Prize Alert! …Read on to see how you could win one of five signed copies of Doug Sahlin’s latest book, Digital SLR Settings & Shortcuts for Dummies.
By Doug Sahlin
The goal of every serious photographer is to create the most compelling image possible; an image that viewers give more than just a casual glance. Here are 10.5 ways to achieve this goal:
1. Pick the low hanging fruit first: When you see a scene or object worth photographing, take the first picture that comes to your mind. Then slow down and analyze what you’ve got. Move around until you see the composition that best captures your vision and take another picture. Repeat as needed.
2. Simplify: Some photographers try to include too much information in a photograph. When you compose a photograph, see what’s in the viewfinder. If what you see is confusing, zoom in to remove some of the elements. Cut to the chase and simplify the image. Less is more.
3. Wait for the light: Sometimes you’re in the right place at the wrong time. If the light is harsh (also known as “Sucky Light”), wait a few minutes for clouds to diffuse the sunlight, or come back when the light is better.
4. Do something different: Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. When you see an object or scene that you want to photograph, don’t photograph it in the same way you usually do. If you normally use a wide-angle lens, switch to a telephoto lens or switch to a different vantage point. Break out of your rut and stretch the envelope.
5. Photograph a shape: Many photographers photograph objects like trees, buildings or cars. Instead of photographing a tree, look for an interesting shape that just happens to be a tree. You don’t have to photograph the entire object. Sometimes you find an interesting shape within an object. You can find interesting shapes everywhere.
6. Look for patterns: Instead of photographing a forest or a group of flowers, look for an interesting pattern, or look for a break in a pattern.
7. Notice what’s at the edge of the frame: When you look through the viewfinder, notice any elements at the edge of the frame that might distract your viewers’ attention such as bright objects or bright spectral highlights. Bright areas give your viewers an escape route from your picture. When you see them, change the composition or zoom in until they disappear.
8. Look around: Sometimes photographers get in too much of a hurry. They snap one picture and then move on. Take the picture that caused you to stop and then look around. Look up, down and behind you, and you’ll probably find something else that piques your interest. Take a picture of that and then look closer. Sometimes there’s a picture within a picture.
9. Tell a story: Something made you stop to take a picture. Perhaps it was beauty, the color of the object, or the light. Take a picture that conveys that story to people who view your image.
10. Move it: If you stop to photograph a scene or object that captures your attention, but don’t like what you see on your LCD monitor, move to a different vantage point.
10.5. Go with your heart and soul: Ignore the rules of composition. They’re guidelines. A photographer’s vision overrides the rule of thirds every time.
Doug Sahlin is an author and photographer living in Venice, Florida. He started his exploration into the world of shadow and light with a box camera capturing images of friends, family, and nature. As a young man, he purchased a 35mm camera and honed his craft, creating award-winning photographs of landscapes and seascapes in Florida. In the past 5 years, he has written 15 books on web design, graphic, and image editing applications, co-authored 2 books on Photoshop, and written 5 books about digital photography. Many of his books are best sellers at Amazon.com. While working on his books, Doug has produced commercial photographs of automobile races, fashion models, actors, authors, products, landscapes, architecture and food for his clients. His work has taken him from coast to coast, North to South, and has been seen in print and on the web. Doug’s latest books have been about digital photography. In the past year he’s written Digital Photography Workbook for Dummies, Digital Portrait Photography for Dummies, Canon EOS 7D for Dummies and Digital SLR Settings & Shortcuts for Dummies. To find out more about Doug, visit his personal website: www.dougplusrox.com.
You could win one of five copies of Doug Sahlin’s latest book, Digital SLR Settings & Shortcuts for Dummies – autographed by the author. The book includes 400 full-color pages, every one packed with tips and the exact settings to dial in to get great results from your digital SLR for more than 100 different types of photos!
To enter, tell us how you capture better images! Share an original photo tip with our readers using the comments section below. (Be sure to include your email address when you post your tip so we can contact you if your tip is chosen as a winner. Your email address will not appear anywhere on our site.)
Team APC will select five favorites on Friday, April 29, 2011 and announce the winners here. Good luck!
Congratulations to our winners: