Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Back to Basics - improve your photography in 2 simple steps

Can you believe it's already June? We've had a lot of visitors recently and we've been busy busy busy. Time's flying and it's not always easy keeping up. When it gets like this, I find the best way to cope is to simplify everything. Find the essentials and just let go of the rest.

So I'm on this mission to go back to basics. 
(In my blog, back to basics has gone to some extremes, which I'll be sharing with you soon...)

In photography, the best back to basics tips that I can give are to:
1) simplify what's in your image 
2) simplify your light source

To simplify what's in your image, find an angle that cuts out the background. Go in really close or turn your subject around to include as little clutter as possible, in the background. A wonderful trick, if you're photographing children, is to go in slightly from below and use the blue sky as a backdrop. The opposite is to get them to lie on the ground, you stand on a chair and use the lawn as your background. In that way you simplify everything in your shots and the main subject really stands out.

The other way is to simplify your light source. If you're outside, that's quite simple - the sun or overcast sky is your single main light source. Inside can be a little trickier, so simplify.  Switch off your house lights and try using natural light. Choose one window as your single light source. Try taking your shots with the main light source to the side of your subject. That way your image will have a balance of light and shadow. 

Here's a quick and basic photo challenge:

Get your child to sit in chair that you've moved near the window or glass door. Now you squeeze up right up to the window, so that the light source is coming from the side, but you're seeing the slightly more of the lighter side of them. Switch off your flash. Get them to show you the latest Lego toy they built and tell you about it. They don't have to smile, just sit and chat to them and click away. 

Simplify and I can guarantee you'll get some good shots.

The Country Quiche 

I simplified here. I went back to basics. No props or background. One light source from the top left corner. And a simple, wholesome, country quiche.

I got good highlights on the pastry and the cheesy surface, but enough colour to make you drool.  The whole image is light and airy like the Quiche. Yum! The Recipe is in the post below...


Catherine said...

Thanks for the tips and the recipe -quiche looks divine. At this rate you're going to become a Master chef as well as a master photographer!

Karené said...

Quiche really is worth trying! No need to be a master chef!