So why are we dealing with photography tips on a site dedicated to Photoshop?
The raw material used by Photoshop is the photographic image. The more suitable and the more successful the photograph is, the easier will be the post-production process.
Well begun is half done.
Taking a better photograph in the first place will make the tasks in Photoshop that much easier.
Everybody can use a few photography tips; it's just that beginners in a field are more prepared to admit it than those with greater experience.
Photography tips can shape composition, create ideas and develop skills.
Natural photographers have ways of seeing and composing images which are effortless and successful.
Such people follow certain guidelines instinctively, but these guidelines can be identified and picked up by others. Before long, practically anyone can incorporate these new ways of seeing and they become a normal pattern of viewing.
Rules of composition should never become too rigid, however, or all images can look alike and too standardized. Images need to be lively, original and contain something which is challenging to the viewer.
A truely successful image must stimulate feeling, emotion and imagination in the viewer.
Tips and guidelines should be no more than that. They should not become rigid rules of engagement or all the fun starts to go.
This page will contain photography tips about composition and viewing. Equipment and gadgets will not be discussed here. What make of camera someone uses, often even what type of camera, is irrelevant. Try asking a top chef what make of pan s/he uses and be ready to duck the reply.
The topic will change on a regular basis.
Strong colours readily attract the eye and there can be plenty of them around, especially in summer. A bold colour in the foreground can set off the picture considerably. There is no need to go into technicalities of complimentary and co-ordinated colours, suffice to say that the colours themselves can be made a main feature of the shot.
A sunny seaside resort can have an abundance of colourful material, with beach umbrellas, huts, boats and costumes. Many bright colours can also be found in towns, especially when caught by the sun. Mediterranean villages are never short of strong colours, heightened by the clear light, and the objects can be viewed as close-ups or as part of a larger environment.
The bed of tulips firstly attracts the eye and then leads the attention into the picture
It's probably not too strong to say that everyone likes colour. Some colours blend well together, some compliment each other and some clash. Colours create moods, with bright, strong and muted colours all stimulating different reactions.
Certain colours attract and excite, while others calm us. Red is probably the most stimulating colour, but bright yellow, blue and green also enliven the viewer. Muted, pastel colours create a more tranquil atmosphere.
When decorating the home, it's normal to study a colour chart. While out with the camera, however, it would be ridiculous to plan colour arrangements in such a formal and technical manner. Rules of colour combination and coordination can only be a restriction and hamper true seeing and creativity. It's better to sense how the colours affect the feelings and emotions.
Consider what looks good, what looks right, what makes you feel comfortable as you look for the essence of a subject.
The gentle co-ordinated colours of a summer scene
Although not controlled like an artist with a colour palette, colours can be controlled by way of selection. Which colour of rhododendron looks more striking against the dark green – the red or the white? Shall I photograph this grey scene now or wait for a colourful car to come along?
Decide what you want to express with the picture and use the conditions and colours available to help create that mood. Whatever the case, with careful selection, the colours can completely change the effect of the image and can even be made the centre-piece of the picture.
There are only muted colours and soft tones here but they convey a cold, calm scene
A heavy, dull, cloudy day can look flat and boring. In such overcast conditions, think about adding in colour, shape and contrast. The simple act of including a family member wearing a bright red coat can give the picture a big boost.Looking out through a dark doorway or window frame introduces a strong shape and gives a much needed contrast.
Dull, dreary days invariably still look drab in a photograph. A brighter subject within the picture can give the scene a lift
Concentrating on shape can provide interesting results, particularly when combined with distinctive colours. Shape might range from the close-up of a boat’s bow to the silhouette shape of a dramatic modern building. Whatever the case, it means isolating a specific part of the subject matter, rather than automatically photographing the whole scene.
Shape can show the true characteristics of an object or scene; for example, the unique styling of an old car or the identifying outline of a mature tree.
The shape of the sand dune is combined with blocks of clean colour and a little something extra thrown in
In the third of this group of photography tips, emphasizing texture can produce an effective picture and it usually involves some sort of close-up.
The texture of an old stone wall and the texture of the moss on it are both revealed more distinctly by the sunlight
Although the texture can be strong enough at times to be apparent even on a cloudy day, sunlight coming from one side will greatly enhance its characteristics and it’s best to make use of this facility where possible. In fact, in many cases, the texture of an object will hardly be noticed until it is highlighted by sunlight.
Texture and colour combine in this reflection in a country pool
This page is a sample from the Happier Snaps manual, which is a simple guide on how to take more successful photographs with basic compact cameras.
Happier Snaps is free from jargon and technical stuff and although originally aimed at non-photographers, there is something useful for everyone with a camera.
It is also FREE to anyone who buys the Photoshop In A Day manual on Photoshop.