Cape Town - Ever wondered how you could up your photography game?
We chatted to Tim Moolman, photographer extraordinaire who is currently on an epic roadtrip across South Africa, for his top tips on how to get your best photos on your travels or in day to day life.
1. Bend your knees - original angle
‘Bend your knees!’ This is the first piece of photographic advice I would offer anyone, simply because bending your knees immediately changes your perspective.
Once you realise the very real difference this makes to your photos you’ll find yourself lying down, climbing trees, and even looking for reflections in ponds, lakes, or glasses of water! Remember that your photograph is a still image, you can’t explore it from every angle after you’ve taken it, so the particular angle of your subject at the point of clicking the shutter button has to be the best perspective for the story you want to tell.
2. Colour to draw attention
Our eyes are naturally drawn to colour. Identify the right time to focus on colour in a shot.
3. Black and white to remove distracting colour
Just as there are times when you should focus on colour to draw attention, there are times where an image calls for black and white. I shot this image in black and white. Colour would simply not have had the same impact.
4. Tell an interesting story
We can see funny or interesting sights every day if we only keep our mind and eyes open to them.
5. Using manual controls for backlighting
Huawei recently launched their P9 phone which is kitted with a built in Leica lens.
One aspect of what makes the P9’s camera so remarkable is its ability to allow the photographer to take full control and shoot in manual mode. This allows you to capture images from angles and in tricky lighting conditions that might fool a camera’s built-in exposure modes.
In this example of the backlit tree on the town square in Clarens, I used the manual setting on the P9 to fine tune the exposure. By balancing it this way I was able to keep the shadows dark and the tree light and crisp with the sun directly behind it.
6. Depth of field to draw attention
Another stand out feature on the P9 is its large and easily controlled aperture. This allows you to place one subject clearly in focus while throwing the background out of focus. The only way to do this convincingly with a professional camera is to ensure that you have expensive glass, i.e. a professional lens with a large aperture. You can clearly see how the image turns “3D” and the subject you want to draw attention to now stands out from the background (like the grass in front of the windmill.)
7. Break the rules
Lastly, take all the tips and tricks I’ve mentioned here, add them to the list of all the other advice you’re going to receive, and bin it!
Rules in photography are great guidelines, but breaking them can lead to such interesting compositions and allow your photography to tell far more interesting stories.
Adapted from a press release for IOL