I want to start this is off by introducing myself to the 500px community. My name is Jack Woods, I’m from London and for me to pick a style that I’m most passionate about is difficult because I love quite a few, but if I had to choose one it would be portraits. The feelings and tone that you can invoke from a single image is what makes photography my passion. Below are my top 5 tips that have helped me as a photographer:
1. Wonky Horizons and Buildings
This tip may sound a bit odd but trust me once you notice it you’ll never take a photo with a wonky horizon again. As humans we’re naturally drawn to lines in the images this is why leading lines can look so pleasing to our eye. The two photos below were only taken 10 seconds apart but that 10 seconds to adjust the angle that I was shooting helped to correct the wonkiness of the photo and is a lot more pleasing to the eye (I’ve highlighted the parts in red that helped me to realize that the photo wasn’t quite straight). It may seem a bit insignificant but trust me it will make a huge difference in your work.
2. Using Different Props like Prisms, Glass Sphere etc.
This has to be my favourite tip for new photographers, collecting props like a glass sphere, prism or laminator sheet with colours on it, to use in your shoots can add just a bit of flare to help make the photo stand out. These don’t have to be expensive either. The laminator sheet and pens only cost me £5, but for a high quality glass sphere I paid around £15-£20. Find what works for you to use and try new things as you never know what might work out.
3. Shoot What Inspires You
For me this goes without saying as if you aren’t inspired by the shoots you are planning on taking, then it won’t turn out how you planned. I’ve had plenty of shoots that have not worked out because I wasn’t inspired by the idea - which led to them falling flat. Everyone works differently but from my experience, I always am at my best when I’m inspired and pumped up to do the shoot. If you aren’t feeling inspired by a shoot anymore, don’t write it off! Give it a few days or try to come up with some new ideas for the shoot and see if that brings back the spark.
4. Shooting at Night with Long Exposure
Long Exposure, this certainly is one of my favourite ways to shoot. This is simply because you can do all the prep work and have the camera on, what you believe to be, the best settings, and then you simply press that shutter button and let your subject or subjects do the work. Majority of time it will come out just as planned but there are those odd times where, for me personally, it has come out even better! This is one of the reasons I love photography.
5. Just Go Shoot
Now I know you’re probably thinking that this isn’t much of a tip but trust me, by simply going out and shooting whatever you fancy, it will help you in so many ways,. Shooting more will help you become more familiar with your camera, but also familiarize you with how to use different lighting situations to your advantage, and remember lighting is key.
Check out more of Jack's work on instagram @jackwoodss_