Snapshots vs Creative Photo (Make the move from taking “snapshots” to creating better photographs.)

1/640 sec at f/7.1 ISO 100 35mm  EF24-105 f/4L IS USM

1/640 sec at f/7.1 ISO 100 35mm
EF24-105 f/4L IS USM

Make the move from taking “snapshots” to creating better photographs. You would be surprised at how easy it is to (and I use the word “create”) create a good photograph and you don’t have to have a $3000 DSLR camera to do it. Any point & shoot that takes good clear photos will work. But let’s first define the difference between a “snapshot” and creating a “good” photo.

Snapshots are more of a documented style photo. Example I went to a car show and I took this photo of a really cool orange & white car with flames. But it is just a snapshot and really is nothing too special. So let’s get a little creative. You need to learn a few rules or remember a few rules that you may already know. They are simple and easy and I’m not going to teach them to you. WHAT? That’s right I’m not going to teach them to you because you can find photo compositing rule just about anywhere on the web, but not here lol. They are so easy, let’s see you have; rule of thirds, leading lines, depth of field, framing, viewpoint and so on. See this link for 10 very easy rules.

So that is really all there is to it, take 15 minutes and read the link I posted up above and then take a piece of paper and a pen and write down just three of those rules and put that paper into you camera case where it is safe and never ever look at it again. No just joking. Put it in the camera case and you will have it handy to review it. You can even try the rules with your cell phone photos, lord know mobile phone photos need all the help they can get. If I had to recommend three rules I would say;

  1. Rule of thirds
  2. View point
  3. Framing

And in that order.


Also know some rules can be done in post processing or editing. Let’s look at my car photo and see what I have done to help this snapshot along. So this photo was pretty much a basket case because I have part of another car, I have spectators and I have a piece of paper in the middle of the front window. So first I crop and using the rule of thirds I put the head light in the middle left third and it works. This cropping automatically defines the leading line of the flames as well as the actual lines of the car that are leading diagonally away from the viewer’s eye. Last but not least the cropping also created a viewpoint that was already in the photo but was not really noticeable because there was too much distracting stuff around the car. So when all is done and said we have a nice photo of some of the car’s finer points. We have the Ford emblem, the really cool headlight, all of the colors on the car, the chrome grill with the electric fan, tire & rim and most of all, the flames and color. You really don’t have to see the whole car to know it was a really awesome looking car. Truth be told, if this was a being used as a commercial photo it would have been cropped in camera. But I was just walking along and snapped the shot and using rules in post edit to create a nice photo. It may not be the coolest photo of the day but I like it. Hey and the best thing about photo composting rules is; as a beginner you need to learn and know these rules, then you can break them. What good are rules if they can not be broken? Remember when you were a teenager and got all rebellious and wanted to break the rules? Sure, we all did it. But first you knew what those rules were and the reason we broke them is because it was fun. Same with photography, living by the rules is nice, but stepping out of the box can be fun too. A little contradictory I know, but isn’t that how life is? Learn the rules they are so easy and you will be able to create some nice photos instead of snapshots.

So go out and have some fun.

Final edit.

Final edit.

Below is a Photoshop edit just for fun.

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