject then ensure that the camera is held at the correct angle and not slanted to either side. When taking photos of people (portraits) make sure you turn the camera on it's side so that you take the photo in "portrait" mode. Experiment with not centering the subject and having some "empty space" on the one side, especially if the background is attractive, ie a plant with leaves.
Find a subject and try taking photos of it by framing it differently each time. Also fill the frame with the subject and then take a photo from further away and see which effect you like best.
This can also be done after the photo has already been taken by cropping the photo in a photo processing software program like Photoshop. Try opening some existing photos and cropping them to make them look better or more interesting.
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Source by Sharon Olivier