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Learning to Plan a Picture

For beginners to photography, learning to plan a picture is extremely important. You should know how to compose a frame so you can capture the best possible shot, regardless of the setting, subjects, and lighting. There is more to planning than just lighting it right. You have to keep a number of factors in mind to snap the perfect picture. Here are a few tips on planning a picture:

    • The foundation of any picture is the idea. Now, the idea doesn’t necessarily have to be yours, especially if you are a photographer for hire. But it is best to practice off your own ideas so you have some expertise of bringing an idea to fruition. For instance, if you are at a wedding photo shoot, you have to find a way to make your pictures stand out. This can be done by changing the pose, or perhaps lighting it differently. Play around with ideas till you hit the right note.


    • Continuing from the example given above, you have to create the right mood for the picture to be able to capture it perfectly. At a wedding, the mood has to be happy and romantic, while at a concert, it has to be hip and exciting. You can refer to images on the internet to look for the right expressions or ideas for setting the mood. After all, the mood of the image will determine the setting and the lighting.


    • Next, you have to find the right location for the shoot. The backdrop and the overall setting will have a major impact on how well the picture turns out. Shooting a wedding album outdoors is the trend but that is an area where you can work indoors as well. However, for an adventure-themed shoot, you have to work outdoors or else the mood simply won’t work.


    • The lens you use will influence the scope and scale of the picture. You cannot use a wide-angle lens if you are trying to create an intimate feel, and vice versa. The location you have selected will determine the choice of lens to a certain extent, but you can go the other way around as well, i.e. selecting the lens first and location later.


    • Last, but not the least, comes the lighting. The lighting, for the most part, depends on the subjects you are shooting and the overall setting. If you are planning to use natural light, you should know how to adjust the lens and set up your camera accordingly so you can prevent glare and at the same time make sure there is no shadow and that the subjects appear clear in the final picture.


You may be able to get all the elements right but having a central plan enables you to pull them all together perfectly. This way, you can snap the perfect picture every time. Of course, with experience, the need to plan everything out will be eliminated but this is an important part of the learning curve when you are taking your first steps in the world of photography.

November 17, 2015

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