How to Take Great Photos by P. Tellone

By P. Tellone

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I have shot portraits with wide angles and landscapes with telephotos, so know the rules and then know when to break them. The following portrait images are all of the same model with the same composition and scale. Let’s look at each one and see the differences and why one may be more appropriate than the other. In this image (figure 6-1, left) a wide angle 17mm lens was used. Notice that although our model has a nice thin face, the lens distorts it and make it very round and any facial feature that is closer to the camera gets exaggerated like her nose (which in reality is perfect) and her right cheek (on the camera’s left) is larger than her left (on camera right).

No, it’s not a new recycling term. Take your camera out right now. Look down at the top of it for the controls. See that green box it’s set to? (Don’t be a fibber — you know it’s set there). That’s the green box: the auto setting on your camera. Now I have to be honest. To keep things simple while you are learning about composition and light, you probably should keep it on green box auto. It lets you worry about one thing at a time without getting confused by other technicalities like camera settings.

This is where a good photographer steps up and creates the light that is needed. This may be through the use of a flash or a reflector. Fig 7-1. this vase was shot with standard flash mode. Now, I don’t really want to cover shooting a photograph in a dark room with just the flash on or in the camera, because there isn’t much to cover since you can’t get too creative with it. In fact you probably will be just fine shooting in auto with the flash on. The images are going to, well, look like it was shot with a flash.

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