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What is Creative Life?
Creative Life is a series through which I share my knowledge about photography and videography skills. Both these crafts have become quintessential for people wanting to become digital content creators. The more you develop these skills the more you raise the production value of your digital content. This eventually could translate into producing quality content that has the potential of gaining traction and popularity with time.
Imagine you are capturing a photograph and you just take up your camera or your phone and capture it as anyone else would, would that be interesting? Just put the camera or your phone straight in front of the subject, take a photo, would that be interesting? If your answer was no, what is the solution? You could capture different angles around the subject or if you want to just have a completely different view take a top angle. For example, If you want to see grass from an angle which you have never seen before go down and just keep your camera at the grass level. You will see that the grass looks so big in your photo that you might have not even realised it could look so big. So try different angles, it really helps create intriguing images that spark curiosity. A good example of this is, imagine seeing your building or your house from the same eye level that you are used to and then imagine seeing it from the top, an angle that you have hardly ever seen, wouldn’t that create a much better, more interesting view of your building when you see it?
Rule of thirds
This is the tip that you might have heard from a lot of people and all of them say it because it actually does work. This tip is called the – rule of thirds. Now if you already know about it, great, you are already one step ahead of the people who don’t know about it. There is actually an option called grid; both in cameras and in mobile phones. You will need to enable the grid and you will be able to see a few lines that intersect each other. Now, the idea is not to place your subject in the centre because that is what everyone usually does. You just put your subject slightly off-centre, more towards the one-third part of your frame. The parts where the grid lines intersect are usually the sweet spot that help you capture interesting photos.
If your frame has any kind of lines like poles, staircases, pathways, slopes, road markings, corners of buildings then these lines should ideally lead the viewer’s eyes to the subject. If they do, the viewer doesn’t have to waste time trying to find out which part of the image they should look at. Their eyes are subconsciously drawn to the subject and that is a very good thing for any photographer as the viewer knows exactly where to see.
A definite trick to capture interesting photos is reflections. Some sense of reflection will add depth to your photo and make it a lot more interesting. This is widely used in architectural and street photography. You might have seen some photos of the Taj Mahal where the waterbody outside it is so still that you can see the reflection of the Taj Mahal in the water body. These are tricks that professional photographers use to make their images look super interesting and so can you! Try to spot reflections in your frame and then try to capture your subject somehow with that reflection in an interesting way.
Frame in frame
Let’s say you are photographing someone at a cafe. The cafe has a really nice square window and the person who is having a cup of coffee is sitting inside that cafe. The window is open and you capture the blank wall which is outside of the cafe and one window and a person sipping coffee can be seen through that window. Will your eyes wander, will your eyes try to find what exactly do I need to concentrate on this frame? Now let’s say you do the same thing, but you do it without that window frame, you show different elements of the cafe in that same photograph and there is no frame in frame. Everything is trying to get your attention, like the decor of the table and other decor elements in the cafe. Every element in your frame is competing for attention, would that be a more comfortable image to look at or would the image that I described earlier be a more compelling and comfortable image to look at?
I would highly recommend keeping your subject in front of a textured background when suitable. Wherever you find textures, remember they could make for an amazing background. A brick wall, for example, is an amazing background for shooting so many subjects. Any kind of texture that would go with your subject well, try and keep that as background for your subject. Be it a human or be it a product, try finding textured backgrounds and then try using them in correlation with your subject. It will definitely up the interest level in your viewer’s mind.
This is something that is really tough to achieve but this is also one of the best things you can do to spike the interest level of your image. One social media account, in particular, does this really well, if you are on Instagram just type – Symmetry Breakfast. If your image has symmetry it automatically becomes highly interesting. Humans have a real taste for symmetry and it is something that is encoded in us to find symmetry beautiful. So if you can somehow create symmetry in your scene, do it if you want to capture interesting photos!
Gaurav Achpalea is a qualified journalist, digital content creator and digital marketer. He has acquired his Master’s degree in Media and Communications from University of Wollongong Australia and is also a Google certified Digital Marketer.