Photography is a wonderful art and not only because it gives us beautiful pictures, but also because it gets to the heart of the world we live in. Anyone can pick up a camera and start snapping away but if you want a result to be proud of you need to put some effort in to understanding the theory of photography.
Photography can bring back memories, and perhaps one day, photos of the unknown places that we pass by on our journey from point A to point B. Photography can also help us keep track of time and our friends’ activities during the day. Many parents take photos of their kids growing up at different stages of their lives. Who doesn’t know of someone embarrassed at having a photo of them as a baby laying naked on a rug or on a potty. Parents seem to like to show these to your prospective partners. Photography also offers you a beautiful way to express your thoughts and feelings.
Nowadays, many people, from kids to teenagers to adults, are interested in photography. Photography has become such a popular hobby that almost every kid has at least one camera of their own. If they don’t have an actual camera then smart phones can have high spec cameras built in. This means just about everyone thinks of themselves as a photographer. A quick scroll through my Facebook feed or Instagram shows varying degrees of skill.
Children prefer to take photos of themselves with things they find interesting, so they have a collection of self-portraits. A few years later, they start taking photos of the people they met while travelling. At this point, they have many pictures taken of their friends, and their interests are very different from before.
Understanding The Theory Of Photography
What makes a great photo?
Maybe you have reached the stage of wanting your friends to be wowed by your Instagram posts. It is a good idea to have some understanding of the theory of photography before you try your hand at it. The art of photography is as complex as the humans behind it, and it takes much more skill than many people give it credit for. While it is true that everyone can take a photo, the process of making the photo amazing is very subjective. Therefore, while you may get lucky and produce a great photo, it might not be the best photo out there.
The Law Of Thirds
You may be tempted when taking a portrait of someone to put them in the centre of the frame but this is not recommended. Great photographers know that you should use the rule of thirds to compose your photo. This basically means you put your subject offset from centre to be one third of the way in.
Watch Out For That Tree
It is important to actually look at everything you can see in the viewfinder. You don’t want to look at your snap later and see that you have a tree or lamppost growing out of your subjects head.
In actuality, you have no idea what the finished product will look like until you print it or see it on a larger screen. This means that you may need to take the picture several times in order to get it right. This used to be a problem when we used actual spools of film and had to pay to get them developed. Now that photos are taken digitally and there is no cost involved we can take many photos and hope one of them is that elusive masterpiece. Of course you can print the best one and put it in a frame for your visitors to admire.
If photographing for fun, you have two choices, getting a photo that is artistic or trying to tell a story. ideally you will achieve both. You may well want more than just your friends and family to see your masterpiece. You will probably upload your best shots to your social media accounts.
Another important aspect of photography is that you have to understand the subject. This is particularly important if taking portraits of people or animals. You need to know exactly what you want to capture and be able to communicate that to the subject. A lot easier with adults than children or animals!
There are many aspects of lighting that will affect your photos. If you are taking pictures outside you need to consider the natural lighting. Indoors you may need to buy some specialised lighting and reflective screens. You don’t want shadows to fall on the face of your subject unless that is a particular arty effect you are after.
Making Money From Photography
The number of blogs and websites online mean that many people are looking for photos. This gives us the chance to actually sell our best photos. If you want to do this then obviously you have to develop a certain level of skill in photography. There are plenty of photography classes both locally and online to help.
If you develop a real talent you can make good money selling your photos. You can sell photos to individuals, companies, media and specialist sites like Getty images. If you want to sell photos you need to pay attention to not including Trademarks in the shot. This means paying attention to any buildings in the background or products in shot even litter.
There are many online photo sites where blog owners like me can actually get photos for free. These include Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash. You can upload your photos here and let people download them for free. Why would you do that? Well there is the option for people to leave you a tip if they use your work. You can also upload photos to some sites and make it necessary for credit to be given when the photo is used. This gets you exposure as a photographer and backlinks to your website which is good for SEO and ranking your website.
As you can see, a good understanding of what makes a great photo will serve you well. A lot of the quality issues are dependent on the photographer and not the camera itself. Don’t think you need an expensive camera to take a worthy photo.
You should not be ashamed to post your own photos on your blog or website.While you can put an eye-catching picture up on your blog, you can’t expect that all of your friends will appreciate it.
As you can see, learning photography can be a good idea, but it shouldn’t be too hard. You should not feel bad if you don’t currently know anything about photography. By taking the time to study photography, you will find that you have a broader appreciation for the crucial aspects of what makes a great picture. The most important thing is for you to practice. Take many photos in different situations and conditions and you will begin to develop a real understanding of the theory of photography. You should keep it simple, and interesting, and the more you learn, the better you will become. What ever you do, enjoy it.