Re-discovering Summer

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Summertime is a great time to dust off your mirrorless camera and make some fun photographs. Here are four tips for improving your summer photographs:

silhouetteWatch the background. Too often snapshots include unwanted objects you didn’t originally notice. Have you ever made a photo of a friend only to find that there’s a utility pole sticking up behind their head? Instead of asking, “where did that come from?” take one last look at the background before clicking the shutter.

Turn on the built-in flash. Nothing ruins photographs of family and friends more than perfectly exposed photographs of the background with the subjects appearing as silhouettes. Turning on the built-in flash should balance the flash with the existing light and result in more pleasing photographs. But sometimes you want a silhouette because it tells a better story than a snapshot.

Get closer. Most snapshots are ruined because you’ve included too much background detail and the subject is small in the frame. Try this: Frame your subject in the viewfinder or LCD, then take one step closer and see how it improves the photograph. Try it both ways and see which you like best.

Avoid “Bulls-eye” syndrome. Don’t place your subject dead center in the frame. If you’re shooting a horizontal picture; place them in the left or right one-third of the picture but be sure to fill up the other two-thirds with something interesting. Or turn your camera to a vertical position and place the subject’s head near the top of the frame but not in the middle. This is an uncropped panoramic image shot in the 16×9 format and while Mom might prefer her child to be dead center in the frame, I think this is a better storytelling image of a “day at the beach.”

beach

Taking better summer pictures isn’t difficult if you remember to move in close, don’t place the subject in the dead center in the photo, and turn on that flash!