Make Every Photo Count! A Lesson in photography, by Jerry Aulenbach October 2004.
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Make Every Photo Count! A Lesson in photography, by Jerry Aulenbach October 2004
Rule of thirds Tic-tac-toe Divide the rectangle into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, and put emphasis on those lines and points of intersection by placing your subject there, instead of right in the centre (except for shots like portraits). There is also a rule of fifths Now we're talkin' composition! This can make the difference between a great photo and a lousy photo. Don't waste space!
Aperture and shutter speed The smaller the shutter speed (1/1000 is smaller than 1/60-think fractions), the faster the photo, and the more light required. Don't ever use a shutter speed less than 1/60, unless you have a tripod and are really desperate for light, or are aiming for a particular effect. Bulb setting- as long as you want. The larger the opening, the more light that will come in. The larger the opening, the lower the f/stop.
Lighting Make sure your film is fast enough for the lighting situation. Use a flash if necessary, but not in front of a reflective surface (the photographer should never appear in the photo, unless intentionally). Although you don't want the sun behind the subject, you don't always want it in front, as they may look worse squinting.
Lighting Avoid Backlight (in front of a window, sun in the background). Backlight can affect your exposure and cause the subject to be too dark as it is compensating for the extra light. If possible, use selective metering. Breaking the rules can be fun, too!
Cropping Even in photography, there is "repentance". Don't be afraid to cut up photos. Know how to use the cropping tool in your photo editor. It allows for freedom and improvement. If you ever make a mistake, just hit "ctrl+z" or undo will take you back where you last were.
Perspective Use lines, off centred, from a side, top, or bottom angle, etc. Be creative
Size Be considerate of others when emailing photos. Reduce the size to avoid taking too much of their account space, especially if they are on dial-up or have a free web-based account. If possible, post your images and send a link, rather than the file itself.
Think to the future Do you appreciate the "nudie" photos your parents took of you in the bathtub? Will your children? Bathtub photos can be appropriate.
Portraits Individual/small group Consider using portrait/landscape layout (vertical/horizontal) Standing/seated Use portrait setting on your camera or use a small aperture setting (f/3-f/8). This will put the background out of focus, placing emphasis on the subject in the foreground.
Portraits Large group Organize the group in such a way as to avoid a long, narrow layout. Make more rows rather than just asking everyone to “squeeze in tight”. Use chairs in front, kneel in front, have children sit on the ground, stand on chairs in back, etc. Be careful not to have women with skirts squatting in the front row- can be hazardous!