Friday, January 01, 2010

13 Ways to Better Photos...DAY 1 {angle}

The FIRST (& most important) rule of photography (in “The Rule Book of jlyn”) is to recognize your angle—as in, the angle that YOU, as the photographer, take from the other side of the viewfinder.

In other words, GET DOWN & DIRTY.

One of the first things I realized was that I, as the person behind the camera, can’t be afraid to look like an idiot.

day 1 angle idiot

{case in point}

And since I realized that, I’ll do what I have to do to get the *right* photo. Which often means laying down in the middle of the sidewalk. Or turning myself upsidedown. Or leaning over or under railings or decks. Or shoving myself in corners & crevaces to find that shot.

It also means that Jon has learned to not roll his eyes or be embarrassed when I lean across the table to take pictures of his dinner. Or when I refuse to let him eat his cupcake before I snap a photo of it.

day 1 angle eye level joelle

When you decide to GET DOWN & DIRTY with your camera, also pay attention to what you are looking at…and the angle that YOU are at, compared to your subject/object you are photographing. The purpose of photos is not only to capture “Kodak Moments”, but also to tell a story. And the LAST thing you want is to tell a story of double-chins at unflattering angles. So…

Always try to take pictures from either above

day 1 angle from above gabe

{taken from directly above Gabe}

day 1 angle from above korryn

{taken from about 3 feet away, looking down at Korryn}
day 1 angle from above
{taken standing on deck above Tayte--remember you don't always have to see their face!}

day 1 angle night before wedding

{taken standing on balcony above living room...what can you see about this picture? taking the shot from above not only lets you see everyone in it, but also allows you to see the setting & conversation happening}

or at eye level with your subject (if it is a person).
This will eliminate the saggy eyes, double chins, & unflattering shadows. Can you see how taking photos from above forces the subject to OPEN THEIR EYES?! And how taking them from eye-level (or just slightly above) seems to hide those unflattering features (although I’m quite certain none of these subjects had any to begin with…).
day 1 angle from above tina
{see how Tina's eyes are "forced" open by my standing at eye level, just barely above her?}
day 1 angle eye level gabe & dad
{i was laying completely on the ground in this shot...which is typically a great tactic for lively munchkins...}

If you avoid taking photos of people from below, not only will they thank you for not accentuating their double chin, but you also won’t miss out on the most “alive” part of their face: their EYES.
BUT…if your picture tends to focus on a THING instead of a PERSON, feel free to shoot from below—aim your camera upwards & tell your story that way.
day 1 angle from below
{what "story" does this shot tell? something about GIANT trees & the fact that we were in awe of their size...see how taking the photo from below makes the trees look larger & the people look smaller in comparison?!}

day 1 angle WITHOUT rules
{now let's look at this unsuspecting kitchen shot. i'd just baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins...& walked in & just snapped this shot without thinking...}
day 1 angle WITH rules from below
{but look what happens to the muffins...& the evidence about how BIG & YUMMY they are when i got up close & took the photos from below. makes those muffins look a whole lot better, doesn't it?}

Try to tilt your camera so that the lines in the photo are NOT in line with the frame. OR, try to line up the outside of your viewfinder with straight lines in the photo; this will make your angles look on purpose & your photos look more organized.
day 1 angle line up with frame
{in this photo, i lined up the yellow street line with my frame so they ran parallel. see how the shot looks "on purpose"?}
So...focus on:
getting down & dirty
losing the fear of looking like an idiot behind the camera
taking shots from different angles: above & at eye level with people, especially...& below with objects or places.
Day 2: THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE is coming...don't miss it :)


Mary & Jake said...

Ok so I love your hints! Please post more becasue I would like to take good pics just dont have the skills yet! Maybe when you come to Idaho Falls you can give me a photo taking class!!!! There are so many places to take awesome photos around us ,Mesa Falls, Jackson Wyoming, Hi-C just for a few! Miss you!

Anonymous said...

I love all ur advice ... great pic by the way

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