1. Sometimes less is more…
Simplifying your images can often make them more powerful and appealing. Focusing on form or shape and making use of negative space can really make the subject stand out, giving a sense of minimalism and literally making the image easy on the eye.
This works really well when shooting in snow and light sand, especially with contrasty subjects such as penguins. Purposely letting the highlights blow out a little and merge in to the light background gives an arty feel to the image and accentuates the darker parts.
This technique is the opposite to high key and results in a darker look to the image. It can be a good one to try when the light is harsh – instead of struggling with the tricky lighting conditions, you embrace them and underexpose. You end up with just the harsh highlights as the outline of the animal you are photographing and a very unusual shot.
This is a wonderful technique that creates a dynamic image and conveys a sense of motion. The easiest way to do it is to set your camera on shutter priority and then choose a relatively slow shutter speed. You may need to experiment so it’s best to try this when you can repeat the shot a few times – probably best to avoid trying it on a fleeting encounter! The slower the shutter speed, the more blurred the background will be and the more creative the shot will look. A good starting number is around 1/60 for fast birds and 1/10 for slower animals.
5. Black and White
Converting to monochrome can create great results! It helps to produce an atmospheric image with a timeless look. It works particularly well when shooting in flat light, or an overcast grey sky.
All images courtesy of Renato Granieri