Sometimes I get asked the questions of “how do you compose a shot?” The truth is, my eyes just see the shot, and I work with what I see.
But, overtime, by watching other photographers I have learned a few other ways to make a shot look interesting.. and I’d like to share those ideas with you.
1) Look Up
Say you go to your park on a daily basis and you see the same scenery, but ask yourself, how many times have you looked up? It changes the perspective completely. This technique works great, especially if you’re walking on a street, just looking up can create different angles and perspectives for you.
2) Get up close and personal
Having a close shot of a detail of a picture can make for some awesome footage. How many times have you seen a picture, and it turns out it was just one item, but because of how it was composed, it worked.
3) Whatever you’re focusing on in your shot, move that detail to the left or the right.
By doing this your eyes will avert to that detail in your shot. Also, depending on where you place your focus will make or break the shot entirely.
4) Pay Attention to the background in your photograph
How many times have you taken a photo, and when you get it back you’re disappointed because there’s a garbage can in the background, or someone was walking by, or you see something you missed entirely.
Well, start thinking about your shot, and look for those background items before taking your shot. Today, for example, I was at the park taking photos with some friends, and lo and behold, I noticed garbage cans in the background, or the sun, or someone walking by. I’d wait a little bit, or move myself a little to the left to take those background items out of the shot. It made the shot work, whereas, if I left those items in, it’d be a different picture completely.
To me, the shot above would have worked a lot better if the car wasn’t driving by at that exact moment, but I didn’t screen my shot first, and this is what I came up with. So, take that minute to scour your background.
5) Utilize Foreground
You know where I like to put this to use? In sunsets. Those trees, those branches around you, they help make a boring shot turn into something great. So, look around you, what object would make for interesting detail, find a way to utilize it.
6) Declutter your Shot
Utilizing foreground can be a good thing, but if you utilize too much of it, it could make a shot not look so good. So, try to keep things simple when composing your shots, and not have too much going on in your shot.
Too much was just happening in the shot above.. it took away from what was happening: the sunset. ;) Even I make mistakes! lol
Anyways, hope you can put some of these tips to use. Let me know how you did, and make sure to post some of your pictures for me on Minnesota Girl in LA’s facebook page!