6 ways to take good photographs

Catherine Currie, photographer

Our amazing photographer does her thing

The world is full of amateur photographers and instagram abusers. I might even be one of them. So I was quite excited when our resident amazing photographer, Catherine Currie, offered to talk to us about getting the best out of your point-and-shoot.

Only owner and iPhone camera (I know, I know), there were a few things that I couldn’t apply to myself, and I got quite jealous when everyone else was learning the secret of Rizlas, but I couldn’t join in because of my lack of flash.

Catherine’s top camera tips

1) Find a straight line

Where appropriate use the horizon, a shelf, a table — anything straight — as your guide for lining up your camera. Wonky shots do weird things to people’s heads.

2) Obey the rule of thirds

Use your camera view’s grid or your own judgement to get great pictures where everything is balanced. Draw two lines down the middle of the view, and two lines across — equal distance apart. Line up the things you want to draw attention to with those lines. Draw the eye by placing objects in the left, right, or centre of the imaginary grid. Portraits look better if people’s eyes line up with the top horizontal line.

3) Walk, don’t zoom

Digital zooming is fraught with peril — so don’t do it. Keep your finger off the zoom button and walk towards (or away from) your target until they’re framed just right.

4) Make sure the sun’s not directly in front of you

Make sure it’s behind you or slightly to the side (this one especially on a bright day). That way you won’t get black spots on your photographs from too much sun, and your subjects will still be well lit. If you want to photograph the sun, you’ll have better luck at dawn and dusk.

5) Look out for… distractions

Like the naked man in the oh-so-innocent children on a lake photo of recent-ish internet fame, unfortunate photo events are everywhere. Don’t be afraid to shuffle around to a different angle or rearrange your friends until that tree isn’t sticking out of their head.

6) Make your gothic friends look less pale and more interesting with rizlas

Flash photography can be really tricky, especially if your friends tend towards the ghostly. If you have a flash on your camera, use a rizla (the ones with the sticky bit) over the flash to soften it and even out skin tone, or hold out a piece of white paper to bounce the flash and distribute the light in different directions.

5 / 5 stars     
Corinne Pritchard

Corinne Pritchard

Corinne is a plain language campaigner, information designer, lindy-hopper and occasional baker. She designed this website.

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@alexlloydjourno happy to chat! Email info@gothicvalleywi.org.uk and I'll send you a phone number.
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