1. The 1/3 rule Use one-third sky or one-third foreground but not half of each. Similarly try not to position your subject in the centre of the frame. Think of your viewfinder as having three equal squares and then position your subjects off centre.
2. Less is more Someone said that true genius is about simplicity and I think that it applies to every genre including writing, music, science, or photography. Is there a disturbing element, which can be cropped? Go in closer, if necessary to remove it. Less is almost always more. Framing is a critical part of the choices that you make.
3. Leading lines Look for natural lines that can take your eye into a picture. Roads, landscapes, rocks, rivers, branches, clouds, horizons, petals, animal tails, shadows, reflections, or any other form can also be devises to make images more harmonious. They can frame, attract, distract and often are used as leading lines to draw your reader towards, or away, from the focal point of your image.
4. Patterns The human brain likes to connect things like dot to dot. A single spot like the sun will attract attention, two spots will cause confusion because the brain goes back and forth. Three spots and more will start to create patterns. Also look for mirroring effects of colour, clouds and landscapes, for reflections, contrast between light and dark. Our brain likes them. Use them…
5. Use a tripod Whether it’s a close-up, a landscape or a portrait, we all have an idea of what makes up a harmonious image and the trick to creating them regularly is to develop the artistic and technical skills to get it recorded in the way that you expect. Using a tripod helps you think about your subject and compose.
6. Be patient People that become frustrated after spending 10 minutes at a scene and want to move on because they have seen and photographed the sighting will not make significant progress with photography. Just because you have taken a picture of a leopard lying in a tree or a lion in the long grass does not mean that you have got the shot. A photographer will spend a whole day with a subject if necessary. You just have to be patient.
7. Three dimensions No picture has one dimension. Think about the foreground, the background and the middle ground. How much of the background do we want to include. Does it have any disturbing element? A busy background can distract – blur it out if necessary. Also bear in mind that shooting portrait can often create a stronger picture, while a landscape image is often more peaceful and harmonious.
8. Make your luck When the game viewing is not great, focus on flowers. When the sun is not quite right, wait. If it is raining then photograph the raindrops. Photography is an active process and you often need to really take control to get the pictures that you want. Keep your camera ready at all times and make hay while the sun shines. I have learnt that you should take a picture when you see it and not procrastinate. Even with static subjects like lodges, all too often the image that you see is not going to be repeated
9. Be selective We are only as good as the pictures that we show other people. So don’t show the bad ones, or ones that are less than perfect. Don’t dilute the gems. Look for impact, originality and technical quality.
10. Have fun and relax — it shows, especially when working with people.
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