What are some ways to Shoot Wonderful Photographs?

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The trick to shooting wonderful photographs lies in imagination and experimenting. Once you are able to understand what your camera is capable of, there is virtually unlimited possibilities in using your creativity and imagination to photograph. And with the advancement in the capabilities of photo editing programs, imagination is truly the only limit. Another trick to keep in mind is spontaneity. Sometimes you just have to point your camera at a situation and click and voila! you have captured a moment in history that probably no one else did and never will be able to! Many a times it might happen that you somehow like a photograph that you did not plan when compared to one that you so meticulously planned to the last detail. Yes, spontaneity is the word.

Changing your perspective almost always guarantees a totally different photograph of the same place and the same subject. Imagine an elephant in Africa's endless plains during the evening. You could go close up and take a frame-filling shot of the giant or you could step back and compose a frame to portray it as a small silhouette against a bright orange sky and the vast land. Changing the perspective works every time, well almost.

A closely related idea is to experiment with different compositions. Sometimes all it takes is a small turn of a few degrees to the camera to totally change the photograph. Keeping the clutter out of the photograph, and composing keeping the Rule of Thirds in mind can give you the photograph you were so desperately seeking. There is a quote by Robert Capa that says, "If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough. And it actually makes sense, you probably only have to remove clutter from the image by moving closer to the image and then you have better photograph.

Many people shoot photographs without giving much thought to the composition, and later complain about how mediocre the photograph looks. While it may sometimes give you splendid results by virtue of being unique in terms of a composition, more often than not it just doesn't meet the mark.

If that doesn't work, one can play around with the manual controls of the camera and take some extreme photographs of the same scene. Long exposure shot is a case in point here. It can totally change the way a photograph looks, and all we did was change the shutter speed from 1/100 to 15 seconds. Okay, you get the point. And then there is aperture that can be changed to vary the depth of field. Analyse your photographs critically, and ask yourself, What can I do to improve the photograph? A way to look for answers is to look at other photographers work to get inspiration.

Apart from the above mentioned ideas, here are some specific tips to shoot great photographs.

When photographing, keep the Rule of Thirds in mind. For example, while shooting landscapes, try to compose by keeping the horizon on one of the two horizontal lines dividing the frame in thirds. And yes, keep the horizon straight!

When photographing a person against the Sun, use a fill in flash to get a properly lit person.

Take close up (macro) photographs of a variety of things and see how wonderful they look!

While taking a portrait photo, talk to the subject to keep them relaxed and also take as many photographs in the interval between regular shots. You'd be surprised at the outcome!

To photograph lightning, use a long shutter speed and a small aperture (say, 15 seconds, and f/11 with an ISO speed of 200 or 400) and pray to your lightning God to show you some light.

To take a photograph of rain, use a little slower shutter speed (1/10 s or so) to get the rain as streaks of white line.

Author: Ritesh Saini, IIT Mumbai (India)

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice