Sande Krieger here...posting for Paula while she's out on a walkabout. She asked me to post about something I love - so of course that would either be eating, shopping or photography! I tend to scare my husband when we travel abroad because I'll disappear in the morning before it's light and venture out by myself to take pictures before all the tourists are up. He's sure that one day he's going to be called to the morgue to identify my body. So before that happens I thought I'd share some tips that I've picked up over the years.
1. Use LEADING LINES to create an interesting photo. Leading lines draw the viewer into your photo. If you can shoot a photo with the lines leading diagonally through the photograph, that's even better. In the right photo the lamp posts are the leading line that leads you to the couple that are walking towards the golden domed building. In the upper left photo the picture frames on the outside wall lead your eye into the photo and down the alley. In the bottom left photo the chairs are lined up leading you to the front of the cathedral and also there is a great contrast of light and dark with the chairs and the white stone of the cathedral - which brings me to the next tip:
2. Look for CONTRAST. Light and dark areas in a photo keep our eye moving so that the photo doesn't feel stagnant. In the left photo, the dark shutters really pop against the cream stucco walls as do the clothing on the laundry line. In the right photo I saw a white lace doily laying on a charcoal gray piece of monogrammed linen. The high contrast of colors really added dimension to the textures of the different fabrics. I love to look for a bright pop of color amidst all earth tones like this turquoise door in the middle of all the browns.
3. Use a SHALLOW DEPTH of FIELD. Many point and shoot cameras will now allow you to set the aperture (how wide the lens opens to let in light). The lower the number (as in 1.4 ) the larger it opens and the more light it lets in. When that happens, whatever you are focused on looks sharper and the background is more blurred. If you set your aperture on a larger number (as in 5.6 ) the aperture does not open as wide and lets in less light so your more of your photograph will be in focus. My favorite lens for my Nikon SLR is a 50mm 1.4 which will really blur the background. This really makes your subject stand out. Below is a comparison of photos, one shot at 1.4 and one shot at 5.6 to give you an idea of the difference in background blur.
|Top taken at 1.4; Bottom taken at 5.6|
If you are interested in some more photography tips- pop on over to my blog. I have a few more to share. Just in case you are wondering, the taped together frames are designed by Katie Pertiet from Designer Digitals.