How to Make Your Awesomely Bad Photos Awesome

Rose Paving / July 10, 2013

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As an extension of last week’s Awesomely Bad Pavement Photo Contest announcement, this week’s post will focus on a few ways you can make any awesomely bad photo you take a little more awesome.  Don’t forget – submit your awesomely bad pavement photos in our contest for a chance to win $100!

Now that's an awesome parking lot.
Now that’s an awesome parking lot.
  • When in doubt, get closer: Each time you spot a subject, snap a shot and then move in closer for a better shot.  Having your subject almost fill the frame helps your viewer understand and appreciate your photo.   Also, details are often more interesting than an overall view.
  • Compose with care: Keep the horizon level; crop out extra elements that you’re not interested in; consciously place your subject where you think it belongs in the frame, rather than accepting wherever it lands in the photo.
  • Use aperture to focus on your subject: practice shooting with different apertures and monitor the results afterwards to learn how depth-of-field affects your photo.  You will find that a smaller depth-of-field (and smaller f-stop #) focuses all the attention upon your subject. This is great for taking a picture of your child, your dog, or your spouse – subjects stand out against a blurry background.  Likewise, you will find that a greater depth-of-field (bigger f-stop number) will make everything from here to eternity appear in focus. This will help make those landscapes fascinating and lovely.
  • Look at the light: it is good to see what kind of light you are working with. Which way are the shadows falling? Unless you want a silhouette effect, where your subject is black against an interesting background, it’s generally best to shoot with the sun behind you.  How is the light affecting your subject? Is the subject squinting?  Side lighting, on the other hand, can add drama but can also cause extreme, hard-to-print contrasts.  Lastly, indirect light can be used to make your subject glow soft and pretty.  Dawn and Dusk are particularly good times to shoot as the direction and color of the light is often more useable than the direct overhead light of noon.  More on sunlight here.

We hope these tips will help you in your everyday photo adventures.