One of the things I like most about photography is that there’s always something new to learn. If you’re relatively new to it, there’s a vast world ahead of you to discover. Luckily, there’s plenty of concise and interesting content to learn from, such as this video from Mango Street. Daniel and Rachel will introduce five things and techniques that you should learn in order to start taking more interesting and visually compelling images.
Framing your subject is one of the basic and very powerful ways of leading your viewer’s eye to it. Subframing, as the name suggests, is basically creating a frame within a frame. Sometimes it can be quite obvious and literal, but other times you can incorporate it in subtler ways. Similarly, you can use foreground objects to frame your subject, but it can also be a background element, lighting, textures, colors, or any combination of these elements. You can use the elements from the environment, but you can also bring in the props.
I rarely photograph people, but here’s one of my photos that I think illustrates the point:
Other than mastering color theory, you should also learn about color psychology and how humans perceive colors and their combinations. The colors that you choose for the shoot have a huge impact on your viewers and their perception of your images.
Color blocking is where you take opposing colors on the color wheel and pair them together. The idea is to make the complementary colors “clash” and create a striking image. I love combining complementary colors when picking out wardrobe (at least when I’m not wearing black), and it works awesome in photos to draw attention to the subject.
Negative space can work amazingly in some shots. It allows the photo to “breathe,” creating enough space around your subject. It can evoke the feeling of isolation and solitude, but also of serenity, depending on what you shoot. In some cases, the negative space can become the subject of the photo itself. In this old photo I took, I think that this is exactly the case, and I feel that it creates the feeling of serenity:
The perspective plays an important role here. It often helps to photograph your subject from the top down to avoid distracting background elements. If the ground is clean and free from distractions, top-down photos work great as well.
The rules of composition are something most of us learned first, but Rachel and Daniel suggest three more tips that you might not know or just haven’t paid attention to them:
Know the rules of composition and know that you can break them – rules are there for a reason, and it’s important to know them. But when you know them, it’s totally okay to break them in order to tell a story with your images.
Framing, leading lines, and lighting – these are three more important tools that will help to bring your viewer’s eye to the subject. So, if you have them in your image, make them work for you and not against you.
Perspective – the choice of perspective adds to the story and the overall feeling of your own image. So, that’s another thing to learn and consider, especially when photographing people.
Even though I’ve been shooting for quite a while, I think this video is a useful reminder about some things that we should pay attention to when taking photos. But if you’re a beginner, I think you’ll find plenty of useful tips here that will help you raise your photography at a higher level.
[5 Photo Techniques EVERY Beginner Should Know! | Mango Street]