We place a considerable amount of focus on travel photos during our travels, but have never taken a photography class, read a photography book or spent significant time with a professional photographer. So, how did we learn to take good pictures? We were handed a copy of Bethany Salvon’s latest photo ebook – Getting Out Of Auto.
I am being honest now. The good travel photos we have captured up to this point have been through luck and lots of trial and error. There are several reasons we have avoided taking classes or reading books. Neither of us is serious enough to spend a lot of our time in a class or spending the money to read a thick book of everything you ever wanted to know on becoming a professional photographer. We don’t want to become professional photographers, but we do want the amazing things we see during our travels shared with you in a way that captivates the scene. Nothing is better than seeing a place or thing in person, so we need to do the best we can when capturing that moment by camera.
A How To Book
I read through Bethany’s how to take good pictures book with skepticism. How much information can a professional photographer share with us for a mere $10? Apparently, a lot, in a way that your everyday camera user can understand. That means you and I. I hate reading, but I finished this tutorial in a single day. I could go on and on about how easy it was to follow her tips, but instead I will show you some pictures I took while applying her photography tips. If you are a photographer trying to take better pictures and understand how you camera can help you do that, don’t hesitate to buy this book now!
How To Take Good Pictures
A Focus on Composition
The rule of thirds
The rule of thirds divides up the image by thirds horizontally and vertically. The crosshairs identify the key points of interest for placing an object.
When applying the rule of thirds in this photo, we create a better picture by sitting the statue off to the right. This draws the eye to not only the statue of Senator Stephen Douglas, but also the Illinois State House. If the statue were to be placed front and center, you would subconsciously pay little attention to the building. The eye wouldn’t sense the need to scan the image with the target front and center. The image is now more complex allowing me to share various aspects of what we saw.
Again we apply the basic rule of thirds creating various points of interest in the photo.
Depth of Field
Using a shallow depth of field
Depth of field is the range of sharpness in your image. At what point is the image in focus and at what point does it blur? The aperture, or f/stop, you choose controls your depth of field. The larger your aperture (smaller f/stop reading) the less range of focus your photo will have. This section in her book is laid out in very good detail. The methods Beth choose to help you understand f/stop are brilliant. The images below from me show you what different depth of field ranges look like.
The focus of this image is on the Chandelier, however it’s important that the floral surrounding the chandelier be a part of the image to enhance color and character. With a low f/stop, the range of focus doesn’t stretch far beyond where our camera is focused, the chandelier. If we had increased our f/stop, the range of focus increases, creating sharper surroundings.
Again, we use a limited depth range in order to draw attention to the lights illuminating the bamboo wall.
Using a larger depth of field
In a Miami marina, we desire a large depth of field, enabling all objects in the foreground and background to remain in focus. We do this with a higher f/stop.
Adding impact and drawing attention
Color can create sudden impact and draw great attention to an object in a photo.
Taken with a smart phone, we decide to center the main object of focus. That object also has tremendous color – bright blue. Without having to look at the rest of the image, you focus on the robust color and read, “Scrambler.” The blue base sits well below the sign, but it does lead you up to it rather easily, since the sign stands out against a white sky.
A Complete Guide to Better Photography
Now I am going to pitch you this book. Buy it it for $9.99. As a fellow travel blogger and photographer I was lucky enough to be offered this ebook review. If I wasn’t offered the book, I probably would have never bought it. Why? Because I hate reading books. I laughed as I told Aracely, “I finished this thing in a few hours.” She was shocked something held my attention for that long. I have learned more about how to take good photography today than I have in the last 2 years. Getting Out Of Auto is your perfect ebook for wanting to understand what makes a good photo. Click here to view more details