1) Long exposure
If done well, long exposure can create an effect so breathtaking; it seems unreal. Long exposure basically requires a narrow aperture and a long shutter speed, and in most a cases, a tripod. It works best in low-light settings, as overexposure pretty much renders the effect useless. It is ideally used to capture the idea of ‘light in motion’, like the starry sky or the night traffic. This is why it is also referred to as “Night Photography”. Long exposure is also used to capture the cascading effect of gushing water or fog. If not done in the perfect conditions and with great patience, long exposure can be tricky. The ultimate beauty of long exposure is the illusion of motion it creates.
Very few effects can match up to the intrigue of silhouette photography. Silhouette photography is done by pointing the camera directly into the light source. This effect’s absolute appeal lies in the sharp contrast of dark against light. And therein lays the problem too. Silhouette photos can reduce the quality of an image as effectively as it can enhance it. And extremely special attention needs to be paid to the exposure and the aperture settings. But, once it’s done right, it can create something so dramatic like the skyline against sunset or something deeply poignant like a lone figure against white light. Oh, they have a fancy name for it too. It’s called “Contre-jour”- French for ‘against daylight’.
3) Daylight flash
This is the one detail many budding photographers miss out on. Blame it on the cliché, I say. The use of flash may have been advertised-to-death as a go-to solution in low-light settings. But if you ask me, flash can be used more elegantly in broad daylight than in low-light. When used in the sun, it can get rid of shadows, lighten the foreground and balance the overall exposure. This trick is called ‘Fill flash’, as you use it to fill the light in deeply shadowed areas like the area under the eyes and make them pop out better- especially on extra sunny days. Fill flash is a very subtle, yet intelligent way to create brighter pictures without any adjustments on the exposure.
4) Rule of thirds
This one of the most basic principles of composition in any art form, and has been loyally followed by countless artists, painters and of course, photographers, since time immemorial. So, what does the Rule of Thirds mean? Basically, you divide a picture into thirds- horizontally as well as vertically. Every decent camera has this grid screen. Now, here you don’t place your subject in the center like you usually would. Instead, the subject is positioned somewhere on the “thirds”. What does this do? This creates a unique flow in the picture and makes it more intriguing and lifelike. The application of the rule may not even be noticed by the untrained eye, but the effect it creates, it’s inexplicably unforgettable!
Bokeh is Japanese for ‘blur’ and that’s pretty much what this effect is about. You know those dreamy hazy little light bubbles of fairy lights we see in Christmas pictures? Yes, that’s Bokeh. It’s basically rendering light out of focus due to anomalies in lens and aperture shape, and is done by keeping a shallow depth of field. Creating Bokeh is quite easy, but creating good Bokeh takes a good measure of perspective. A good Bokeh creates a background that makes you feel like you’re slipping into a Christmassy dream; it makes the picture look softer and more aesthetic. Whereas, bad Bokeh is so sharp that it distracts and jars against the main subject and pretty much ruins the whole sweet appeal of the picture.