How do i take better Snapshots

The first step in progressing from taking snapshots to becoming a photographer is learning to frame your images. This single, basic, totally subjective decision will improve all your photographs regardless of the camera you use or what you are taking photos of. It is the essence of photography, and the view that make your photographs different from everyone elses. And by practicing these few, small steps, you will improve your phtoos and develop a habit for all your artwork.

First, select your subject.
To begin, let’s start with a simple still subject. A flower. You see a pretty flower that catches your eye. You point your camera at it and take a snapshot. When you look at that image (in print or in the digital display), you see a lot of stuff – but the flower is almost lost. What you have done is take a photo of the garden it is in, and not the flower. Another subject would be a sleeping pet. They look so adorable, you snap the shot, and the image shows a room with a very small animal dwarfed by the clutter.

Lets get closer.
Okay – now we move in closer to that flower. How close? That depends on what you see. Try moving in half the distance you are from the flower. When you look through the viewfinder, do you still see the flower? Does it fill up the viewfinder, blocking out everything else, or are there still a lot of clutter and other plants minimizing it. Digital cameras are a real blessing to the budget here – you can take images, moving progressively closer to your subject, until you see nothing else. Now that room has melted away and your sleeping pet is life size’ in the image. Now you are starting to see the subject the way your eye zeros in on it.

What else?
Let’s look around a little now. By aiming your camera on the area immediately surrounding your subject, what do you see? Is there a nice color that contrasts with your subject, setting it off in an eye-catching way, such as a solid green background to your flower, or a sea of white flowers behind that red rose? You can move yourself around to change the angle of the photo, bring that color into play, making that accent part of your image. Is there a weed in the way, or a garden gnome that you want to avoid? Change your angle to avoid, or minimize, that obstacle. Is it a very small, perfect flower? Get down on the ground and see what it looks like on it’s own level – or below, if it droops. As you move in and move around, the image you see will change. That sleeping pet – is it a cat on a windowsill? What does the windowsill look like – a color that contrasts nicely? What’s outside the window? Maybe some flowered shrub that makes kitty look great? Now let’s get down to eye level to see that pretty face, sleeping peacefully, eyes closed softly. Perhaps your dog is on a blanket that makes him stand out. You can use these elements to accent and create a background, or zoom in tight to get rid of them entirely.

Is there more?
While you are zoomed in, did you notice the texture of the flower petal? Is there a pattern to the color of the flower, maybe a contrasting eye’ or a prominent center? Does it look soft like velvet, shiny, grainy? Texture gives your images that reach out and touch’ feeling, pulling you in. That iris has a little fuzzy beard – move on in again and look at the images. It’s a different world. Can you see the pollen on the flower? Now go check out the smooth eyelids on kitty’s face, the little smiling lips, the soft tiny hairs on the muzzle. The leather of her nose. Is your puppy smooth as satin, or a mass of curls? Do you feel that?

Now, once more, look around your subject. Is the flower surrounded by rough rock, or a smooth water feature? Does it look better, or cleaner, with the dark mulch behind it, or a mass of other plants? Is your dog lying in the sun – where are the shadows, and what do they look like? Can you move to make the sun light up certain features, or are the shadows now part of the subject itself?

By teaching yourself to see everything your eye takes in without thinking, your photos will become what you really see – and your point of view is what makes you a photographer.