What a beginner photographer needs to know: how to take catchy shots

When starting photography, anyone wants to take beautiful, memorable shots. Someone succeeds immediately, someone comes with experience. Some, disappointed, quit their hobby without waiting for an acceptable result. In this blog, we’ll share a variety of techniques that will make it easier for you to take cool photos.

In general terms, composition is understood as the totality and relative position of objects in the image. Building a composition or seeing it in everyday life situations is an integral part of a photographer’s job.

Unlike the technical intricacies of photography , mastering the skills of building a successful composition is much more difficult. However, there are a few theoretical aspects that every aspiring photographer should know.

Interchangeable-lens camera Olympus PEN E-PL8 Pancake Kit 14-42mm EZ white
Linear perspective. Photography is a way of displaying a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional plane, so the perception of a photograph is somehow related to linear perspective.

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She adds volume to the picture, destroys the wall that arises between the photograph and the viewer. In order to maintain the correct perspective, the camera must be flush with the subject and the plane of focus must be parallel to it. Otherwise, unwanted perspective distortion and distortion will appear in the photo.

This mistake is often encountered by novice photographers when working with people. When shooting tall buildings, this effect is often impossible to avoid due to the subject being too close.

Subject center of the picture. This is an object or some part of it that attracts attention. A correctly chosen subject center is the key to “catchy” photography. Depending on the genre of photography, the story center can be anything: the whole fence or graffiti on it, the model, the model’s face, or just the eyes.

A bright subject center attracts the viewer’s attention, and an unsuccessful one makes the picture uninteresting. In the example below, the photographer sprayed the viewer’s attention between two story centers: children playing on the near and far rings.

The main task of the photographer is to find the subject center of the future photography and separate everything unnecessary from it by means of compositional techniques.

Rule of thirds. One of the basic concepts of composition. Divide the frame into nine equal rectangles. The four points formed by the intersection of the lines grab the viewer’s attention more than the rest of the picture. Experienced photographers arrange the composition so that the main details are right here.

To make things easier, almost all smartphone cameras and apps have a feature that allows you to display virtual lines on the screen or in the viewfinder as you shoot.

It should be noted that the rule is not absolute. Do not waste energy on placing the object strictly at the point of intersection of the lines. A slight offset from the center is sufficient. The rule of thirds is often supplemented by the rule of diagonals . This popular compositional technique is based on the diagonal arrangement of objects in the image.

As opposed to the rule of thirds, photographers use center framing . This is a compositional method in which the subject is located symmetrically with respect to a horizontal or vertical line passing through the center of the frame.

Let’s use to emphasize the symmetry of an object.

Lighting the frame. Types and basic techniques.
Lighting is an equally important part of the picture. Poor lighting can ruin the best shot. Just like the best light is not able to breathe life into a poorly composed photograph.

The importance of light can be inferred from the complexity of the schemes used by professionals in studio photography. This is a subject for more detailed consideration. At this stage, we will get acquainted with the main types of lighting and light in the photo.

By the presence of a diffuser, the light is divided into:
directional – the shadows are pronounced, the cut-off line is clear.
diffused – uniformly illuminating the entire surface of the object.
combined – a combination of the first and second types.
By the number of directions, light is:
simple (one source).
complex (multiple sources).
By hardness:
hard – source – gas discharge lamp or filament. In hard lighting, the borders of the shadows are precisely delineated, and the relief is exaggerated.
soft – there is a translucent screen between the source and the object. Soft lighting reduces the bump of the subject.
At the angle of incidence, the light happens
straight line (angle of incidence more than 45gr),
oblique (less than 45 g).
sliding (close to 0 gr).
Interchangeable-lens camera Canon EOS M50 Mark II kit 15-45mm IS STM black
53,299 *
Division by lighting type
Painting light. Light directed to the subject. His task is to create the volume and relief of the composition. The source can be either hard or soft. In a studio setting, it is positioned at a medium distance from the object. No further than two meters.

In natural light, the role of such a source is played by the sun’s rays passing through a window opening or the crown of a tree.

Fill light. This lighting fills the composition evenly. The light is diffused, soft. There is no cut-off pattern. Used to work out details, in conjunction with other types of lighting.

Modeling light. It is used to highlight a certain area of ​​the composition, to obtain highlights, reflections, soften shadows. Formed by a small source that creates a narrow, directional luminous flux.

Background light. Highlighting the background helps to separate the model from the background, to show the depth of space. Background light is usually less intense than fill or key light. It is extremely difficult to obtain such lighting in natural conditions.

Back light. As with background lighting, the light source is located behind the composition, but is directed not towards the background, but towards the subject. As a result, a light edging of the object’s contours is obtained.

When working with light, remember that changing the lighting affects the highlights and shadows of the picture in different ways: the brightness of the dark parts decreases more slowly than the bright ones. As a result, a decrease in illumination causes a drop in contrast. When placing light sources, you should pay attention to their distance to the subject. The closer the source is to the illuminated body, the sharper the edges of the shadows.

Shooting angle
An angle in photography is understood as the position of the camera relative to the subject being shot. The success of a good shot depends to a large extent on the correct angle.

High angle (camera above the subject). Often used to fit more space into the frame. Official events (meetings, councils, meetings) are often filmed from this angle, in addition, the top angle is obtained when shooting from a quadrocopter.

When photographing people, the upper angle is used if it is necessary to visually reduce the figure of the model. In this case, the emphasis will shift to the face.

Shooting on a level (the camera is on a level with the subject). It is used to obtain the most natural picture, without disturbing the proportions and shifting the emphasis on some part of the subject.

Low angle (camera below the subject). Using this position of the camera, you can visually enlarge the object in the frame, give it “weight” and significance. Using an angle when shooting portraits can lead to the unwanted effect of enlarging the lower part of the face.

Shooting from the ground (camera near the ground). This perspective makes you look at the world with different eyes. The angle allows you to look at familiar objects from a completely different angle. From this angle, interesting shots are obtained after the rain, when the surface reflects the light better.

Shooting from above (the camera is perpendicular to the plane on which the subject is located). With this, perspective ceases to affect the size of objects, which allows you to get an idea of ​​their real size. The drone photos from this angle look impressive.

Having mastered the basic techniques of composition and understanding the construction of lighting, you and those around you will definitely notice the qualitative growth of the resulting images. In the previous article, we already wrote about what set of techniques you need to become a pro.