Get Inspired Table of Contents
Get Inspired is a series consisting of 4 parts.
Use Your Lenses
In the age of digital point-and-shoots and Instagram sharing, photography can be one of the easiest ways to share your artistic edge with others.
Since the days of “wasting film” have been replaced with the freedom of pixels and infinite retakes, you can experiment with style and composition in every moment you capture.
We wanted to share some common and simplified photographic techniques to keep in mind when you are developing your own shutter style. You can always take a photography class or read about strategies on your own to help develop your skills even further.
Rule of Thirds
This well-known composition rule is used to play with the “weight” of the objects in your photo. Break the perspective of your photo viewpoint into horizontal and vertical thirds, so that there are four imaginary parallel lines—two top-to-bottom and two across—that run across the view of your photo. (Some cameras already have a grid for you in the viewfinder.) The breakdown resembles the structure of a tic-tac-toe board.
You can always take a picture straight on and place an object in the center of your grid, but to create a more dynamic composition by adding layers to your photo, place objects where the lines on your grid intersect. For example, if you want to take a portrait of a person with a mountain in the background, place the person on the right third of your viewfinder, about where the top of bottom lines intersect, and have the mountain take over the left third of your viewfinder. Play with this technique with your photographs to give ordinary snapshots a deeper perspective.
Speed and Depth
If you can adjust the shutter speed and depth of field on your camera, you can control how fast and how much light is allowed to enter your lens with each shutter click. This setting can be adjusted on cameras that have a manual function.
Adjusting the shutter speed can allow you to create blurred motion effects, as well as freeze fast moving subjects in a single frame. Shutter speeds of 1/2000 and 1/1000 can freeze frames for example, and you can reduce your shutter speed down to as low as 1/4 , 1/2 and 1 second to create a blurred effect or to take photos in extremely low-light (with the stabilization of a tripod).
Depth of field settings allow you to vary what you want to be in focus in your photo frame. Large depths of fields have everything in the photo in focus, such as a large landscape shot. Small depth of fields narrow the focus to an object in the frame, and reduce the focus of the background or surrounding objects. You set the aperture to an f-stop on your camera to create depth of field. Larger f-numbers, such as f/16, have a narrower aperture, so they have a smaller range of focus; smaller f-numbers, such as f/5.6 , allow for a larger lens opening so the area of focus is broadened.
Light and Color
Use natural and flash lighting to play with the effects in your photos. Morning and evening light is considered softer than harsh mid-day light, so you may want to try some of you artistic shots early and late in the day.
Flash technique can take practice, since you don’t always want to blast your subjects with bright light. Play around with adding and removing a flash effect in portraits, for example, to see how you can use or eliminate shadows to help you design a desired composition. Also, pay attention to complementing and contrasting colors in your photos to add to their dimension.
Most of the artistic inspiration you need exists in the world around you, so get out and take a look at what you may want to capture in a photograph today.
Share With Others
You can even share your photos with Organic Soul! Take a photo and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We may share them on the site to help inspire others to tap into their own creativity!