Simple tips on making better photos:
1. Hand gestures + shadows
Make a photograph that shows BOTH the shadow of the hand gesture, as well as the hand itself.
2. Single eye
If you see curtains, or any opening, have your subject peek their (one) eye through. It makes the photograph more surreal and interesting to look at.
Furthermore, when you get eye contact in a photograph, your viewer is more likely to be engaged with the photograph.
3. Put your subject at the corner of the frame
This is a new compositional technique I’ve been experimenting with:
Don’t center your subject. Instead, put them in the extreme corner of the frame.
For example the photograph of the woman above– I was drawn to her hand gesture. I intentionally put her in the top-left of the frame, and I find the off-balanced composition makes it more dynamic.
Blur is good in photography, if you want to convey a mood of movement.
For example Cindy on the swings at night. Blur works well, because it gives the photograph a more surreal mood (we don’t see the real-world blurred), while also accentuating the motion in the photograph (we can feel her, or imagine her swinging).
5. Look up, fill the frame
Above, I like the photograph, because it is filled mostly with blue and red colors. Simple and minimal with the colors.
6. Shoot photos while you’re filling up gas in your car
I was filling up gas in my car, and I used that time to look around to photograph stuff. I then saw this interesting scene, and shot it.
Furthermore, take photos of things you do everyday (like filing your gas), and photograph it! I don’t think I have ever seen a photograph of a gas nozzle inside a car:
7. Shoot photos while walking!
Don’t feel like you need to plant your feet before shooting photos. Try this out:
While you’re walking on the streets, shoot photos. Keep walking, and keep shooting, and don’t stop moving your feet in order to shoot a photo!
I often use this technique to make photos of Cindy while we’re out-and-about.
8. Honor thy selfie
Shoot more selfies of yourself. As photographers, we always look for other people to photograph. Why don’t we spend more time focusing on photographing ourselves?
Remember the adage:
Honor thy selfie
9. High-contrast monochrome
I am a huge fan of shooting high-contrast monochrome, especially on RICOH GR II. I shoot RAW on RICOH, then apply ‘Eric Kim MONOCHROME’ preset afterwards.
When you are post-processing your RAW photos in Lightroom, lower the exposure to make the photographs more dramatic.
10. Clean background
To make better photographs, keep it super simple.
For example this street photograph I shot of of this man in Tokyo. Note the background is just a simple white background, which helps the viewer focus on him:
- There is no perfect camera for photography. Use the simplest, smallest camera possible. Just shoot with your iPhone, RICOH GR II, or whatever can fit in your front pocket. I recommend to stay strapped with ERIC KIM STRAPS.
- Enjoy both monochrome and color photography. Enjoy all formats of photography (digital, phone photography, and film photography). Don’t discriminate; all photography is good photography. All cameras are good cameras.
- Shoot for fun. Shoot as an individual, and never stop striving for more!
JUST SHOOT IT.
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