Recently we announced the winners of the Casey Tours 2017 photography competition. Our winners know how to take a good photo, so we wanted to share some tips on making the most of your holiday snaps – and capture the beauty of touring this great country.
First off some advice from a professional photographer, Garry:
Taking great images isn’t about the buttons on your camera, it’s about seeing.
Landscape photographers don’t simply plonk their tripod anywhere. They will find exactly the right spot that combines all the visual elements in the picture, just the way they want them.
How do you choose the right spot? Ask yourself two questions before clicking the shutter – what’s important and what’s distracting?
Get closer and fill the frame with what’s important. Try to minimise parts of the composition that are not important or distracting. Often, we are so focused on our subject that we don’t notice the tree sticking out of someone’s head or the rubbish bin in the background. Usually these distractions can be minimised by changing our position slightly.
Advice from the Google machine:
Use the rule of thirds – imagine four lines (two horizontal, two vertical) creating nine even squares in your frame. Play around with placing the focal point of the image (perhaps a tree or a person) in the centre square, and then off centre. Think about placement of the focal point, and where you want to draw the viewers eye!
Create dimension – a photo, whilst 2D shouldn’t be flat and lifeless. Landscape photos in particular should draw the viewer in and create a sense of depth and space. Think about what features are in the foreground of the image, are they adding to a sense of depth of your image. Where is the image in focus, and where do you loose focus – look at your scene with your eyes – now try to capture that sense of depth through the lense. A small aperture (great for creating depth), which often requires a slower shutter speed – so make sure you get yourself a tripod or steady base.
Simplicity – a close up of a friends face, an animal in nature, a sunset, sometimes we miss that the simplest things can be powerful. Keeping your photos simple, with one point of focus can bring them to a whole new level. In particular a neutral background for portraits allows your subject to shine, drawing the viewers eye to the person, and minimising any distractions. Once again, bring depth and leave the background blurry to really draw focus to your subject.
Know your tool – a camera is a tool that allows you to capture a moment in time. Getting to know your camera, it’s functions and how different lenses can change your images. Spending time playing with aperture, focus, settings and becoming familiar with your equipment allows you to know how best to use your camera within each context. Knowing what settings work well in low lighting, inside, outside – spend some time experimenting.