By X-Mun

Photography is about light.

The parameters that are affecting the pictures are:

* Contrast

* Color

* Light condition

* Composition

And compostion by further is the most important element to me. Someone told me, photography is not taking a picture of what you see.

But to isolate the subject and present what you see.

1) Contrast can help to bring out the subject. You can imagine a yellow ball over a dark blue background. That will have a high contrast. But over contrast can be a pain in the eye. Personally, I don’t like too contrastive pictures. Sometime they look “un-real”.

2) Color; there are photography books explain how color change the mood of the pictures. And what are the complement colors to use. To me, nature has given us 3 major colors; blue, brown (red) and green. By understanding the tones and complementary of them, we can make very beautiful pictures.

3) If you go back to your science text book and look up “light”. You will be amazed what we missed out during our early education; “reflection”, “refraction” etc.

4) Composition; it is the way how you want your pictures to look. By adjusting the angles, zooming in/out and climbing up/down. That will change the view of your pictures. Also by “placing” your subject of interest in different way.

Generally, I will group them into the following:

Landscape – We always talks about sharpness and “deth of field”. In landscape shots, cloud is the major element that bring that piece of land to live. Overcast sky, most of the time will make the picture “gray”. You can pump up the saturation and contrast to brighten the picture. On a cloudless day, the sky will too boring to take. Change your elevation, take less or no sky and concentrate or zoom into some interesting landscape; like a rock against a forest. Don’t take a “flat” picture. Try to spot out tonal or color difference. The best time to shoot landscape is usually the morning or evening, when the sun is not right on top.

Portrait – It is about emotion and capturing the moment. In general, the candid shots usually looks better than the post. That is because, the person is more relax and enjoying the moment. The eyes are the what you want to focus and having a shallow “deth of field” will allow the subject to stand out from the picture. Try to keep the same eye level with the person. A pop-up flash usually help to bring some live on the person’s eyes. During middle of the day, the sun will too strong. It will cast a dark shadow under the eyes and nose. One way is to move the person under the tree. Or you can pop-up a flash to light up those shadowly area.In most portrait shots, the background is not very important, except for color matching. But the props are very crucial in having a successful portrait; like chair, rock, fence, flowerbed, etc. Furthermore, you also can use a “reflect” to direct light onto your subject. A simple way is to use a piece of 8″x11″ white paper. On a sunny day, try this; make a person sit beside a pool and now zoom in for a head shot.

Close-up – Mostly we talk about macro. I am not the expert in this, mainly because the macro lens are too expensive. The problem with the camera we have, we can’t get too close and the zoom is also limited. In general, close-up is about “isolation”. Which also means minimize the distraction and light-up or highlight the subject. Well, it is easier say than doing it. You want a shallow “depth of field”, which will allow the subject to pop-out from the picture. Color and tone play a crucial part in the picture.

Family – Just point and shoot!!! The last thing you want to be sure is everyone is in the picture. Haa!! haa!! I am not good at family shots. In actual fact, it is about grouping. Having each member to stand in the right position is an art.

Well, I didn’t talk too much on how to compose. The reason is that, there books explain the full details. But my advise is to try it yourself. The basic is the 1/3 rule, which you place your subject 1/3 of the frame.

One more important advise! Practice!! Practice!! Practice!!

The more you shoot, the more you learn.

Have fun!!!

Part II – Photography for beginner-2

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4 Responses to “Photography for beginner”


  1. 1 YC
    November 16, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Good stuff. How about white balancing?

    • November 16, 2009 at 7:20 pm

      White Balance; it is not for beginner. 🙂
      Most of the point & shoot already have a preset for that.
      In general, the white balance concept is about color temperature and it is measured in Kelvin degree. The clouding day preset is a yellow/orange warm tone and the sunny day preset is a slight blue cold tone.

  2. January 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Thank you!!! You often have interesting posts! They put me in good spirits )

  3. 4 Henry
    January 18, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Perhaps you have some books recommendation for beginners as well?


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