FREE Roadmap to Create Your Next Favourite Photo
The 15-step process is involves four phases:
> Photographic intention
> Storytelling, narrative and composition
> Photo capture techniques
> Mobile photo editing to enhance the narrative
Related: Latest photo composition articles
1. Grab your viewer's attention
Technical elements of a photo can instantly grab our attention:
The opposite of what grabs our attention also deters our interest. An example of this is the incredibly sharp detail you see in macro photography - compared to a portrait photo where you intentionally blur the background. This is a common technique, resulting in your attention going straight to the person's face.
See article: Close up macro photography on your smartphone
See article: Blur the background on your Android & iPhone photos
To effectively tell a story – you need to be conscious of what you are trying to communicate. Why did you pull the smartphone out of your handbag or pocket?
Is it a message, a mood, an emotion, an idea or a combination of any of these? What I love about photography is that the viewers can interpret your image differently based on their own experiences and memories.
In our mobile world, we have an incredibly short attention span as we scroll through our feeds on social media etc. Photos are interpreted 60,000 times faster than text. It takes only 13 milliseconds for your brain to interpret a photo!
You do not want to leave your viewer confused about what you are trying to tell them - they will move on and look at the next photo!
See article: 20 question pre-photo photography mental checklist
3. Strong composition
The composition of the photo is how the main subject and other elements in the image interact with each other. Effective composition can guide the viewer through your photo and ensure they focus on the correct element/s. Knowing how we interpret a typical scene will help us to create an image that is easily understood and increase viewer engagement.
Sounds very manipulative - doesn't it?
These considerations will make a big difference to capture a WOW photo.
Rule of thirds
You may have noticed that you have an option on some Smartphones to turn on gridlines. These form two horizontal and vertical lines on the screen to create nine imaginary squares on the screen. The idea is to guide your placement of the main subject matter in your photograph. The rule of thirds tells us that the ideal location is directly on one of the four points where the lines intersect. This allows the viewer's eye to locate the main subject matter, but also have sufficient space to move their attention around to see what else is occurring in the scene.
See article: Rule of thirds - grid lines on the iPhone and Android smartphone explained
A symmetrical photo is one that can be split in half either horizontally or vertically and mirrored. This technique produces an aesthetically pleasing image that is intrinsically free of distraction offering balance, harmony and proportion.
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