Simple Steps To Improve Your Pictures
After a long pause, we’re back for Part 2 of our How To Take Really Good Pictures series!
Now during our hiatus, a lil’ company from Cupertino, CA, STOLE OUR IDEA!
That’s right… Apple took our idea (kinda), releasing a webpage and YouTube video series all about how to improve your photo skills with the iPhone 7.
I’m not too mad about this thievery though, because 1) the Apple series is all about taking pictures with an iPhone, and 2) the info is presented really well! Whether you have an iPhone or not, I definitely recommend looking at these guides and tutorials, as it provides some really great tips and tricks about taking better pictures with an iPhone, smartphone, or really any camera!
Regardless of these cool videos, we’re gonna keep this series going! There are plenty of additional tips and tricks to take your photo skills from “Just OK” to Absolutely Stellar – so let’s get to it!
Part 2 - Play The Frame Game
While it’s common for nice images to be placed in picture frames, there is also a technique known as framing. This tactic is used by photographers for a variety of reasons, such as providing context of the scene the photo was taken in, and/or showcasing depth of the area or space of the image.
I think the most important benefit of framing is that it drives attention to the main subject or focal point of the image in exciting and interesting ways.
Take for instance this picture of The Golden Gate Bridge. On it’s own, a picture of this structure is beautiful, but with the photographer choosing to take a picture of the bridge a few steps back from an open window puts you in the shoes of the photographer. Rather than just seeing the subject, you now have a better understanding of what the photographer’s experience was while viewing the bridge.
You also get a greater sense of scale and depth as your as journey through the window, up and past the dark blue water, landing finally on a perfectly cropped image of the iconic structure.
“Framing draws attention to a particular part of your composition. It’s especially handy if you’re shooting a busy scene.”
— Henry Carroll
Use Interesting Architecture And Physical Structures To Capture Intriguing Photographs Of Your Subject
Framing can be achieved in many different ways, whether that be shooting your subject in a doorway, through tree branches and foliage, or even simply through a window like the image of the bridge above.
Take a look at the images below and notice the strength of the subjects. If you cover up/zoom in on the subjects (the man in the left image and the flowers in the right image), they are still good-quality images, but not nearly as exciting as the way they are now with the framing elements.
The teal pipe (or whatever that tube thing is) allows the bland image of a guy on the beach become intriguing by providing just a peek into the full scene of which he is standing in. The image of the flowers pops due the use of a completely dark, black foreground, along the unusual octagon-shaped window.
A great way to begin experimenting with framing is by using interesting architecture and/or physical structures when capturing your photos. Look for archways, gates, stairwells, and doorways to start practicing this easy and effective technique.
You can also use props, such as hula hoops, house plants, or coffee cup sleeves (can someone grab me some Starbucks please?). Try even just using your hands in the foreground to create a frame!
Check out this video from one of my favorite photography YouTubers, Peter McKinnon, who demonstrates around the 1-minute mark how you can make your picture’s subject more interesting by using just TWO FINGERS in front of the lens.
That’s a wrap! The second installment of this series complete, and I hope you enjoyed learning a few things to improve your photography skills.
If you haven’t already, be sure to go back and check out Part 1 of this series to further improve your photo-taking skills!
Do you have any other tips and tricks you think about before taking a picture?
Share your thoughts in the comments section!