Here is everything you'll need to know to take your own great pictures,
First off, you'll need to get your equipment. For beginners I
recommend getting a
good camera that you're comfortable with [whether it's a point and shoot or
film or digital], a large memory card [or lots of film] so you can
experiment and take
many many pictures, and perhaps a tripod [very useful for self portraits &
pictures]. Personally I am a digital-girl because you can take & delete as
pictures as you want and it makes editing & sharing pictures much easier.
Familiarize yourself with all the functions & capabilities. Be sure to read
all the way through--trust me, it will help a whole lot. Also, be sure to
organized system for your pictures so you can browse and find pictures
When taking pictures, it's helpful to imagine lines. Diagonal lines,
for example, create
a dynamic look in the image. An "S" curve is graceful and easy to look at.
shapes (such as triangles) add strength and visual unity to the picture.
arrangement of colors, shapes, and light should all complement each other.
Nonsymmetrical balance, when two sides of a picture are unbalanced, is more
interesting to look at than symmetrical balance (when two focal points of
picture are equal on both sides of the picture). The Rule of Thirds is a
to follow when focusing objects in a photo. It states that the focal point
located in the corners of the picture rather than in the middle of static
Another way to focus on a main subject is to frame it nicely in the
viewfinder or by
Framing allows you to display the center of interest with objects in the
foreground to give a feeling of depth to the picture.
Lighting is one of the most important, if not the most
important, element of a
photograph. Get to know the lighting around your house [or wherever you
pictures] at different times of the day. Avoid using flash at all possible
times-- I'm a
big hater of flash, as many photographers are, because it makes the picture
flat and lifeless. Directional light from the side of the subject [through
etc.] rather than straight in front give the subject nice shadows and gives
it a more
3-dimensional look. Golden hour, the time around sunrise and sunset, is a
to take pictures outside because it creates a great mix of warm colors and
lots of directional light that really makes the subject stand out. You
can also get
bounce boards, attachable flashes, and special lighting equipment for a
I would recommend sticking to basic lighting for beginners.
With the advancements of today's technology, it's really great to
programs that will allow to manipulate and perfect your pictures & help you
across the desired message in the picture. I'm most comfortable with
CS2, which is what I will use to explain how to do a few cool things with
CLONE PICTURES: An increasingly popular way to put multiple "you's"
picture. First set up a tripod & set your camera to Self-timer. Take
of yourself in different positions in different areas of the picture
[without moving the
camera]. Then open the files with Photoshop. Pick the picture of you in the
back so that any "you's" in front of you will overlap. Cut and paste each
"you" out of
their own picture and into that picture, erasing the background around your
if needed to make yourself fit precisely. Flatten the image [Ctrl+E when
layers palette] and save!
EYE COLORS: To make your eyes any color you desire, follow
Dalbir's excellent tutorial.
If this doesn't work for your natural eye color, select just the iris and
change the color
using Image > Adjustments > Color Balance.
AIRBRUSHING: As you see in all the magazines, everyone's skin
is flawless. But we all
know that it's fake. No one can have perfect skin like that. To remove a
the dreaded pimple in a picture, select the area [as small as possible]
Patch Tool, and drag the selection to an area of smooth skin. Voila!! ALL
make your skin look as soft as a baby's, select your skin [excluding your
eyes, lips, sides
of your nose, eyebrows, etc.] with a feather of approx. 15 pixels [more, if
is larger] then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the amount to
Click OK, deselect and there you have it! Model-perfect, flawless skin.
TEXTURES: Applying textures to an image can give it a whole
different look. Make a
new layer on top or bottom of your picture, and change the layer blending
The only rule for this is to play around with it until the picture looks
like you want it to.
For great textures [and other resources & tutorials] visit
FEEL Hironeko and
H Y B R I D G E N E S
BRUSHES: There is an endless amount of
brushes you can download to add an object
into your photo, similar to a stamp. Just follow download instructions &
brush in any color using the Brush tool.
A complete list of definitions of common photography
terms, for those of you who
were totally lost and confused & had no idea what I was talking about.. =P
Special Thanks to:
Eye Color Tutorial by -angel
Short Courses Publishing Company