Using different viewpoints and lenses can dramatically alter the look of your photographs. In this tutorial we’ll share some of our best in-camera composition tips and show you how to take one subject and shoot it six different ways for varying effects.
Framing your shots isn’t just about using the rules of photo composition such as leading lines, the rule of thirds or including foreground interest. Simply changing position and experimenting with different focal length lenses are two of the best ways that you can get new and more interesting shots.
We all fall into the habit of using similar viewpoints when shooting, so here’s an exercise that will help you break this habit and take more successful photos.
Find a simple, static subject such as a building, photograph it from the first viewpoint that you find, then find six more viewpoints and compositions.
The key to this is exploring the area and keeping an open mind when it comes to framing and composition. If you are struggling to see new viewpoints, fit a different lens and try again.
For example, if you would normally shoot the subject with a wide-angle lens, fit a telephoto one (or use a zoom at its longest focal length), find a viewpoint that suits that focal length.
Remember that different lighting conditions can also transform your shots, so wait for sunset (or get up early and arrive at sunrise), and you will find that the direction and colour of the light can inspire you to try a completely different type of shot to one that you would take during the day.
Composition No. 01 The classic approach
Shooting with the wide end of a standard zoom, from a distance that allows you to capture the subject without tilting the camera, will give a technically good image.
Following classic composition rules such as the rule of thirds and including foreground interest enhances the shot.
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Composition No. 02 Get in close
A dramatic way to shoot many subjects is to get in close and use a wide-angle lens.
This closer viewpoint enables you to exaggerate the perspective between near and far objects. Tilt the camera for more extreme results.
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Composition No. 03 Use shallow depth-of-field
Find one subject some distance from your main one. Select the widest aperture available on your lens, and the longest focal length that will get both the foreground and background subjects in shot.
Then carefully focus on the foreground subject to give a blurred background.
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