Creative

6 quick photography tips to better that blog and website

Photography_tips_V1_480

No extra photography equipment or editing software necessary here, just a point and shoot, smartphone or SLR camera (if you have one) with the lens that came in the box.

 

1. You don’t need another lens yet

Canon kit lens EFS 18-55mm

Photography tip number 1: Forget those who poo-poo kit lenses shipped with new cameras. True, their build quality isn’t great and they probably struggle a bit in low-light, but take a look at Andrew Gibson.

In his post why your kit lens is better than you think, he explains how his entry level Canon 350 and ‘inferior’ 18-55mm stock lens got him into Practical Photography magazine.

 

2. Stop. Using. Automatic. Right. Now.

Using fully automatic on camera

Automatic mode ends up with something like the above picture: unwanted reflections, over-exposure, a cheap flat look, shadows where you don’t want them and too much darkness where the flash couldn’t quite reach.

Bone up on the aperture, shutter speed  and ISO basics (Adam Dachis nails what you need to know here) and find an abridged version of your camera instructions created by a helpful online soul (or just read the original).

As well as full manual (M), the top of your camera probably comes with these options. Experiment with each of them.

Program (P)

Manually control the flash, ISO (to take photos in darker situations), white balance (the overall image colour temperature, typically ranging from orange to blues) and adjust your image brightness.

Aperture priority (Av or A)

Change the depth of field (i.e. the ‘DSLR blurry background’ look). Low numbers (4.5 and under) give more blur, higher keeps more in focus.

Shutter speed priority (Tv or S)

Particularly useful for fast moving sport action to keep the subject in focus.

 

3. And be sparing with on-board flash

flash off

It’s the in-built flash that mostly creates that cheap look. Turn it off and use other light sources (especially natural) for a more deft touch as above.

Generally , shoot with light behind you to show the subject the most clearly, side angles for more interesting shadows and shooting into it for a silhouette.

Also, look to the environment for extra options. White walls can reflect the light to the other side of the subject, if needed.

 

4. Try ‘the rule of cubes’ not just thirds

Crowd shot at The Business Show

Go beyond the rule of thirds (splitting the scene into horizontal and vertical thirds, then placing the subject on a line). Think depth too – foreground, mid and background for context.

Take this (admittedly) fairly average still above. The focal point is the woman in the white jacket. Having people in the foreground and background shows the context of a bustling corridor.

 

5. Then don’t

http://iseeyoutoday.moonfruit.com/

Some argue there’s a ‘rule of quarters’ or power quadrants, where you place important aspects into the four corners. Believers of this MIGHT point to something like this image from Moonfruit website customers I See You, where the young girl smiling in the foreground is the main visual anchor.

Others could say it’s still thirds (the two girls in the background and the front girl’s left eye is pretty much on a corner intersection) or that there’s no principle at all except capturing a candid moment.

Whichever, don’t get fixated, try whatever works.

 

6. Direct the viewer

Point of view

Camels' behind showing a powerful point of view

The one most of us know: shooting from above makes something look smaller and innocent, below (like the camel photo) more powerful and level to make it more natural or humanised.

 

Leading lines

spirals - hom26 - Flickr

We like to follow lines (look at any classic road photo or spiral, the eye wants to see where it leads). So when thinking about composition, take a minute to consider the visual journey of the viewer.

 

Contrast

Lucca Messer photography

Use of light, dark, space and fill can also lead the viewer.

Take the above image by Lucca Messer. Maybe you saw the woman on the right first because of her skin tone and clothes that contrast with the rest of the image, was surprised by the Queen Elizabeth II mask then a bit confused by the horse at then end. You can catch more of his work on his Moonfruit website here.

 

Practise makes perfect

Get to know your camera, practise as much as possible and experiment. You don’t need to be an expert but decent images on your blog and website massively improves what people think about your idea, product or service.

Start building your website today with Moonfruit.


Marcel Reinard
Senior content producer and full time Arnie obsessor

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4 Responses to “6 quick photography tips to better that blog and website”

  1. Steven Bamford

    Hi,

    I am a keen amateur photographer and very happy to see you focusing on photography as this is vital for portraying the correct business image.

    I was wondering where you would like me to write anything on HDR photography as this dramatic style can really gab peoples attention and give a real professional approach.

    I may be able to think of other articles as well that might be very helpful for others.

    Let me know what you think.

    Best regards

    Reply
    • Marcel Reinard

      Hello Steven,

      Great to hear you’re interested in doing a bit of writing for Sliced! Maybe you can send over a few ideas for us to take a look at?

      Reply
  2. Newman

    The layout person responsible for the Moonfruit’s
    Moonuniversity” email newsletter is using stretched, blurry graphics to promote “photography 101″. You can do better.

    Reply
    • Steven

      Hi,

      I’ve passed on your feedback about the email – it looks like the content appeared blurred on some applications.

      Cheers,

      Steven

      Reply

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