If you think actions speak louder than words, think again. On the Internet, images speak the loudest
This week, a good friend, photojournalist Akshay Mahajan (of the now-defunct blog trivialmatters.blogspot.com), was in town and I prevailed upon him to give me some tips to take better pictures.
I'm realising more and more that people like looking at photos, especially in a content-heavy blog, and if you have a picture of something as opposed to just trying to describe it, it's that much easier for your readers to connect.
I also recently purchased a new camera with the intent of taking more photographs — both for my blog and for my Flickr and Facebook accounts. It’s a simple hobby, but taking a good picture is harder than it looks.
This week, I’m going to give you the tips I’ve gleaned for getting good photographs both from the Internet and from what Akshay’s told me.
First, you need a camera that suits your needs. Pick one that will be easy for you to use, never mind if everyone around you has an SLR. It’s about whether you can see yourself carrying a heavy camera all day. If not, go in for just a simple point and shoot that’s easier to carry.
Akshay's says that it is only after you have exhausted all the possibilities on your point and shoot, and wish to be able to do more, that you actually need to go in for an SLR. I got myself a 10-megapixel Canon Powershot A480, which was priced under Rs 10,000.
Remember to research the one you've been eyeing, even if it means going back to the shop a couple of times.
Next, you need to start viewing a lot of pictures. Check out Flickr's random photographs (www.flickr.com/explore/) where they put the best user uploaded photos, or National Geographic (photography.nationalgeographic.co.in/photography) for the professional stuff. These photos will give you a good idea of what a photograph should look like. Your readers would prefer an interesting shot of the cake you baked, for example, as opposed to a regular shot of it in ugly white light with the flash on.
To take good pictures, Akshay says the best thing is to use a level surface as a tripod. Outside? Find a post or a stone or a branch. Inside a bar? Use a beer glass or place it on the table looking upwards. This steadies the camera and rules out the possibility of blurry pictures, giving you a better view of what your photo will eventually look like.
And some perspective
Start angling your lines better. While crazy angles look fun, the best pictures are those shot straight up. Keep the horizon as your marker for a sunset, or the wall behind your friend straight in your lens so that you can get your main image, the reason for your photograph, looking even better.
And finally, not a photography tip but a blogging one, remember to always use captions for your photos; they make viewing pictures so much easier. Happy clicking!
Meenakshi writes a blog at thecompulsiveconfessor.blogspot. com. Send her your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org