How can we shoot better monochrome pictures?
What is real or fake?
I first saw this advertisement in the background with this woman’s face in East London. I waited for someone to enter the frame. I crouched down low, shot looking up, and with a flash. Note how I got lucky with the timing — I put the old lady woman’s face over one of the eyes of the advertisement:
2. Cutoff head (decapitation technique)
When taking a picture — you can cut off the head of your subject, to make the picture look more surreal.
What I did was ask this woman to make her portrait. I liked her tattoos in her forearms, so I asked her to stand against a simple background, and to just stick out her arms:
“Eyes are the windows to the soul.”
Note how the original picture, the eyes are off-center. This is what it would look if together:
Note the off-center eyes:
“Less is more.”
5. Leading Lines
Leading lines composition: When photographing your subjects, look at the background, and use the lines in the background to point in the ‘vanishing point’ of the leading lines:
Note another version — slightly less visual impact, because no leading lines to Cindy:
6. Social critique/commentary
Let us read the text in this picture:
“HEY! SPEND THAT TAX RETURN WITH US.”
Also note that there is a Mercedes-Benz SUV in the picture, which is a symbol of affluence.
So the question is this:
What is the social commentary or critique in this picture?
A critique on American consumerism — using our tax returns to buy stuff we don’t need (chocolate/candy).
If we feed the picture to the Google Vision API, here is what shows up:
Take a look at how Google sees the text:
Related reading: How Can AI (Artificial Intelligence) Help You Analyze Your Photos? >
7. Hand gestures
Hand gestures have more soul.
Note this picture with Cindy’s fun hand gesture, which allows you to focus on her eyes:
Lesson: Ask your subject to do a fun hand gesture!
8. Dynamic movement
Ask your subject to do a fun hand gesture. Note the dynamic lines in the left of the frame… adding a dynamic curve to the photo.
Tip: Don’t center your subject.
9. Honor thy selfie
10. Fibonacci spiral
Look for spirals, and shoot looking up or down (staircases are good):
11. Bookend technique
Note Cindy on the far left (I’m shooting over her shoulder) which is the “bookend”. Then I focused on her in the mirror:
12. Simple geometric shapes and lines