Photography is something that I struggle with and I often hand the camera over to my partner Dixie. I shy away from taking photos as he is much better at it than me. I decided it was time to take action so I enrolled with the University of Tasmania to do a Photo Essay Course.
I really enjoyed the course as it got me out of my comfort zone by capturing images that I wouldn’t normally shoot.
Here are some of the things I took away from doing the course.
There are several ways in which you can arrange a subject in your photo. Use leading lines, rule of thirds, fill the frame, use patterns and so much more. Photographer Steve McCurry explains the 9 Photo Compositions beautiful and you can read about it here.
Take photos from several different angles
Experiment taking photos from different angles. Get up high, to the side, get in close or even down low. I was surprised that some of the photos I like the most were taken from an angles I may not have shot from before.
Be patient when taking photos of children
So many times I was crouched down waiting to take a photo of my children, waiting for the right moment and then I would give up. Of course the moment I put my camera down I would miss a beautiful moment like them holding hands while playing in the surf at the beach. Photographer Hollie MacKenzie has some tips on getting great candid photos of children which is really helpful.
Experiment every day
Pick up your camera everyday and experiment with subjects, light and camera settings. I will be the first to admit I took some really bad photos but over time I could see an improvement.
Take on a Photography Challenge
There are lots of groups you can join to get inspiration and photo ideas. Here are a few that I have discovered.
Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim has a photography challenge called A Photo a Day. Each month she reveals a list of words that inspire you to take a photo. You can share your images on facebook and instagram if you wish. It is interesting to see other peoples photos and how they interpret the words.
Jodi from Practising Simplicity has the 52 project. Take a portrait of your children, once a week, every week.
365grateful is taking a photo everyday of something you are grateful for.
Rebekah has the 10 on 10 project where bloggers share 10 photos on the 10th of each month. It is about finding life and beauty in the ordinary things of our day to day!
Critique your work
Look back at your images and see what worked. Did you like the lighting and composition? Also take time to look at why photos didn’t work. Was there too much clutter in the photo that distracted from the subject? Was the photo over exposed?
Taking the time to analyse your photos as this will help you improve. Also when you see an image that catches your eye take the time to see why the photo works.
Putting words with images
Words and images work best when they enhance one another. Don’t use a caption that states the obvious. Use words to express emotion, express what is difficult to say and let people know what is happening outside the frame. It is best to keep your captions at one to three sentences.
My photo essays
So there you have it, that is what I learnt while I was doing the course. I hope that some of these tips have helped you with your photography or doing a photo essay.
Get the camera out and happy clicking!