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How To Turn Snapshots Into Award-Winning Photography

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With the advent of digital photography it’s easier than ever to take great photos. Didn’t get exactly what you were looking for when you snapped the picture? There’s also plenty of damage control you can do after-the-fact with photo editing software. But in order to really get the great shots don’t forget to apply old-school film techniques to your digital photography. Here are just a few tips to help you take some incredible photos.

Composition is one of the key elements to taking outstanding shots, and there are some tried-and-true rules but nothing should ever override your instincts and personal view of the world. However, if interested in getting some terrific text-book shots, look into the Rule of Thirds grid style of composing. When mentally dividing your frame in thirds, both vertically and horizontally, you’ll be provided 4 key center spots in which to place your main subject.

Going vertical instead of horizontal automatically adds an element of tension to a photo; letting you offer a new perspective to even the most mundane subject matter.

But photography is all about capturing light so don’t forget to really start looking at the play of light as it illuminates your subject. Conversely, don’t be afraid to experiment with the play of shadows in a photo, as well. Looking at objects in a new way can make for some visually stunning photo ops.

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Love flowers? Consider playing up the patterns and texture of the petals by photographing the backside of the flower or by doing extreme close-ups with a Macro lens. And though it may be surprising, one of your best times to photograph outdoor flowers and plants is on an overcast day. Did it just rain and coat the petals with raindrops? All the better.

And once you get some of the basics down strongly consider learning about depth of field and shutter speed. Again, it’s back to light, and your camera is very much like the human eye; your shutter speed adjusts how long your camera’s iris stays open and your f-stops are like dilating a pupil. These two elements work in tandem, and when one is adjusted the other will need to be as well in order to have a clear image that is not over or underexposed. Once you have a handle on F-Stops you can deliberately blur a background or foreground in order to bring sharp attention wherever you want it. Then when tackling shutter speeds you’ll soon be able to freeze a subject mid-jump or deliberately slow the speed so that the rushing water is blurred just enough to show movement.

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With modern digital cameras you can easily have as little or as much control as you choose. You can even do half and half by setting your camera to shutter priority, which will automatically adjust the F-stop, accordingly (or vice versa). The main thing is to have fun, see the world in your own unique way and then share it with others. With only a little effort you can learn the basics, but no one can teach you to have an “eye” for photography. So celebrate your individuality through photography, and with more and more technical skills you’ll soon be creating award-winning images.

Bogdan

Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.

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