Tips for an aspiring photojournalist

Published July 16, 2009

I read a lot of magazines. I love magazine and nothing could compare travel magazine where you could find the latest trend in the city, travel tips of most travelers, and of course, features.

Since I’m an aspiring photojournalist, travelling is one in my mind right now. While I was reading all the magazines here at home, I found Smile Magazine, the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific. The August 2008 issue whether I found the tips for a great shot. Written by Simon Wong, a photojournalist. Here’s the original article.

6 Tips for Great Shots

Photojournalist Simon Wong shares expert tips on shooting holiday photos that will inspire “oohs” and “ahhs” from friends and family. Whether you’re using a digicam or a DSLR camera.

You don’t have to be a Lonely Planet photographer or own fancy-shmancy equipment to be able to shoot exciting travel pictures. Whether you own an idiot-proof digicam or an entry-level DSLR camera, you’ll find these easy tips will come in handy, helping change the way you see – and snap – the world. Ready, aim, click!

  1. Do interact with your subject – Whether you’re shooting your wife, boyfriend, child or a coffee vendor, take time to talk to that person. Friendly banter plus a little chemistry with your subject usually brings out a smile. Now all you need is that precious spontaneous moment to just click.

  2. Try to capture subjects in motion – Take a shot in low light with the flash turned off (or at 1/30 and below if you are using a DSLR camera), and moving objects, such as rushing traffic or heaving crowds, will appear as an abstract blur. It’s a great technique to use when you want to capture a buzz or a sense of axcitement in your photographs.

  3. Make your subject pop – Learn to play with you camera’s depth of field. The effect you’re gunning for is that blur in the background that makes the person, animal or object you’re shooting stand out as the main focus. It’s great for times you have a background that’s messy or busy, detracting attention from your subject. Switch to the “macro” icon on your camera, and then don’t be afraid to get close to your subject. DSLR users, zoom in to the maximum, which is about 70 to 135mm for most kit lenses. For digicam users, get as near to your subject as you can without calling attention to yourself, and then simply zoom in. Use this technique to emphasize interesting details in your shot: a flower’s petals or even the chili in a delicious bowl of pho in Vietnam.

  4. Angle and crop – Instead of shooting a subject at eye level, why not try climbing onto a ledge or squatting to get a different perspective? It’s not always necessary to show the entire subject in a photo – unless it’s a commemorative group photo of people who have just scaled Mount Kinabalu! With some creative cropping, your images will be able to tell a stronger story, and make any subject – whether it’s a shy young lady or the Reclining (or Sleeping) Buddha in Bangkok, Thailand – seem even more captivating.

  5. Try silhouettes for some drama – Capturing little details in you pictures can spell the difference between so-so and spectacular images. Whether you’re taking a shadowy row of trees photographed against a blazing sunset as you climb a majestic hill, or a silhouette of mountain peaks sandwiched between sea and sky at sunrise, your play with these elements will help you shot sing.

  6. Follow the light – Shooting good photos is like choosing good real estate: it’s about location, location, location. Pick a strategic spot from which to shoot your unique photos.

This work is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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