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How to Take the Perfect Picture

Itteba Gilani, Grade 12

A picture is a delicate memory. Every photo that you take captures not only the background or the subject but also the time and mood. For this reason, you shouldn't rush a picture, for what good is an image that doesn't capture what you wanted it to? This article will provide you with five tips to start shooting pictures like a pro, all of which I have discovered over my years in taking photos.

1. Use flash outdoors.

So many times, I have taken a picture in the sun, and the subject looks like burnt toast. The subject is barely visible, and the result is a ruined image. At home, I'd wonder where I went wrong but never really tried to learn why the picture looked like it did. At the end of the day, I would just manually adjust the exposure using editing software. It was so bad that I just stopped shooting dynamic subjects during the day. Then, by destiny or not, I was shooting using my camera's auto mode, and the flash was on by default. So when I went to take my picture, guess what? My subject was visible! And from every single subsequent photo, I had the flash on while shooting subjects in the sun.

2. Move the subject from the middle

When taking a picture, some of us are inclined to keep the subject dead center. While this approach is practical for graduation photos or identification photos, it shouldn't be your go-to for every picture. For example, let's assume you are taking a picture of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, and you kept the building in the center. The results may be good, but you will see a notable difference if you decide to move the subject to the side.

3. Focusing the Subject

Once you figure out if you need flash on or off, move the subject to the side, it's time for focusing the subject. Usually, there will be a little switch on your camera's lens for AF(Auto Focus) or MF(Manual Focus). There are two different types of focus, autofocus, and manual focus. Autofocus uses artificial intelligence to focus a subject, whereas you can use manual focus to focus an object manually. For example, if you are trying to capture a simple family photo, autofocus can do the job. On the other hand, manual focus would be easier if you are trying to focus on a close subject, as the camera can focus on that specific object.

4. Shoot Vertically

We shoot photos in landscape view most of the time, as it seems fitting. However, switching to a portrait view can improve the quality of your photo. Why? Let's suppose, for example, that our subject is a lighthouse next to a cliff. By turning our camera vertical, we allow for it to capture the entirety of the lighthouse without us having to zoom out.

5. Move Closer to the Subject

Last but not least, move closer to your subject. “If your subject is smaller than a small car, move closer to the subject and zoom in too.” By doing this, you can capture even the most minor details. Remember, you want to try and fill up the picture with the subject so that the subject isn't overwhelmed by the background. Also, remember that stepping too close to the subject will result in a blurry image.

Well, those are all my tips for today. So go out and start practicing! Photography is a skill, and like every skill, you need to practice to be consistent.

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