You sometimes wonder why the photograph taken by the person standing next to you looks infinitely better than yours. Are they professionals? Do they have a better phone camera? Did they take a class? Not necessarily. These so-called ‘secret photo moments’ are easy to learn and apply. Think beyond exposure triangles, perfect compositions, and aperture settings. Delhi-based independent photographer Prakash Sharma shares ways in which you can achieve this.
Focus away: You are always asked to focus on something specific to achieve a good picture. I say, focus away. Study the larger composition thoroughly and you will find details you may have missed.
Choose simplicity: Instead of trying to get it all in the frame, choose one or two things. The main subject should not fill the entire frame. Make sure there is enough negative space. Instead of looking directly into the face of your subject, be mindful of what surrounds you.
Blurry transition effect: Take a plastic bag and put it over your camera lens securely. You can tear parts of it to create an artsy transition effect.
Beyond the usual: Routine is the foe of creativity. Leave the first three frames you see. Go to an unfamiliar corner/setting. Try and bring movement into the picture. It changes the dynamics.
Commonly missed: The High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature is a great phone tool to capture both shadowy and bright details. You can make this a default setting.
Follow the lines: One of the easiest ways to take an impactful picture is to follow a leading line —something that will draw your viewer’s eye in the direction you want. These can be straight lines, converging ones, horizontal or vertical. Survey the vicinity and see if you can use a road, river, bridge, building, staircase or a wall to use them as natural leading lines. Then see your main subject through it.
Natural textures: Most phone users miss capturing textures because they are not easily seen through a phone screen. But upon careful inspection, you will find many natural textures to explore with. Some of these are the rocks, grass, leaves, the bark of a tree, water, ice, the road, a door... even somebody’s skin, hair or clothes.
My advice would be to later sharpen the image using a good editing app.