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Photography Tips

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Our students travel to new countries, discover new cultures and come back with some amazing memories and thousands of photos! Here are some tips to make sure you take the best photos you possibly can.

I have removed some important vocabulary from the text. All you need to do is choose which word goes in which gap.
Lesson by Caroline

Key Words

crop - to make something shorter or smaller, especially by cutting
details - the small features of something that you only notice when you look carefully
responds - to say or do something as a reaction to something that has been said or done
squinting - to partly closing your eyes in order to see more clearly
silhouette - a dark shape seen against a light surface
strive - to try very hard to do something, especially for a long time or against difficulties
shoot - to use a camera to record a film or take a photograph
distract - to make someone stop giving their attention to something
shadows - areas of darkness, caused by light being blocked by something, which usually have a similar shape to the object that is blocking the light and which appears to be joined to it
represent - to show or describe something or someone

How to take good photographs

Each time you spot a subject, snap a shot and then move in closer for a better shot. Having your subject almost fill the frame helps your viewer understand and appreciate your photo. Also, _1_ are often more interesting than an overall view. Keep moving in closer until you are sure the photo will successfully _2_ your subject.

If it is at all possible that your subject may move, bolt, fly away, stop smiling, or just get tired of waiting for you to take the picture, _3_ once right away. Practice getting quicker and quicker to the draw. Do not worry about taking too many pictures and do not wait until you're absolutely certain all the knobs and buttons are in their correct position. As the motto of one of BetterPhoto old t-shirts states, "Shoot First, Ask Questions Later."

Even if you don't plan on selling your photo to the Smithsonian, make every effort to keep it balanced and beautiful. On one level or another, everyone _4_ better to a picture that has all elements in balance _5_ to lead the eye along an interesting path through the photo, with the use of strong lines or patterns. Keep the horizon level; _6_ out extra elements that you are not interested in. Consciously place your subject where you think it most belongs rather than just accepting it wherever it happens to land in the photo; Play with perspective so that all lines show a pattern or lead the eye to your main subject.

Discern what you are really interested in and center your efforts on getting the best photo of this subject, whether it a still life, your funny cat, your doggy, a friend, a family matter, a mood, a place or culture. Then be sure to keep anything that would _7_ out of the picture. The easiest way to do this is to watch your borders - the edges of the view you see through the camera's viewfinder. Then recompose if anything - such as an unattractive telephone wire, an old soda can, a distracting sign, your finger, or your camera strap - hangs into your picture.It can become more difficult if you want to, say, shoot a San Francisco cable car without a single distracting telephone line. But even in such a difficult case, you have many options.

Look at the light. By this, I don't mean look into the sun - no, that won't do at all. But it is good to see what kind of light you are working with. Which way are the _8_ falling? Unless you want a _9_ effect, where your subject is black against an interesting background, it's generally best to shoot with the sun behind you. How is the light affecting your subject? Is the subject _10_? Is the light blazing directly and brightly upon your whole subject? This works well if you are in love with the bold colors of your subject. Side lighting, on the other hand, can add drama but can also cause extreme, hard-to-print contrasts. Lastly, indirect light can be used to make your subject glow soft and pretty.

For more tips go to: http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/tips.asp

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