Since we’re now in lockdown number 3, you might be thinking about what else you can possibly do to keep yourself busy. Photography can be done by anyone out there willing to give it a try and it can be so rewarding! You don’t need any fancy camera equipment, just you and your mobile phone can work wonders together. Whether you are just starting out or you are a more experienced photographer, here are my top 10 Photography Tips!
1 – Rule of Thirds – Split your frame into a 3×3 grid (don’t worry, your phone and other cameras have this function built in so there isn’t any guess work involved!). The idea is then to place the important elements of the photo along the lines or intersections of the grid, in this case it was the viaduct! This rule can also be used to split the frame into 1/3 sky and 2/3 land or vice versa. Placing elements off centre generally makes a photo more visually appealing.
Pictured above: Monsal Head Viaduct, Derbyshire
2 – Symmetry & Centralisation – Although I just told you to place things off centre, now I’m going to tell you the opposite! Placing the main subject of the photo in the centre of the frame works best if there is nothing surrounding it that might distract you. If there is something either side, symmetry is your friend because all of your attention will immediately be drawn to the centre subject!
Pictured above: Magpie Mine, Derbyshire
3 – Fill the Frame – Filling the frame completely with the subject of the photo allows for your sole focus to be on it without distractions. You can get up close or even crop an image down to do this effectively. In this photo, I got up close to the lettering and used the tree stump in the background as a pattern to fill the frame of the image!
Pictured above: Lettering found at Wyming Brook Nature Reserve, Sheffield
4 – Negative Space – Sometimes, it works better to leave negative space in photos, especially if you are aiming for a simplistic and minimalistic look. There can be a singular subject within the frame that you want all eyes on and negative space lets you gain this attention. Or, on the other hand, you can go one step further and simply leave negative space to do all the work, as in this photo!
Pictured above: Rivelin Reservoir, Sheffield
5 – Leading Lines – Using this technique should draw your eye along the lines and towards the main subject of the image. In this photo, I captured the path as the leading lines and the band stand as the main focus at the end. Using a centred composition often works really well with this technique and is so easy to do once you know how it works!
Pictured above: Beaumont Park, Huddersfield
6 – Frame within a Frame – Photos usually look very 2D, however, using a ‘frame within a frame’ creates a sense of depth within a photo. You can use elements such as windows or archways to fully surround the scene, or even just trees to frame partially like this photo! The trees on either side of the scene frame the lake and the mountains that I wanted to capture in the photo.
Pictured above: Llyn Padarn, Llanberis
7 – Isolating details – Don’t just settle for what you can immediately see! Think about the details that you can see within the scene you’re working with and focus in on them, you will be surprised at what great images you end up with! In my photograph, I decided that I wanted to focus on the raindrops rather than anything around them and got a simple, yet lovely, shot of them.
Pictured above: Raindrops on my window
8 – Perspective – This is an interesting one! On a day to day basis, we will probably only look at things from eye level, but if you change this perspective you can get some fantastic view on things that you’ve never seen before! I personally advise that when you’re out shooting photos, you should always look up, you never know what you might see. This image shows the inside of a cheese grater, would you ever have thought of doing that before? Definitely give this one a go!
Pictured above: Inside of a cheese grater
9 – Foreground Interest – This is another great tip for adding a sense of depth to your images. Including some foreground interest into your scene will immediately give it a more 3D feel, as if you’re actually there looking at it! The plughole in this photo is the foreground interest which shows just how far away I was standing from the edge in the background.
Pictured above: Ladybower Plughole/Bamford Edge, Derbyshire
10 – Vertical Shots – Your natural instinct tells you to hold a camera in a certain way to get the best shot, and sometimes you need to ignore that and just rotate the camera! Even if you are shooting a landscape, have a try turning it to see what other kinds of shots you can get. It may not always work, but you can create some lovely images just by shooting a little bit differently! This bonfire is a great example, as rotating the camera to vertical meant that I could see more detail in the flames by being closer, and it also portrays how tall it is compared to if I had used a horizontal shot which would have widened it out and made it look smaller.
Pictured above: Bonfire
The best way to work with these tips is to follow them, combine them, and then actually break the rules to find your own personal style! You will figure out what you like best by simply taking your time, experimenting, and taking photos of anything and everything!
To see more of my photography work, follow me on Instagram @katelynnaylorphotography.