Tania – Photography

Photography Tips

From Niwa Photography Workshop

‘Framing your Image’

A simple way to create perspective in your image and bring depth to your shot. Use doorways, overhanging trees, anything that will limit the field of view and direct attention to the subject.

‘Shooting in the shade’

When photographing people outdoors we always recommend finding a spot that is in shade as this gives you very even and flattering skin tones, whilst reducing attention on lines around eyes from being accentuated.  Always avoid mottled shade created by trees near you.  It is good to try to ensure your background is also in shaded light.

‘Shooting on a bright sunny day’

If you can’t find any shade to photograph your subject, we suggest you try positioning him/her

with the sun beside him/her. Be careful to avoid the sun shining directly into your lens as this will cause lens flare and a foggy image. If you have a flash we recommend that you use it to help reduce harsh shadows on your subject’s face.

‘The perfect family/group portrait’

Look at your background & ensure that there are not objects that will be dominant or distracting. Start with putting your subjects in height order. Imagine a pyramid while you are setting up your group. If you have uneven ground, taller people can be placed on the downhill slope and shorter people on the uphill slope.

‘Sports and action photography’

Sports and action photography is all about timing and being in the right place at the right time. Select ‘Action’ or ‘Sports’ Mode. This will give you higher shutter speeds required to capture fast moving subjects e.g surfing. Tania recommends a shutter speed between 1/500 to 1/1000.

‘Working with Props”

You might find it useful to employ some props in your images. Photographing people in their ‘natural environment’ or with objects and adornments that they treasure can give the viewer an insight into the real nature and personality of the subjects.

‘Keeping it at Eye Level”

A classic way of shooting is to keep the camera at the level of the subject’s eyes. The resulting image can be more engaging, particularly with children. A flattering alternative for adults is to shoot from a distinctively higher level. Have your subject look up at the camera, this will make their eyes appear larger and wider.

Camera Modes #1 “PROGRAM”

This is your fully automatic setting. Your camera will choose the exposure, shutter speed and aperture for you. You can decide if you want to force your flash to fire in low light or back lit conditions while shooting in this mode (ie. when the area behind your subject is much brighter than the light on your subject.)

Camera Modes #2 “MANUAL”

This mode allows you to select your exposure settings, Change your ISO, aperture and shutter speed for different lighting situations. This is my preferred method of shooting as it gives complete control of the image and exposure and works particularly well in soft light with even shade, for example, when photographing a family portrait.


In this shooting mode you set the aperture. The camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed according to the aperture you choose. Wider apertures allow you to set faster shutter speeds (eg f2.8, f4, f 5.6). Narrower apertures allow you to set slower shutter speeds (eg f11, f16, f22). For portraits it is common to set a wide aperture to ensure sharp focus on your subject such as F5.6

Camera Modes #4 “SHUTTER PRIORITY”

Use this mode when you want to instruct the shutter to be open for a specific amount of time.  For moving subjects use a higher shutter speed (between 1/250 and 1/1000). For an indoor portrait using natural window light, Tania uses a slower shutter speed of 1/125 because there is less light available than outdoors.

Location and Framing

When choosing a location (this is Centennial Park), it can be nice to make sure you put your subjects a few meters away from the background (so that the background isn’t sharp and in focus or distracting) to make your subjects stand out as the main focus.  Here the overgrown grass added interest in the f/ground, as does the tree to the left side which helps frame the children.

Photography workshops for all skill levels from $250

www.niwaphotography.com (02) 9939-5553

Powered by eShop v.6