Spring is just around the corner and I say it is time to dig out the camera bag, re-acquaint yourself with your camera, and start shooting pictures. Winter, for me, is a pretty slow photo time unless you count all the Christmas present shots, but those can get a little boring. So get outside, breathe the fresh air (sometimes still wintry cold), feel the sun on your face, and capture the world around you.
Digital cameras are an amazing evolution of film cameras and can take incredible pictures. Do you need a refresher on your camera? Look in the non-fiction collection between Dewey numbers 770 and 780 to kick-start your learning. You’ll find books like Pro Secrets to Dramatic Digital Photos, Complete Digital Photography, and The Photographer’s Guide to Black and White as well as books on collecting cameras and world-famous photographers. If you take digital pictures, you can then come on over to the library and sign up for the Photo Editing class. Check out the current schedule and sign up!
And here are a few pro tips from National Geographic photographer Richard Olsenius to get you started with your camera again:
Remember the rule of thirds
Draw an imaginary tic-tac-toe grid on what you want to take a picture of and place the “interesting bits” on the intersections and lines of the grid. This basically says that centering your subject is generally not the most exciting composition. A simple way to think of this is just with horizontal lines. If you are taking a picture of a sunset, place the horizon line either below center or above center to make the photograph more eye catching.
Get close to your subject
Whether it is a bowl of fruit, a pet, architecture or a friend, fill up the frame. Half of an object can be infinitely more exciting and enticing than a simple picture of that object. Surprise us!
Look for “the Moment”
This one is hard to explain since it’s very personal, but it is often what makes a photograph truly unique. “The Moment” could be the light breaking through the clouds or the joyous expression on your child’s face. Catch it if you can and you will be rewarded.
Break the rules!
Yep, I said it! Rules are made to be broken. You can read every book or none of them and still take amazing pictures. As photographer Edward Weston said, “Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk.”
So brush off that camera, follow your eye, listen to your heart, and be happy. I’ll catch you next time with something else to Brush Off!