- Beware the Digital Zoom!
- What Is Composition?
- The Rule of Thirds
- Head Room
- Lead Room
- Using Available Light
To capture your point of interest in the frame, properly focus with your camera. Many smartphones and tablet cameras have a feature in which you can tap the point of interest on your screen and the camera will automatically focus on that one section. On other phones and tablets, you can take photos with a clear image by aiming the camera at your subject and wait until the camera auto adjusts the focus.
2. Beware the Digital Zoom!
Get close to your subject and avoid using the digital zoom feature. Taking the time to move closer to your subject will always pay off. When you use the digital zoom rather than moving closer, the photograph will lose resolution and look pixelated.
3. What Is Composition?
Composition is a term that applies to many art forms including writing, painting, choreography, and photography. In photography, composition refers to the artful placement of subjects, backgrounds and other visual elements within the picture. Successful composition directs the viewer’s eye toward the most important parts of the photograph. Composition is not just about what is pleasing to the eye. It is a tool for the photographer to use in communicating ideas, moods, and narratives.
When composing a photograph, ask yourself:
- What are my points of interest?
- Where should they be placed in the frame?
4. The Rule of Thirds
Imagine breaking an image into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have nine parts. This is the basic principle behind the rule of thirds. Placing points of interest in the intersections or along the lines creates a more balanced composition.
Learn how to enable the grid on your mobile phone here:
5. Head Room
Headroom is the space between the subject and top of frame.
6. Lead Room
Lead room, also referred to as “Nose Room,” is the space in front of a stationary or moving subject. A well composed image is one in which there is more space in front of the subject and less behind.
When an image is exposed to too much or too little light, the subject will not show detail in the highlights or shadows. On professional cameras, there are usually options to adjust the exposure. But, with tablets and smartphones, you may need to move the camera or subject to avoid extreme lighting situations. TIP: Many smartphone and tablet cameras will adjust the exposure to the area of the frame that is tapped. If you notice a lack of detail in the highlights or shadows, try tapping the screen in the area where you would like to see more detail.
8. Using Available Light
Here are a few tips on using available light to capture your subject well.
- Be aware of the available light and plan for the best lighting situations.
- Shoot outside or turn on lights indoors.
- Shoot during the Blue Hour (period of twilight each morning and evening when the sun is a significant distance below the horizon) and the Magic Hour (period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer).
- Using an LED flash can make your subject look washed out.
- Side-lighting from a window creates shadows and depth.
- Photographing your subject in front of a window creates a silhouette. Adding flash highlights facial features and creates a backlight.