4 min read
This is a summary of my YouTube Video, you can watch the whole piece linked at the bottom of the blog post.
There are many different aspects of photography, however, there are 5 of them that I consider the pillars or foundation of my work. So if you're wondering what to focus on when you're out and about shooting, then here are some quick tips.
Composition and Aspect ratios are 2 different aspects, but they really go hand in hand and are extremely important to me.
I compose and choose the aspect ratio BEFORE I take the photo, I don't crop it later. I might do a quick angle orientation or just a small crop to centre an object or subject, but never more than just that.
2. Aspect Ratio
To summarize, I treat my photos like scenes of a film, so I always compose with that in mind. And as you can see, I always shoot in landscape orientation, mainly 3x2 or 16x9.
Composition and aspect ratios and everything else on this list is set in stone before you take the shot.
One of the very first things you should learn if you are new to photography is the exposure triangle and how to read a histogram. After you get over the basics, you can decide to manually expose, choose to protect highlights or shadows, and make your own decisions
But you should always ask yourself, Am I exposing correctly? are you always considering what your key light is? are you always aware of the position of the sun if you're shooting outdoors, things like that.
I personally like to embrace the shadows and expose for the highlights, and will manually dial my exposure to get the look that I want in-camera, even if the histogram disagrees with me.
Sounds pretty obvious right? Make sure your photos are in focus. But focusing is a lot harder than it sounds. This is the aspect of photography that you will most likely mess up the most, at least at the beginning.
Especially when shooting subjects that are constantly moving, street photography, event photography, kids, pets, you name it.
In a photo like this, you have a few seconds to react and get the shot. So you need to be comfortable with the frame, the subjects and be prepared for it, visualize the distance in your mind
Get familiar with the focusing systems of your camera, and understand what system works best for the type of photography you are trying to achieve.
For example, for street photography, never ever shoot in autofocus mode, AUTOFOCUS SINGLE or AUTOFOCUS continuous. This is a huge mistake.
By doing that you are letting the camera make decisions for you. Doesn't matter how new, or fast or great the camera is, it will miss.
Shoot in manual mode, and control focus with the lens ring, or Set up your AF-L button as a back button focus, so you press it on a spot you want, and it will focus on that, and just prepare.
You are the one thinking, you are the one taking control, and you are the one getting the shot in focus. And it will work, even with a fast-moving subject, like a bicycle for example.
5. Colour, or lack thereof
Like I mentioned before, I only shoot JPEGs, you could shoot both raw & jpeg and that's probably the smart thing to do, But I never touch the raw files. So I don't change colours later. Colour or the lack-there off is something that I consciously choose before I take the shot.
The Fujifilm cameras have incredible colour science, film simulations and tonal range. And oddly enough, the colour from the older cameras seems a bit more pleasing than the newer ones.
And To be clear, I don't mean that you're a heretic if you adjust white balance, or add a little saturation later, or adjust the colour in any way after the fact. NO.
But I will never take a shot in colour, and later just change to black and white, just because. Or be lazy and shoot raw because I can "fix it" later. And apply simulations later.
That would only prove that perhaps I was not intentional when I took the photo, I did not think about it enough, didn't have the vision to capture what needed to be captured.
I use colour to bring out the little details of the frame, the scene, the subject. And I use black and white to focus on a feeling, a subject as well, or what matters in the frame.
Think about colour, don't "fix" in post, don't use spend money on useless LUTS or presets and expect your photos to be what you wanted. You need to know what you want and achieve it yourself.
That's the brief summary of the video, for the full piece, here's the video: