Photo school part 2: how to take beautiful pictures?

Photography is fun. But so that the really beautiful shots are not always a coincidence, we have compiled the most important tips for you.

The choice of subject

First, think about: What do I actually want to show? What matters to me? You can’t always fit everything you want to show friends in a picture later on. And often the most impactful photos are those that make a person, animal, or object stand out from a crowd. "Get up close!", is the name of the game for professional photographers.

Always try different angles!

Sometimes you have to get down on your knees for a good picture

Think about what perspective your subject might look best from. If you want to take a nice picture of a toadstool, you should try the "frog perspective" try it out. From above you can only see the red, round umbrella, but from the side you can also see the pretty white lamellas. When taking pictures of friends, don’t shoot them from below at an angle. You can almost only see the nostrils on the picture there!

At People The rule is: always take photos at eye level. But they do not necessarily always have to look into the camera: The thoughtful look into the distance (i.e. past the camera) is an often-used classic that always looks good. In addition, you must always pay attention to the surroundings for portraits. Sometimes "grow People on photos branches or columns from the head, because they stand exactly in front of it.

Also at Animal photographs you should stay at eye level. That means in most cases: kneel or lie down. Especially interesting are the feeding times in the zoo: Then there is always something going on in the enclosure and you can take great animal photos!

High towers or Buildings are always difficult to put on the photo. If you are too close, it looks like the tower is going to collapse. Here you should try to take the picture from a more distant location or from an elevated position, such as a balcony.

animal photos should always be taken at eye level with the animal

Creative group photos

This is how group photos become eye-catchers!

Shoulder to shoulder, in a row? This is boring! Especially with group photos the possibilities are endless. Just stack the friends on top of each other, like the Bremen Town Musicians! Or you build a human pyramid! Just let your imagination run wild, and you will get a funny picture as a nice souvenir!

The golden section

Whether it’s a Berlin TV tower, a mother or huts on the beach: a photo often looks static and boring if the subject is exactly in the center of the picture. If you move the tower, mummy or huts just a little to the right or left, i.e. at the height of about two thirds or one third of the photo, tension comes into the picture. This trick is based on the rule of the "golden section". Even famous painters like Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) used it in their pictures.

This technique also applies to landscape photos. If you want to take a picture of a green meadow and a blue sky with big white clouds, but the focus should be on the sky, then take only a third of the meadow into the picture and leave more space for the sky.

If, on the other hand, you want to take a picture of a red flower meadow where the sky is only secondary, leave the sky only as a thin blue stripe on the horizon, while the rest of the photo concentrates on the flowers.

To give the photo more depth, you can also choose a "foreground" search. For example, let the leaves of the tree above you project into the picture, framing the photo.

Exercise: Take an object and photograph it from three or four different directions. Look at the result. Which picture is the best? And why?

Zoom or macro?

With the zoom (read: "suhm") you can get far away objects close up. For example, if you want to photograph a ship on the water. With the macro you also magnify, namely objects that are very close in front of the camera lens: Ants, bugs . try it out!

Pay attention to the light!

If you want to take pictures outside, you should pay attention to the sun. Taking pictures against the sun is usually useless. The foreground will then simply be dark. The light looks best when you shoot with the sun behind you or at an angle to the sun.

Photos taken in the "golden hours" will be especially beautiful, so be shot after sunrise or before sunset. Then the light is very "warm and makes corners and edges appear soft. The midday sun, on the other hand, makes the photographed object look very hard.

Pay attention to the sun

Sharp or blurred?

In this picture everything is sharp: foreground and background

Basically, your subject should be in focus in the final photo. Sometimes it can look nice, if not everything on the photo is sharp. The background of a portrait shot, for example. In some shots, the contrast between sharp and blurry is particularly beautiful. Rule of thumb: What is important must be sharp, everything else may be blurred.

Calm hand for sharp pictures

The background is blurred, only the pencils are shank - the picture looks immediately completely different

When you press the shutter button, the shutter of the camera opens – usually only for a fraction of a second. But when it’s dusk or when you’re shooting indoors, the camera needs to gather more light. Then the shutter will stay open for a second or more. The problem is that you can’t hold the camera so still that the picture doesn’t blur. So you need a tripod. You can also place the camera on a solid surface and activate the self-timer. Or you can use the flash. For night photography, most digital cameras have a "night mode", which automatically increases the exposure time and turns off the flash.

The flash

The flash makes everything that is close a little brighter. The farther away your subject is, the less useful the flash is. The light just does not come that far. If you want to take a picture of a person with a flash, make sure you don’t get too close. Otherwise the skin looks cheesy and unattractive. To avoid that people on pictures red "rabbit eyes" some cameras have a special flash. "Red-eye reduction is called. With most cameras you can switch on the flash automatically or switch it off completely.

Automatic or manual?

Most cameras have an automatic flash. This means that the camera software makes sure that the picture is sharp and has the right brightness. To focus on an object, press the shutter button halay and wait for the camera to make the necessary adjustments. Then you press all the way through. But you can also use the camera manually (Latin manus=hand). Just set the desired distance and press the button. The distance must be right, of course, otherwise the photo will be blurred. You can also change the exposure manually with most cameras. Just try out how the same subject looks brighter or darker.

Program preset

Most cameras have an automatic mode and special programs (="modes") for certain purposes. For portraits, landscapes, snapshots, games and sports, and so on. Do not let this confuse you! Most of it you will never need. But some modes are quite useful, for example the sport mode. If you want to capture romping playmates or your Formula I rabbit dashing through the living room, then choose this program. The camera is then set so that it automatically selects only very fast shutter speeds. This reduces the risk that your pictures will be blurred or blurred.

Finally: every camera is a little different. If you want to know it exactly, just have a look at the instruction manual. Since you can look at the taken pictures immediately in the display, you find out surely also fast, what looks good and what not.

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