"I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good."
Of course it is interesting to hear the story behind the photo. However, the quote of an anonymous author recaps the essence of photography. As the editor of the web magazine Globetrotter Anja Žepič says, it is important to focus on the picture’s motif and message. It has to be clear what you wanted to say with a photo. In the last issue of Globetrotter we talked about travelogues
and mentioned that without the excellent pictures there is no travel story. So this time we head deeper into the world of photography with a help of Simon Koležnik
, a young, talented, professional photographer.
How to Choose a Camera?
To a layman, who enters the store with cameras, may happen that he will choose the "purple one", because he has no patience to wait for the seller after he got lost for the third time in the set of all information and offer. That's why you need to take the time and, as Simon says, consider the purpose of use: "If you are traveller you don’t want to carry too much weight. Therefore the big great professional cameras don’t make sense. A better choice is a smaller one on which you can crank high quality lens." Add two more lenses – wide-angle for landscapes and telephoto or portrait for the people. And of course, don't forget the instructions for use. "We discard them to many times. But be sure to review the instructions; you will find out the device’s capabilities, which you didn't know for sure."
Photography captures a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce. And as Karl Lagerfeld said, this is what is so great about the photo. It is therefore important to be prepared all the time. The first thing we should not forget is, of course, that the camera has to be at your fingertips, "with a full battery and an empty memory card," says Simon Koležnik
and adds that to a large extent it is possible to do amazing photos with each camera if there is a good photographer behind the device. "It is important to know the basics of photography and that we're good technically trained. You know what they say: A fool with a tool is still a fool," says Simon in laughter.
Auto Mode? Only in Emergency
I have to admit that in moments of laziness I set my camera on automatic mode. You just spin the button and the device will do all by itself. But as strictly serious explains Simon that "is the last call in an emergency. If we bought the camera, it is a good idea to figure out what it offers. I believe that after a few weeks of use you will no longer use the automatic mode shooting. If nothing else, you will probably be bothered by the constant enforcement of flash use." So, here is a very short introduction to the basics of photography. Simon briefly describes the individual parameters.
1. Shutter speed is marked with the letter S or Tv. This parameter sets how long the shutter is open so the lightening is enabled on the sensor. Let us take, for example, a look at the waterfall. Waterfalls are torrential. If you want to photograph a waterfall, you can leave the machine on the Auto mode function, but we can be more creative and move on S parameter; with the help of longer time cover we can create a much more dynamic photography. Usually we need a few ten seconds for this effect so it is important to fix the camera. If we don't have a tripod, place the camera on a stable place.
2. The function of the shutter is that it descends the light through the lens. The sign for the shutter is displayed as f-number. The more the shutter is open, the less time is needed to illuminate the photograph. But we have to know that the openness of shutter is associated with the depth of field. The more the shutter is open, the smaller is the depth of field, with which we separate the object from the background.
3. Program mode (P) - When we master the automatic mode of shooting, it's time to move on. When we're not sure, what value of shutter to select and how long to illuminate, P parameter is the right choice. This software setting is actually similar to the setting of Auto, but allows you to manually set the value of the ISO, WB, and EV (exposure value is a combination of a camera's shutter speed and f-number).
What about Flash?
Flash helps us when we don't have enough light to take a decent photo. Simon says he tries to avoid its use, since he is a fan of natural looking photos. "However, if you use it, try to achieve the effect of natural light. In this case it is necessary to avoid a direct lightning. Turn the head of the flash in the ceiling or in the wall. The result will be a softened light."
Morning Hours? Time to Take Pictures!
"Photographers, who enjoy in a nature, swear on the early morning hours. It is true, at that time we have peace and we are calmer and have a clear mind therefore it is easier to catch the grace of nature’s awakening. Of course, the morning hours are not always ideal; for taking the photos we need enough light. The word photo itself derives from the Greek word, which means drawing with light," explains Simon. For an amazing photo is not necessary to sacrifice only a morning sleeping. It can happen (professional photographers do that constantly) that we’ll have to return on the same spot we’ve already been because we know that the photo, we’ve made, will not suffice the requirements of our editor. Unfortunately, when it comes to the photography only the result counts; your effort won’t be seen. Therefore, it takes a lot of patience when waiting for the right moment.
Start with Flowers, End with Human
Attention-drawing are always photos with people. But be careful, "it is necessary to respect the wishes of people who do not want to be in the photo, since this is notable on the picture," says Anja and adds that the people should look happy and satisfied. Simon, however, gives advice on how to start with taking pictures of people: "First of all, make photos of flowers. Later try with locusts, snails, ladybirds… When you master all that, you can photograph people. At the same time you’ll realize that a portrait is more complex task than just to take a photo of a four-legged friend." Of course, the photo must catch emotions, drama, and joy. "As far as the technical side, the sharpness on the eyes is important, also shadows and light, frame and installation in the room." Anja points out "you shouldn’t cut people’s legs if it is not necessary - the same is with objects - try to get it fully into the lens. However, when you photograph people or objects up close cutting is allowed. In that case you should consider balance, contrasts, etc." Simon advises: Instead of placing the person in the middle, place it in the left or right side to get a lot more evenly photo.
The rule of thirds and composition
"The easiest way to understand the rules of thirds is to turn the camera vertically and keep the portrait’s eyes in the upper third. When you look at the whole picture, it's more harmonious if it is ranked in the upper third of the focus as if placed in the middle with cut off neck and too much empty space on top," explains Simon. Anja agrees; she doesn’t like to see photos with a blank space, as for example too much empty sky (this does not apply to sunrises and sunsets). In order to become the real masters of composition, it takes a lot of practice and reading. But, according to Simon, we humans tend to aesthetics: "Our eye detects if something is harmonious or chaotic. Suppose, for example, that you have a person in front of you. When looking through the ocular, we see an image to be captured. If we move the camera, we will see what looks nice and what not. I believe that most people can make a decent shot if they only make a little effort."
Fatal error is. . .
"When the photo has no sharpness," says Simon. The first condition is the sharpness (except in the case of deliberately made photo, where there is no emphasis on it). Always be sure that the lens is clean, as otherwise photos are blurry. Anja and Simon are both annoyed when photos are excessively processed as they lose all aesthetic value. "As in most cases the rule ‘less is more’ applies also to the post processing". In the age of digital cameras is often so that you can take unlimited number of photos. "But if photos do not have the concept and the story, not even 2000 will be enough to show top 5 of them. Photography captures the moment, but it is easy to figure out if the photographer spent a lot of time for a snapshot or not," explains Simon.
Otherwise, "take your photos thoughtfully and creatively," Simon points out. Anja looks for liveliness, dynamism, and colourfulness. Walk around with your eyes open, it all depends on the person behind the lens, on his/hers thoughts, and creativity. Dare to be adventurous and curious. Of course, when it comes to the photography the talent cannot be ignored, but it can be compensated with practice, passion, and love for photography.