How to shoot a good photo
Backstage images at Chanel Cruise Show 2013 by Andrew Miller
Thanks to our various devices, we are taking more photos than ever before. I asked a colleague, Andrew Miller, a fantastic photographer who shoots backstage at all the big fashion shows, for some great tips on winging a brilliant photo.
- Try to shoot at the beginning or end of the day. For example, in locations where the sunlight is harsh, shoot before 10am and after 4pm when the shadows are deep and dark.
- When you are in harsh sunlight, try to shoot in the shade, you can often get soft and even light.
- When you shoot in shadow, use the environment. If you under a tree, use the bark and tree trunk as a feature in the shot. The side of the subject against the tree trunk will also have more shadow. This introduces some depth and character to the shot.
- Remember to pick out the details such as emotion or action. We naturally do this with our eyes, but you have to narrow the focus of the camera and zoom in to catch these.
- Shoot through something, so if its an action shot get a part of the other players in the shot. If it’s a portrait, get a part of the environment, trees, flowers, glasses at a cafe.
- Get your subjects moving. People often freeze up infront of the camera, so get them to talk, laugh, play, jump, whatever just to break the ice and let them enjoy the shoot
- Shallow depth of field is my favourite since you can have tight focus in the subject, then choose to show as much or as little of the environment as you’d like
- Play with Instagram or Snapseed filters. I prefer Snapseed since there’s more control over the effects. Now it’s owned by google theres also android, iPhone, windows and mac versions.
- For iPhone users hipstamatic is another great app to get instant effects on the shot.
- For those who say you mustn’t rework a shot in photoshop or any other app, don’t know what they’re talking about. Since the earliest days of photography, images have been manipulated. In the day of film, you had a choice as to which chemicals and process you used to develop your film. Then you had the same options when you printed the shot. Early pioneers of the art used to cut and past copies of the transparencies and then reprint and airbrush the image. My favourite pioneer of this work is Jean Paul Goode. All portrait photographers worked on the prints to remove shadows and blur wrinkles even the likes of Richard Avedon.