Capturing your most remarkable moments

Nancy - Indian Harbour Beach, FL

Nancy at the beach. On-camera fill flash. Golden Mean Composition

I don’t know about you, but I find the most remarkable photos I enjoy seeing over and over again are those with friends and family enjoying our remarkable times and places. Capturing our feelings and the remarkable scene is sometimes very challenging.  We have all been there,  enjoying one of those most beautiful moments with our loved ones. Look at that scene! We have to capture the moment… click, click. What happened? Why is everyone so dark? What happened to the focus? Our photography is just not working.  Is it even possible to capture this whole beautiful story ?

Turns out it is pretty easy. When your main subject is back-lit by that most beautiful background, remarkable photos depend on a just a few fundamentals. Adequate light on your main subject, sharp focus, and good composition. Try these photo tips the next time you capture a remarkable story.

Nancy in Zermatt.  On-camera fill flash. Optical zoom. Golden Mean Composition

Nancy in Zermatt. On-camera fill flash. Optical zoom. Golden Mean Composition

Turn on your flash. Use it to fill light your subject.  When your main subject  is back-lit, your camera is fooled with all that light and exposes  for  the brightest part of your scene. Anyone standing in the foreground turns dark . Even in daylight, turn your camera to a mode that will allow you to turn on your flash. (Tip – Find Fill Flash in your Camera manual. Really… read the manual ;-)). Your flash will fill your main subject with light, and still capture that beautiful scene behind your subject.  Standing back a few feet allows the flash to fall off and mix nicely with the scene in low light conditions. Experiment with where you stand, your zoom setting, and your camera’s flash compensation setting (flash strength… it’s in the camera manual) to mix the light on your subject and background.  You may need to increase flash compensation to get more light on your subject. Remember your settings for your next magical moment!

Focus, Focus, Focus.  Hold your elbows against your body to keep your camera still.  Slow down . . . squeeze the shutter release slowly and make sure the little green focus squares in your LCD screen or your focus marks in your viewfinder are on your subject. That sunset a little out of focus will still look like a sunset, but a family member out of focus in the foreground does not make a remarkable photo.  Auto focus can easily get confused in difficult lighting conditions.  If the focus square is selecting the wrong area of the frame, lift your trigger finger , point the camera directly toward your subject  and squeeze again, then reposition your camera while still holding your shutter button half-way down.  Squeeze… Click… another remarkable photo.

Jeff, Jenna - Grassy Key Sandbar

Jeff and Jenna in the Florida Keys. On-camera fill flash. Rule of Thirds Composition

Compose your photo to tell your story.  A memorable scene is a perfect occasion to capture a remarkable photo of our loved ones. Be sure to tell the whole story with a well-composed photo. Turn on the composition grid in your camera (Back to the manual). Try putting your main subject  to one side in the frame on one of the vertical grid lines. Your subject should fill a good deal of the frame, but make sure you capture the story behind them in the rest of your frame.  In most circumstances, place people’s eyes just above the top horizontal lines on the grid. Good photo composition makes an interesting photo and helps you tell the whole story. You will cherish your well-composed remarkable moments forever.

On the Terrace - Villa Adriatica -

Chuck, Nancy, Diane, Pat in Dubrovnik. Self timer. Table top tripod. On-camera flash.
Rule of Thirds Composition

Capturing those remarkable stories is easy when you  light your subject and your beautiful scene, focus on your subject, and compose the whole story in the viewfinder. The next time you stand before the most beautiful scene you have ever seen, give these photo tips a try.

May you experience many remarkable moments . . .  and may the remarkable photos always be yours.

Chuck

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8 thoughts on “Capturing your most remarkable moments

  1. Read the manual? Really? Thanks for the laughs, the great tips and especially the wonderful photos of you two! You both look fantastic!

    • Thanks Betty. I appreciate your comment. I use Lightroom for post-processing and occasionally use OnOne Photo Suite and Nik Photo Suite plugins on some photos. Lightroom is my main editing program.

  2. Great article Chuck. Thank you for all your time and details putting this together. I would have never thought to use the flash in full sun, but will try that soon.

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