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Beyond Basics Fundamental Photography Techniques

Beyond Basics Fundamental Photography Techniques

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Published by: T on Jan 05, 2010
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10/29/2012

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Beyond basics: fundamental photographytechniques
Want to take your digital photography to the next level by learning how to take better architectural,portrait, macro and black and white photos? This class encourages you to train your eye so you canapply classic, artistic photography effects and techniques to your own photos. Throughout the class,you'll learn tips and secrets that professional photographers use to capture great shots.
Lessons
Portrait photography techniques1.
Do you want to take better portraits? Find out how to use light, backgrounds,depth of field, lighting and portrait photography poses for great results. Thislesson guides you through techniques that pros use to achieve high-qualityportrait photos.
Architecture and landscape photography techniques2.
Nature, landscape and architecture photos can be boring or breathtaking,depending on how you shoot them. A large part of capturing such photos islearning how to view the scene. Find out how to take photos that will wowanyone who sees them.
Black and white photography techniques3.
Think of the stunning black and white landscapes and portrait photos you'veseen and you're bound to agree—shooting in black and white gives photos anageless feel. This lesson introduces you to some techniques for great takingblack and white photos.
Understanding macro photography4.
There are so many things in our world you want to get close to and photograph.Find out how to set up your shot, get the most from your zoom lens, controldepth of field and use close-focus for effect.
Portrait photography techniques
Do you want to take better portraits? Find out how to use light, backgrounds, depth of field, lighting and portraitphotography poses for great results. This lesson guides you through techniques that pros use to achieve high-quality portrait photos.
Welcome to the course
You don't have to be a professional photographer to take pictures like one. Toachieve outstanding photos, you just need to know what professionals know!With recent technological advances in digital photography, taking moreprofessional-looking photos is easier than ever. By identifying the time-honoredtechniques that pros use, you can produce engaging photographs with yourown digital camera. Each lesson in this course will guide you through someessential photographic principles as you learn tips to improve your photographyskills.
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You'll begin by learning how to take better photos of people bycontrollinglighting, backgrounds, composition, and poses. Next, you'll discover the secretsof landscape and architecture photography as you explore principles such asframing, vantage point, and the rule of thirds. The principles ofachievingdramatic black and white photography and extreme close-upswill be revealedas you learn how to shoot like a pro.After each lesson, be sure to complete the assignments and quizzes. Whenyou have completed those, visit the Message Board. It's the perfect place todiscuss course topics and swap questions, comments, and tipswith otherstudents and your instructor.
What you'll need for this class
A digital cameraThe user manual for your cameraPhoto editing software (optional)If you can't locate the user manual for your camera, check thecameramanufacturer's Web site.
Photographing people
Perhaps more than any other type of photography, photos of people evokeemotion and create human interest. Portraits capture a moment in an ever-changing world, recording that memory for the future. When you'rephotographing a graduate, a newly engaged couple, a gathering of familymembers, or a newborn baby, you want to achieve the best photo possible.Technology has made taking great photos easier than ever, but photography isstill a creative art -- and every photographer has his or her ownstyle ofexpression. So what makes some portraits more appealing than others?Professional photographers understand the fundamentals of selecting goodlocations, controlling lighting, and engaging the subjects, as well as composinga good shot, finding flattering camera angles, and avoiding red-eye. You canuse those fundamentals to improve your own photos as well.
Next up
Let's begin by learning to find a good location for your photographs.
Where in the world? Selecting a background
The piece of sound real estate advice you always hear -- "Location, location,location!" -- is critical in portrait photography as well. Cluttered,distractingbackgrounds can ruin technically perfect photographs by drawing attention
 
away from the most important element of your photo: the people. A busybackground competes for attention, reducing the impact of your photo.When selecting the background, professional photographers strive for simplescenes with a minimum of pattern, shape, and color variation. To achieveprofessional results, try looking for a location with the eyes of a pro.
Tips for selecting a good location
If you can shoot outdoors, a spot with simple mid-tones such as foliage, awall, or the beach is ideal. Try to find a shady spot if it's a sunny day. Thelocation in Figure 1-1 works well because the leaves of the trees provideboth shade and a wash of green color.Figure 1-1: Foliage provides a pleasing backdrop for outdoor portraits.When shooting indoors, pose your subjects against a blank wall, a curtainedwindow, or a sheet or blanket hanging on the wall. This allows your subjectsto take center stage. The neutral background in Figure 1-2 allows your eyesto be drawn to the mother and daughter.Figure 1-2: A neutral wall provides a nice backdrop for indoor portraits.If your subjects have darker skin, select a background that is similar in tone.This helps you achieve correct exposure and keeps the focus on thesubject.Shoot photos where the professionals do. Research photographers in yourarea to find out where they like to take photographs. Are the botanicalgardens a popular spot? How about scheduling some time in a local park,historical home, or museum? Local magazines and Web sites are goodsources for location cues.
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