Fill The Frame – Get Closer
I always say if you feel that your pictures aren’t good enough is probably because you aren’t close enough. One way to take stronger photographs is by filling the camera frame with the most important elements in your image. As you compose your photographs identify your main subject. Before you start clicking the shutter, hoping for the best, ask your self a few of questions: What is it about this particular scene that’s important to you? Why? How can you photography it best? Then once you are clear about the subject that you are photographing, eliminate any distracting elements that don’t add anything to the actual picture. Can you get closer to your subject or zoom in? Do it! You will see your images getting better by simply getting closer to your subject.
Here it is an example:
Picture above: the iconic fountain at the Santa Barbara Mission. A subject that is largely photographed by thousand of tourists every year. However, most visitors leave this beautiful site with underwhelming photographs. Most of them tend to capture the fountain with all sorts of visual distractions that include; the sidewalk, the side of the fountain wall, and uninvited visitors. If what you are photographing is the fountain and its relationship to the Mission, I invite you to get close enough to the fountain. If you do so you will catch the reflection of the Mission in the water, the green moss, seasonal water lilies, and the soothing rippling water. By simply getting clear about what you want to include in your picture, eliminating visual distraction and moving closer to your subject you will create a more powerful image.
Next time you visit the Santa Barbara Mission you can leave with a stronger image by filling the frame and getting closer to your subject.
Choose A Unique Point Of View
Most amateur photographers capture their images from eye level. This could make your pictures seem predictable. Try shooting shooting from different angles; from up high or down low. Using a unique point of view can make your images more interesting to the eye by showing a unique perspective. You can shoot from a high camera angle by getting up on a bench or shooting from higher grounds. Maybe get low on the ground or on your knees will get your images that extra edge you are looking for.
Here it is an example:
Shoot From Up High
While visiting the Santa Barbara Courthouse a perfect example of a high point of view is the image of the beautiful surrounding grounds taken from the clock tower. Yes! The top floors have best views. From up there you will be able to capture an striking view of the city framed by the incredible mountains. This is a view you don’t want to miss.
Shoot Down Low
When you are a see level get down on your knees and photograph the nice foam of the waves gently touching the sand or the rays of light hitting the rocks. By capturing creative low angles you will be placing the person looking at your photograph “in your pictures” instead of just looking at your pictures. It’s a subtle invitation to be part of your journey.
The Golden Hour
The best time to take outdoor pictures depends on the light. The light of the sun can change the atmosphere, the mood and the overall look and feel of your photographs. The Golden Hour, the time of day when the sun is closest to the horizon creating that magical golden glow. This makes the best times to go out with your camera either during the hours of sunrise or sunset. Santa Barbara is known by its magical sunrises and sunsets, so don’t miss it the next time you visit. Here is what I always say; go out and take pictures either early in the morning our late in the afternoon, and in the middle of the day, take a break or a nap!
I can’t wait to see the images you’ll capture in Santa Barbara! Use the hashtag #eyeseeSB or tag us on your pictures @eyeseeSB and show me your pictures via Instagram. I will leave you a nice comment telling you how good you did!
The next time you are ready to explore Santa Barbara with your camera while learning how to take better photographs join one of our photo tours. For information about times, tour locations or to book a tour visit our Photography Tour Section.
SEE you soon!