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Process and Impact

SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN AIMING FOR A HIGH QUALITY PHOTOGRAPH.

1/200 | f22 | ISO-100
SHUTTER SPEED
  • Shutter speed is the first thing to consider when taking a photograph. Using a tripod allows us to have longer exposure times which is great for shooting things like light trails. Longer exposures aren’t so good if you want to shoot outside on a windy day as this will cause motion blur on trees or anything else that moves in the frame.
  • If we shoot handheld, ideally our shutter speed should be 1 divided by the focal length. (We should be shooting at a very minimum of 1/50th of a second while using a 50mm lens.) Anything slower than this has a risk of shaky hands causing motion blur.
  • A shutter speed of at least 1/250th is a good exposure for capturing people or other moving subjects.
APERTURE
  • The aperture you choose will depend on what you want to photograph. A larger aperture will allow more light to pass through helping you to use a faster shutter speed, but this will cause the background to become blurred (a bokeh effect). This will help separate your subject from the background. Using an aperture of f1.8 blurred the background which made the newlyweds stand out. I could have closed the aperture a little to f2.8 to make sure the couple were more in focus. Doing this would have meant slowing the shutter speed to about 1/250, which would still have been a fast enough exposure to retain sharpness.
  • A large aperture wouldn’t be good to use for landscape photography since typically we want the entire subject in focus. Stopping down to at least f16 would allow this, but we would need to change the shutter speed to reflect this. A tripod is usually a necessary tool for this area of photography for this reason.
1/500 | f1.8 | ISO-320
COMPOSITION
  • Using the ‘rule of thirds’ and leading lines in your work will help create a strong composition in your image. If you have a subject, person or animal, looking to the left of the frame it is a good idea to place them on the right side of the photograph.
  • While everybody loves a clear sky, they are often not good for photographs. Using clouds or tree branches on the edges of your image will seem more balanced and pleasing to look at as it stops the viewers eyes from wandering outside of the image.
POST-PRODUCTION
  • As long as you shoot in RAW, you can use post-production techniques to correct many of the mistakes you may have made (exposure, white balance…).
  • Depending on your photograph, it is advised to use an editing software for light edits. A RAW image will appear flat and will need to be edited to get it to look like it should.
  • It can be easy to push the editing too far, especially when you have been working for a while. Pushing the saturation too far will make colours too vibrant and cause the image to appear unrealistic.