Random links on taking better pictures

Raymond Chen

Raymond

I’m always interested in finding simple things you can do to take better pictures. Here are some links I’ve collected.

One thing I discovered as a tourist is that if you ask a random person to take your picture (because you’re traveling alone or because it’s a group picture), they will usually gladly oblige, but they will also do a really bad job of framing the photo.

Here’s what I want: A head-and-shoulders shot of me with the object of interest.


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Usually I’ll get this: The photographer has zoomed out because they want to get my whole body (and my sneakers and my backpack that I put on the ground because I don’t want it in the picture):


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At least some cropping and zooming can undo that.

Worse is when the photographer tries to fix the problem by taking a few steps back, thereby changing the relative sizes of the object and me.


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When you take a few steps back, I get smaller but the object of interest remains the same size (since it is further away).

I’ve tried a few things, like taking a sample photo to show what I want. (“Just do this again, but I’ll be standing there.”) It usually doesn’t help. The volunteer photographer will take the picture they want.

I can’t really complain, because they were doing me a favor. But I’ve also learned to set my expectations appropriately and assume that any picture not taken by me will not be framed in a manner I like.

This upcoming Sunday is National Selfie Day, according to some DJ in Texas.

Raymond Chen
Raymond Chen

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