Basic Photography Concepts
Published 27th September 2012
Photography has become a popular and engaging hobby that we invest time and money into to perfect our skills. For a lot of amateurs, photography is serious business. We have had enough experience to know that photography is so much more than just pointing and shooting at things. And so, it is essential for the dedicated enthusiast to know basic concepts in photography such as lighting, exposure, composition, and camera angles. Read on to learn the basic concepts and find out what it takes to master this popular art.
Lighting and Exposure
Imagine yourself in this scenario: You suddenly find the perfect subject to photogaph. You have your camera with you and so you decide to shoot away. You’re quite happy with the images in the back of the camera. That is until you see the final product on a computer and you find that you can’t even make out the subject because of too much light (or it may be too dark in some cases). I bet most of us can relate to that, unless you’re that lucky not to experience it at any point in your life. But I’m sure each and every one of us will agree that lighting and exposure are very essential and critical elements in photography. Here we learn an important basic concept – the lighting of a scene and its effects on the exposure. Basically, more lighting within the scene would result in more exposure. On the other hand, less light means less exposure. Being overexposed results in an overly bright picture while being underexposed will give you a “blacked out” photo. If it isn’t obvious by now, one must learn how to control the lighting of a scene in order to expose the image properly.
You will encounter a variety of lighting conditions in photography. Direct lighting usually provides an ideal setting as you will be able to properly expose the image. Things get a little tricky once you start photographing partially lit subjects. Careful adjustment of lighting and shutter speed is necessary to ensure adequate exposure. It’s impossible to learn that skill overnight and it will definitely require some effort from you. However, you may opt to get yourself a light meter which will do the job of measuring the amount of light in a scene for you.
Composition and Camera Angles
Composition is another basic concept you have to take note of. It is the technique of positioning the subject within the camera’s frame. Composition together with the right camera angle can produce dramatic effects in a photo. It can grab a viewer’s attention in an instant, convey meaning through a certain scene, or even express a sense of movement and dynamism in the picture.
You can easily direct the focus of the image by setting up the subject in a certain area of the frame. If you want to project the subject as something with an imposing presence to the viewer, you can place it higher in the frame. On the other hand, you can portray submissiveness or mystery by lowering the position of the subject. Those are just a few of the examples that show us that by making certain parts of the photo pop out to the viewer, you get to convey meanings and feelings in your shot. Different subjects placed in different ways in a frame can exude mystery, forcefulness, compliance, or intrigue.
A picture may show a still image and may appear devoid of motion, but the next photography concept we will tackle involves a photographer’s skill in putting dynamism in an image. A subject placed in the middle of the frame can give an illusion to the viewer that he’s falling onto the subject. This particular effect can be seen when a photographer takes a photo of a subject through a hollow log. In that type of shot, the viewer’s vision is taken through the tunnel and into the subject’s face. Though the sense of movement is not as glaring here as those seen in action shots, composition is able to provide a subtle form of movement that is appropriate for the picture.
More Advanced Photography Concepts
Now just because the article ends here does not mean that your learning must end here too. As with any other endeavour, you can expand your horizons and discover more concepts by experimenting. You can try more advanced techniques such as those involving aperture settings, depth of field measurements, focal lengths, and shutter speed settings. There are limitless possibilities of what you can do with photography, and you have the power to explore your potential and make the most out of it.