8 Steps Before You Shoot - Good photo is not obtained because of luck, but more to the decision-making. Lots of things to think about before making a photograph. For beginners, it’s hard to think so many steps. But with a continuous exercise, I’m sure we’ll be able to do it naturally. Here are 8 steps before you take pictures that you can use as a reference:
1. Find an interesting subject
Try to choose a subject of interest, such as busy roads, try to take portraits of people, a building, a car or an activity. Be careful not to put too many elements in the photo. Too much detail will make the people who see the picture became confused about what you want to convey.
2. The quality and direction of light
Knowing the quality and direction of light greatly affect the atmosphere of the photo. In general, there are three types of light:
- Hard light: Usually obtained from a relatively small light source / concentrated. For example: the sun, the camera flash, flashlight.
- Soft light: Usually obtained from a relatively large light source. For example, soft boxes, reflectors, ceiling surface.
- Diffused light: This light comes from a light source is relatively very large. For example, in the cloud or the sky covered with clouds.
Direction of light (front, rear, side, top, bottom) is also an important aspect to give a certain impression. Look carefully at the direction and quality of light.
3. The Composition
The first step in making a good composition is starting from choosing the background. Background clean / plain is a good first step. Then position the subject in layers. Arrange in such a way that the composition of the picture looks interesting.
If you are just starting photography, you can always learn the formula composition as a reference. Many of the rules of composition that can help you create an interesting composition as the rule of thirds, golden ratio, scale, etc.
4. Choose aperture
Aperture determines how much light into the camera body. Aperture also adjust the depth of focus (depth of field). The larger the aperture, the thinner the depth of focus and vice versa. We must determine whether the photos we take have a thin depth of field or thick.
In general, for portraits, we want a thin depth of field so that it looks more artistic portraits, so that wide aperture should we choose. But if we shoot landscape, we usually want all the elements in the images look clear and focused, then aperture that we should choose small.
5. Choose shutter speed
We must determine whether we want to freeze the subject of the picture, or record the movement of the subject. If we want to freeze the subject, we need to set the shutter speed carefully.
To prevent blur due to hand / camera shake, we also have to follow the rules of the lens focal size. Then we observe how fast your subject moves. Your subject moving at high speed requires a very fast shutter speed. Read posting How to Avoid Blurred Photos
6. Choose lens with optimum focal length
Not all lenses produce the same results. There is a wide lens, standard lens and a telephoto lens. Each focal lens has its own characteristics. Wide lens gives the impression dimensions, distortion, and thick depth of field. On the other hand, telephoto lenses make photos into two-dimensional (compression effect), make a thin depth of field and enlarge the far subject.
Try taking photos with different lenses and different focal lens to better understand the effects caused by each lens.
7. Determine the optimal exposure
The camera is usually automatically determine the optimal exposure. But sometimes the camera settings made are not to our liking. For example, if we want to make the photo low key (dark-toned photo) or high key (bright-toned photo), we must adjust itself so that the optimal camera settings.
Determine the camera exposure settings depending on what you visualize the end result with manual mode or use the exposure compensation function, when using automatic or semi-automatic settings (P, S, A)
Decide also whether the time of shooting is important or not. For photos still life (the subject is not moving), the timing might not be too important. But for candid photos, especially sports, timing is very important. If so, practice can take photos with the correct timing. Exercise anticipation, patience and controlled camera / photographic equipment so you can take photos with the optimal timing.
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