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How to take the perfect photograph

Category Tech Published 27th June 2017 by Phil Mann

How to take the perfect photograph

The summer season is the perfect time to step outdoors with friends and family and make memories that last a lifetime.

The perfect way to preserve that memory is to take a photograph, and you can snap-happy with our guide to getting the best photos here at Ideal World.

We'll guide you through the process of taking an excellent photo, and let you browse around for our hot deals on technology, featuring a range of home and action cameras, phones and tablets and other technology to preserve your favourite memories forever.

Make eye contact

A camera can be our eye, and the photograph a glimpse into someone else's view. Treat your camera like an eye and you'll see the results.

If you're photographing someone, make sure you "look" them right in the eye with your camera lens to capture their human essence and perfect smile.

But also engaging with your subject, making eye contact, smiling and laughing yourself can coax better performances and shots from the people you're snapping. It shows them respect and you'll get a more natural image.

Get closer

Don't be afraid to get up close and personal. We want to see what it is you're photographing up close, and this can help your capture your subject perfectly.

Using zoom or digital cropping can degrade the quality of your image, so as long as you're not photographing lions and tigers, don't be afraid to step a little closer.

When taking a photo you're taking a photo of the object, so fill the frame with the most important thing!

Check the light

Looking to see where the light is coming from and taking a moment to compose the shot can make all the difference. You can use diffuse light from an over-cast day to create a nice, even colour tone in your images, or use strong sunlight to light your subject, and prevent them from being over-shadowed

As you start noticing the light you're using more and more you'll naturally start to use it in better ways.

Background

Taking a moment to frame the image against the correct background can make all the difference. Poles and signs sticking up out of people's heads, too many people in the background, a busy place or distracting backgrounds can all get in the way of the perfect image.

Try making sure that the subject is against a plain a background as possible, and if it's not, try to use the lines or shapes made by the environment to frame your subject as well as possible.

Framing / The Rule of Thirds

Although it's tempting to pop your subject right in the middle of the frame, this can actually make the subject harder to look at, and make for a less convincing image.

In your mind, divide your image into a 9x9 grid (some cameras will provide this grid for you) and line up the main focal point of the image with the intersections of the lines, where the grid crosses over

Anyone looking at the picture will be drawn to the focal point, but it'll cause their eye to look over the image more.

Use flash, even during the day

It's better to use too much light and pull back than it is to not use enough and try to get more out of it. Washed out images can be an issue, but that's easier to correct than a dark one.

Using flash during the day can remove harsh shadows that create un-natural lines on a person's face, or accentuate wrinkles or blemishes. It can also create a level playing field of colour and light in your image, and allow you to use a secondary lightsource (such as the sun, or a lamp) to create a more interesting image from a different angle.

The golden hour

While we're on the topic of light, taking photos around sunrise or sunset is considered the golden hour, where the light from the sun is even, rich and warm.

Take lots of photos and check them later

Professional photographers call it "chimping" when you bend over the camera, constantly checking the photos to see how they came out like a chimp in the zoo discovering a new toy, but this means you're missing out on taking more photos while you're checking to see if you've taken the perfect one.

The more photos you take the more likely you are to get one that's just right, and due to the division of labour, you'll be more productive if you spend your photographing time photographing, and check over which photos you want to keep later

Take photos before people are ready

Looking your best for photos is important, but most people's posing for a snap can seem forced. Snapping a few quick shots before everyone is ready is a great way to catch natural, beautiful photos that really tell a story

Final tips for being in a photograph

Shoulders relaxed, chin up, smile wide, relax and enjoy

We hope you have fun out there taking photos and would like to welcome you to browse around Ideal World to find some great tech deals.

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