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PHOTOGRAPHY BASICS Kieran Hamilton @kierandhamilton

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Photography basics workshop.


Page 1: Workshop v2


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CONTENTS What should I shoot? Types and styles of photography Composition Pattern, texture and form Using lines Light General tips for improving your photography

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Why do you want to take photographs?

Artistic Communicate a message Tell a story Document an event or activity

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WHAT ARE YOU INTERESTED IN? People find they enjoy photographing things

they are interested in

Buildings and architecture Animals Landscape Macro photography Urban/street photography People Events

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STILL NOT SURE?o Take a camera everywhere with you – don’t

be embarrassed about taking pictures in public

o Maybe start by asking yourself which type of photography you like to look at the mosto Challenge yourself with subjects you wouldn’t usually focus on, experiment!

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TYPES & STYLES OF PHOTOGRAPHY Landscape/Seascape (natural) Cityscape  Portrait Macro Urban/Industrial  Architectural Street Photography Many more...

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THINGS TO CONSIDERSeveral key areas which you should consider:

Light Shape Texture Pattern Colour Composition

LIGHT and COMPOSITION are the most important! 

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RULE OF THIRDS The viewer’s eyes naturally go to one of the

intersection points, not the middle. Try to get subject on one of the focal points Horizon lines

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•Leave space for your subject to face towards

•This can help convey motion or directionality

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You don’t always have to follow the rules!

Breaking the rule of thirds can add a bit of difference and drama to an image

Look for symmetry and reflections

Experiment – do what you feel is best

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FRAMING AND BACKGROUND Have something of interest in the

foreground, as well as something in the middle ground and background – creates depth and distance

More than one subject (use thirds) Frame shots between two objects e.g.

trees, buildings, window Adjust your focus to blur the

background or foreground to draw the viewer to the main subject

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•Vertical lines •Leading lines•Horizontal lines •Diagonal lines

Using Lines

•Lines can convey distance•Can also be used to draw the viewer into the picture

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PATTERN, TEXTURE AND FORM Look for repetitive patterns Breaks in a pattern can be interesting Reoccurring shapes Interesting shapes and form – stand side on,

not front on for depth and 3 dimensional images

Use light and shadow to emphasise form and texture

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LIGHT Early morning and late afternoon - soft light Midday – harsh (hard) light Sunrise and sunset - vivid colour and

silhouettes Watch for blown out skies – better to have

foreground dark Night photography – long exposure, use

tripod or flash Cloudy weather low contrast – but can be


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‘SOFT’ LIGHT The closer to the light source the broader the

light The broader the light the softer the light Less contrast and distinct shadows and

highlights Portrait photography Soft skin textures

e.g. Someone sitting next to a window or a lamp.

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The further away from the light source the harder the light

More pronounced shadows and highlights Landscape photography – far away from the sun

(light source) Street photography

Using a Flash

Removes shadows Lights up foreground – but darkens background Red eye and reflections (glass, mirrors)

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GENERAL TIPS Learn your camera’s controls off by heart Always try for straight horizon lines Always consider light and composition Don’t worry about other people looking at you ... But don’t make ‘subjects’ uncomfortable – don’t

be a creep! Change your perspective – get down on the floor or

stand on something Try things you usually wouldn’t – challenge yourself Have fun!

Slides available online at: