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How the pros make mundane shots more creative

08 June, 2011 | My Nikon Life | Comments


We caught up with South-African AFP photographer, Gianluigi Guercia, for his simple tips on how to turn a potentially mundane photo of any subject into a magical one.

For any picture, Gianluigi stresses the importance of considering the composition of the picture. Many people naturally position their subject in the middle of the shot, but photos can easily be made more creative by applying “the rule of thirds”. This involves framing the subject within the left/right, or top/bottom, third of your picture, so you can give more perspective of the entire scene. You could also try aligning the subject in one half with an object in the other half to give your image more balance.

Guanluigi also points out how lighting can make a real difference to the outcome of a picture: using an early morning or late afternoon light can radically change the final result. Maybe think about this with sunrises or sunsets: is the best lighting for your shot before the sun is up or right after it is over the horizon? Even simple portraits or holiday shots can look more attractive when taken in an appealing light.

The recently released D5100 has HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging, which is great for photographing high-contrast scenes, such as sunsets or sunrises. It takes two shots within a single shutter release to create an image with an extremely wide dynamic range, low noise and rich colour gradation.


AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA. Image shot with a Nikon D3

Equally, the way you frame your picture defines the final result. In the age of digital photography where there is almost no limit to the number of pictures you can take, you should try to experiment with different angles. Taking photos from the ground, or even a lower view point, can make your photo more interesting.


AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA. Image shot with a Nikon D3

When it comes to portrait photos, Gianluigi suggests taking them against an interesting background. You can always add something extra to traditional shots of your family and friends by choosing the right background. Selecting a scene which is more balanced, both in terms of colour and light, will produce a more pleasing picture with less contrast and more even tones, forms and weights.


AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA. Image shot with a Nikon D3

Finally, and most importantly, Gianluigi recommends taking your time. If you are shooting in a crowded scene which you may not be familiar with, make sure you fully understand what is going on. Identify the main characters of the scenario and then frame the shot around them. Remember that sometimes the “co-actors” are just as important to the image – often it is people’s reaction that will give you a more interesting and creative interpretation of what is happening.


Learn more about the D5100 by watching the product tour or by heading to the D5100 gear page.


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