Here in the UK, Channel 5 Broadcasting is currently running a series entitled “How to take stunning pictures”. Â I’ve been really impressed with the two episodes I’ve watched so far as it manages to strike a balance between simplicity for those who are new to photography and providing useful advice for more experienced ‘togs.
Channel 5’s website has some tips to go with each programme, but they don’t exactly match up to the advice in the programme itself so, here are the tips from the first episode on taking portraits, featuring professional photographer Harry Borden:
- Choose the right location: make sure that the subject feels comfortable in the environment so that they may express themselves and relax.
- Use available light: avoid using on camera flash if possible and position the subject in aÂ place where they are nicely lit.
- Expose for the brightest part of the image for a natural looking and atmospheric shot.
- Try to compose when taking the shot, not with post-porcessing crops – look for something different/unexpected
- Be yourself: relax, create an authentic connection with the subject and build rapport.
- Take multiple shots: not only does this break the tension but it tells people you like what you see (they don’t know if you haven’t got it) – it’s called hosing people down! Take loads of pictures, learn more, grab a moment! Â Don’t be afraid to keep snapping until get the shot you’re happy with.
- Keep it simple and be aware of every element: calm down; look through the viewfinder and go through the frame asking yourself whether each individual element adds to or subtracts from the result. Â If you keep it simple and are aware of everything that’s in the frame, you’re more likely to achieve stunning pictures