How to Take a Perfect Photo for the Contest
10 April 2017
How to Take a Perfect Photo for the Contest – Photography Tips & Tricks
Photography is an area where skills are the most important. Only knowledge and experience will allow you to take this one unique image. In our guide, we introduce you to the most important technical elements and present the directions you should follow in order to take a perfect picture.
Here, we answer one of the most frequently asked questions: Do I need professional equipment to take the perfect photo? Of course not! Over the years, among the winning entries of our contest, there have been photos taken by amateur DSLR (lens) cameras or even mobile phones! So really, only the skills matter. The keys are: knowledge of the equipment, presentation of the subject, and persistence in striving for a goal.
We invite you to read this short tutorial. We hope that our tips will help you become an even better photographer. Good luck!
Knowledge – What You Need to Know to Take a Perfect Picture for the Contest
To take a perfect photo, you need to master a few basic principles. Skillful framing, playing with light, and perspective will help you to show the image in a special and unique way.
Frame: Pay special attention to the frame when shooting. Correct image positioning will present the subject in an original way. The most common way of framing is central composition, where the photographed object is placed in the center of the frame. However, remember that the frame shouldn’t be too wide or too narrow. It should contain only the elements necessary for the presentation of the photographer’s thoughts. By moving an object in one or the other side of the center point (⅓ width), you can increase the dynamics of the photo.
Composition: So-called feeling is important in the composition. You should ask yourself whether all the elements in the picture are necessary. Maybe changing the location of one of the items would be an advantage. What should you do to bring out the most important element in the picture or balance the composition? Proper composition is not only pleasing to the eye but allows you to present the main message of the photo.
Perspective: This is the element that makes the picture interesting. You can get a unique effect by showing simple objects from an unusual perspective. Remember that the perspective is not achieved just by zooming the lens in and out. Take a few steps forward, backward, or sideways. Go up or down. Experiment and find a new way to look at the same object.
Golden ratio: This allows for an aesthetic, natural image and creates a sense of harmony. The main objective of the golden ratio is to maintain the same ratio of the length of the longer side to the shorter side as well as the entire section to the longer side. By adhering to the rule, you can easily highlight the strong points in the composition of the image.
Rule of thirds: This is another element of the workshop that will add balance and interest to your photo. The rule of thirds says that four points are the most important in the picture: the points where two vertical and two horizontal lines intersect, dividing the image into nine equal parts. You should position the most important elements in your scene along these lines or points.
Light and shadow: These are very important elements of each photo. Skillfully using an intensity of light and exposing its contrasts allows you to get the impression of a three-dimensional image. With a little practice, you can enhance the drama of presented scenes or bring out the interesting elements from the background. Experiment with different times of the day. Morning and evening light will give you warm images with depth and contrast. The day photos will be flatter and cooler and have a weaker contrast.
Equipment – Use the Potential of Your Equipment
Aesthetic sense and sensitivity to the surrounding world is one thing. Moreover, you need to have technical knowledge about your equipment to take perfect photos. Even the best camera is worthless if you are not be able to handle it. Knowledge is more important than expensive equipment.
Know your equipment! Read the user manual. Learn the purpose of each switch, button, and menu item. Look for online tests showing the strengths and weaknesses of your camera and lens. Get the proper gear, like a tripod and filters. Experiment! Check what effects you get by photographing the same subject with different shutter speeds. Learn to anticipate the final result of the photo with different camera settings. Make use of different kinds of lenses; for example, by using a 200-400mm lens, you will be able to separate the object from the background.
Experience – Find What Makes the Best Photographers
Take as many photos as possible! Only practice will allow you to improve your technique. Do not leave the camera at home. Take it on every walk! Make use of every opportunity. Take pictures in the golden hour, which happens twice a day, an hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset.
Watch and learn from the best photographers. Look at their portfolios and read what equipment they have. What settings do they use to take specific photos? Learn what exactly distinguishes them from other artists. Is it a workshop, concept, idea, or maybe style? Join the discussion groups. Ask questions and read about photography as much as possible. Seek knowledge and immediately check it in practice.
Style – Be Special and Unique
Style is something distinctive, something unique that allows to recognize pictures of a particular photographer. Shaping your own style requires many years of work, conscious image creation, and moving in a clearly defined direction.
To find your own style, try everything. Look at the professionals and, most importantly, do not be discouraged! Find a topic that is comfortable for you. Specialize in it but do not fall for the routine. Develop your vision. Go forward all the time.
How to Take a Perfect Photo for the Competition
You have to remember a few important issues when taking a picture for the contest. One of the primary things is to fulfill all the objectives of the competition organizer. Otherwise, your application may be rejected at the outset. Precisely adjust the picture to the type of competition and to the category! Try to choose the picture that not only captures the eyes with the scene but also intrigues with the composition and light.
What matters is the unique presentation of the idea as well as the technical execution. Pay attention to the composition. Follow the rule of thirds but do not be afraid to experiment. Remember about the quality of the picture; if the jurors must choose one of two images, they will choose the one that is sharper. Your photo must be immaculate!
Preparing Your Entry for the Photo Contest
One of the main things that distinguish amateurs from professionals is not only the ability to capture a good frame but, above all, the ability to use the possibilities offered by RAW format. If you are a person who still uses JPEG, it is worth your effort to devote a little time to learn and go to the next level.
Today, all cameras, even the cheapest SLR cameras, can take photos in RAW format. RAW is the raw image that contains much more information than JPEG. It is much more flexible, and you can convert it to any color space. RAW format gives you the possibility of interference in the settings of various parameters, including photo exposure, focus, brightness, and noise reduction.