Friday, March 6, 2009

2 Easy Tips

For my Friday Feature, I wanted to share 2 Easy Tips that will instantly help anyone be a better photographer! These are not by any means the only two things... there are a lot more "rules" that I'm hoping others will share later. (I didn't want to cover every topic in one week! ;) I know that some of you have these tips down to a science, and are way above and beyond me, but they're good things to remember anyway.

So, what are these magical tips, you say?

1: Fill the Frame

2: Get Down, Baby!

I know, now you want to know what those mean!

Fill the frame means to get in close to your subject. You want to give your audience a front row seat, not a back of the balcony seat! Your subject should touch the edges of the frame, or close to the edges, and sometimes go outside the edge of the frame. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but most of the time this will make the difference between a snapshot and a photograph!

Get Down... don't take all of your pictures from your standing-up level. Try EVERY angle and level, and most of the time you'll find that getting on the level of your subject is the best (yes, again, there are exceptions!!). When I take pictures I find myself laying on the floor a lot. If you're not willing to do that, you'll miss a lot of interesting pictures.

Let me demonstrate these tips with a few pictures... please know that I'm not saying these are perfect examples... I am learning along with the rest of you!

Hmm... a picture of some flowers in a vase. Not that interesting, is it?

If I move in close, and FILL the frame with the flowers, it brings in a whole new perspective! It also eliminates other clutter that takes away from what you're focusing on.

Say I wanted to take some pictures of my measuring cups (everyone wants to take pictures of their measuring cups, right? ;) This picture makes me yawn... who cares about my worn ugly table?

Look at what a difference it makes when I fill the frame here! I also GOT DOWN, so I wasn't looking at them from the usual persective. (That's what makes getting down so great... it gives your audience a view different from how they usually see things, which makes it much more interesting!)

For this shot I got down even more, so I was really on the level of the cups. It might not be the best angle, but it's something different. It never hurts to try!

These tips also apply to taking pictures of people! You'll usually want to get on the level of their eyes (uh huh, exceptions happen all the time! ), so if it's a little one, get down to their level! :) (Pictures are of my three munchkins that I took a couple of months ago.)

So, go out and try taking a few pictures with those tips... you'll like the results!


Candace said...

Awesome tips and pictures!

Rachel H. said...

Mindy! I think this is a SUPER feature! Not everything about photography has to be complicated. I think, in fact, that sometimes we get so wrapped up in the complex parts that we forget these small and simple things that really make or break a picture!


Riggs Family said...

Great tips and work Mindy- you are doing great with your photography!

Blake said...

For me I find focusing too much on the whole subject. I have to remember that people will know what the subject is even if I fill the frame with only part. Just like the picture of the flowers in the feature.

Great tips to remember I am going to practice doing these for sure! I will just have to plan on getting dirty! LOL

Mindy said...

Thanks, everyone!

Blake, you'll definitely have to plan to get a little dirty. ;) I read a tip once to use knee pads, or one of those foam squares if you're going to be taking a lot of pictures. That's all we need, huh... more equipment! ;)

Melinda said...

Mindy, Great Feature! I think those are things that I unconsiously do occasionally, but now, knowing the great things about it, I can make it a point to do it on purpose! Thanks!

AprilF said...

Great job!! I love your explanations and photos. Thanks!

Travis and Jenny Holloway said...

Thanks for giving me some great tips to think about and incorporate! Great photos too! --Jenny