Note to self: making my photographs looks professional

Note To Self: Making my photographs look professional

No matter what the equipment, some photographers that I've talked to nowadays have the knowledge of what equipments and gadgets. They'd always inform me about the latest news about technology. Despite all that, most if not all their photos seem uninspiring. It still looks amatuer. Below, I've stated 8 important tips to make our photographs look like pro. I write this also to remind myself. Do not take this lightly.

1)Do not think in a point-and-snap way. Anyone can do a point-and-snap, but professionals' pictures have a habit of not looking like it, even if it is so. The secret? Always think about composition and angles or techniques that show that you have put your thought processes before taking the photo. Perhaps you can take a photo from your perspective that has never been thought of by anyone else.
This picture would have easily bordered on the 'snap-and-shoot" line if it was not taken properly
© 2011 Fadly M.H Wychowvski 



2)Emphasize on the 3D space. The main point here is to show a photograph of the 3D world in a 2D medium. So always think of perspective and depth of field. Refrain from taking photos of the subject in the middle of the frame as it makes it dull and very 2D.
© 2011 Fadly M.H Wychowvski


3) Technical Knowledge. This separates the professionals from the amateurs. Nowadays, creativity can spring up from anyone and most of the time, professionals are faced with "creativity blocks" while amateurs are springing up with wonderfully creative "why-didn't-I-think-of-that" photos. Whether or not these creative works are succesfully executed is another matter. That is why professionals still have the upper hand.

4)Analyze your environment before you shoot. Remember point no.1 mentioned earlier? Well, to prevent the photo looking like a point-and-shoot, I usually take some time to get intimate with the scene of interest. I'd go around the area a couple of times, take some test shots and write up a few personal notes just to get to know the place and plan which angles and settings for my camera would prove to be the best result without it looking like I took the photo out of a moving bus. Then when I found my favorite 'camping spot', I'd just sit there, plant my tripod and wait for an unlucky human or animal subject to fill the void in the scene before I snap the photo. All-in-all, I'd roughly spend 15-30 mins just doing all this.
 
Took 45 mins for the right one to pass
© 2011 Fadly M.H Wychowvski 


5)Keep it simple and straight-to-the-point. The problem with amateurs is that they want to capture too much stuff into a tiny frame. As a result, you wouldn't know where to concentrate your eyes on as both background and foreground look busy and cluttered. If you keep your frame simple, it wouldn't confuse your audience. Which...brings me to my next point...

 
Somewhere near where I live
© 2011 Fadly M.H Wychowvski 

6)Remember that your background items should compliment the main focus of your picture or your theme. Most people don't look at every corner of the frame before snapping a picture. Note that your viewfinder is alot of times smaller than your photographs output display so always take extra measures to view through your viewfinder properly(Personally, once I view the viewfinder, the world 'stops', I can only hear my breathing and somehow or rather, I'd sweat alot and that's when I know I'm in my "zone"). I'd always either keep my background clear so that it won't obstruct my subject in the foreground or I'd have a background with, say, lead-in-lines to my subject or complimentary color patterns to my subject or I'd find background items that fill the frame to at least be a form of symbolism for my picture. One thing I've learnt is that audiences viewing your picture is always searching for meanings behind it.
The foregrounds' pillars act as a "lead-in-line" to the moon
© 2011 Fadly M.H Wychowvski 



7)Don't crop at the joints. I dedicated a blog post on this very recently, If you'd want to go into details, perhaps you can search for it on this blog. Anyways, back to topic...turns out that it is important not to end your pictures at the joints e.g. neck, shoulders, hands, hips, knees, ankles etc as this usually tells your audiences that the cut is unintentional. Unless, your shot clearly illustrates that the cropped areas is the main theme of your picture(intentional), it is advisable not to do so. Instead, crop your pictures' somewhere in between those joints. 

Screengrab from the website: http://www.thephotographerslife.com/eletter_archives/cutting_off_legs_and_necks/#more

8)Personally for me, I'd want to capture a heightened sense of reality rather than just documenting something with a photograph. Think of ways to sensationalize it or add glamor to the picture. Perhaps, add lights(this will increase value in your photo!) or stage your talents or get props! One great example of this point is my favorite picture of Rachel Weiss as Snow White shown below.
Photo gotten off: http://www.binarymoon.co.uk/2007/01/disney-ads/disney-snow-white-rachel-weisz/


Fadly.M.H.Wychowvski©
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