Thursday, June 12, 2008

Photography 101



It was a company sponsored photography workshop held last June 11 which was lead by Jeryc Garcia, the founding editor of the Philippine edition of Rodale's Men's Health magazine. The workshop was joined by the first 30 employees who were the fastest to vote via email. When I received the registration email, I quickly replied with a DSLR vote. Luckily I made it! Reason for joining is to see what does it take to become good at photography, or even simpler, how to take better pictures.

I brought a Canon 450D at the session. Admittedly, I do not know anything how to use it. All I know is that if I set it at “Auto”, everything will be fine. :p It is my husband who is more fascinated with photography (alright… main reason also why I joined). He’s also a newbie and is trying to find time to learn more about this craft. Once he get used to the functionalities of a DSLR, he plans to engage on actual workshops.

The workshop which lasted for 3 hours had lectures on the camera parts and functionalities, exposure modes, composition, and the best part was the techniques on how take amazing photos. Jeryc showed several photos he has taken before and explained the elements and ways of how he did it. Even though some of the subject is plain simple, but everything looks marvelous on his pictures! According from Jeryc, the techniques become innate to a photographer, especially if he is doing it already for years. So all it really takes is practice, practice practice! (enough said)

We also got the chance to have our previously taken pictures evaluated too, one for each participant since we already ran out of time. I’ve learned that you can take pictures of the shadow or reflection in water and on a shiny floor; to do away with unnecessary elements like people who should not be part of the background; to use flash even at daylight to reduce shadow; how to apply frames and leading lines and a lot more.

Here are some of the photography tips take a way:

1) Know your subject – decide on what you would like to take photo of

2) Capture a moment – photography is like freezing moment as it happen

3) Back off and show the terrain (land)

4) Get closer – Make your subject appear not too small, but just right

5) Watch your background – make sure not to include unnecessary elements in the picture

6) Check the edges

7) Try different angles – the view might be better taken at a different angle

8) Put people in landscapes - when taking a photo of landscapes, it's good to include people because it serves as a measure how vast the scenery is

9) Shoot at sunrise / sunset - not to be mistaken as making sunrise and sunset to be your photo subject always ;-)

10) Keep your camera still - if you can't be still, use tripod

11) Hold your camera properly – keep arms close to the body

12) Blur or stop the motion

13) Keep your gear simple – keep basics, and avoid the urge to accumulate gadgets just to show off! The camera should be able to take pictures the way you want it to be.

14) Use fill flash in shady forest and spotty sunshine

15) Protect your memory card – it will not make sense to protect just the camera if you will lose all the nice photos you have taken!

16) Tell a story – the photo must be able to tell a story no matter how simple it is!

Special thanks to Jeryc Garcia for sharing this wonderful craft and to the People focus team who organized this work-life balance activity. Cheers!


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