Apr 14, 2013

Photography Basics: Taking better pictures

From a magazine editor's point of view!!!... 

Honestly, what invites you to pick up a magazine most of the time if not the images and photography!

Magazines are always seeking fresh content and contributors for their publications. Contributors benefit from the media exposure such as publications offer. First time I contributed to a publication about eight years ago, I was required to take my own pictures. It really isn't something to be scared of. Its just a matter of having a little fun with it. So as a publisher myself I thought to offer a few tips to help you take better pictures.

First off I start by mentioning, editing your own photos. When you add frames or ANYTHING to a picture/photo, you are reducing resolution which makes for a fuzzy photo, especially if you do not have the right computer program to do so (such as photoshop). Most of us do this for blogging. Watermarks are important when publishing a photo online to protect your work. (Tutorial for watermarks found here) But not recommended if you wish to print in a magazine. So when you take photos of your work/vignettes, do make sure you hold on to the original picture. You never know when you're going to need it.
And more then likely, if you think your picture is slightly dark or needs some color enhancement, I am pretty sure, the magazine designer is equipped with some sort of professional photo editing program that can do the job.
The best time to take pictures outdoors, is close to sundown, also known as the "golden Hour" for professional photographers. Why? because if you are shooting in the middle of a bright sunny day, the sun light is over powering, turning everything into almost white and so shiny taking away your beautiful, real life colors and of course, night time is not ideal either when you have to use a flash which often reflects a glare of your subject. 
Around sunset, you have natural light, not overpowering and no need for a flash. And kind of romantic feel, don't you think??!

Taking pictures indoors however, you need to make sure you are in a well lit spot, away from direct sunlight (remember sunlight is good but not direct on subject to avoid, shiny glare) If you are photographing a vignette, shot during the day, avoid using flash or lighting (indoor lighting makes photo yellowish). Always better to use natural light. So hold off shooting till room has most natural light coming in.

Following is a link to an HP site. It has a fun Demo about how to take better pictures.

Composition Matters
Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in visual arts such as painting,photography and design.[1] The rule states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.[2] Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.

image via: http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/eight-photography-effects/

Via Wikipedia:  Read more here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds

Image via: http://www.photocritique.us/2006/12/07/composition-matters-utilizing-the-rule-of-thirds/

image via: http://www.digitalweddingforum.com/blog/a-new-twist-on-rule-of-thirds

More image examples HERE.

I hope you find this bit of information helpful. Have a wonderful day!

Con amore,


Anonymous said...

Thank you sooo much! This made so much sense and will be so helpful!

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Thank you...I always love to learn new things (especially about photography)!!

I invite you to visit my blog to see the posts I did on our At Home With White Event, maybe something you'd be interested in for your magazine?