Toastmasters ACB Speak to Inform 2 : Clicking Better

Speak to Inform Project 2: Resources for Informing

The following is my speech for the Project 2 of Speak to Inform Advanced Communication Manual. I spoke about a topic which I have interest in; Photography.

[Opening]

Fellow Toastmasters and welcomed guests, a very good afternoon to one and all!

Show of hands please, how many of you take Photographs regularly?

Almost everyone, right?

Do you use your Mobile Phone Camera?

Or a Point and Shoot one?

Or you use your DSLR?

So, the overall consensus is that, obviously, almost everyone takes photographs. Some use properly dedicated cameras while most others use their phones. Everyone nowadays knows how to click and shoot. There are billions of photos taken daily. There are millions of photos shared on Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Whatsapp, etc daily.

We all take Photographs daily. But not all of us are called as Photographers. Professional or Hobbyist. Today, I am going to share with you, some composition guidelines, tips, and tricks which you can use to improve your photography. These are some basic rule of thumbs, which can help you become better photographers, than just ordinary-photo-clickers.

Disclaimer: I am not a Professional or Commercial Photographer myself, but I have been learning this art for a long time now and this is just me sharing some of that learning with you.

[Body]

Slide 4: 3 Guidelines for Better Composition

I am going to discuss the 3 most common guidelines for better composition. Can anyone tell what Composition means? CoThe compositions the placement of objects and subjects in your photograph. This is basically how the elements in your photos have been placed. So, the 3 most common composition guidelines are:

  1. The Rule of Thirds
  2. Leading Lines
  3. Less is More

I will start with the Rule of Thirds

Slide 5: The Rule of Thirds

For this, I would request you all, to take out your phone and open your camera. Can you see a grid there? That grid divides the viewfinder into 9 parts.

The Rule of Thirds states that if your subject is placed at one of the intersections of these grids, that composition would look better than those in which subject is placed without any thought. Scientifically, this kind of composition conforms to the Golden Ratio. You might have seen this curve before. Without going into this too much, I would just say that this curve or ratio pleases the eyes.

This would mean is that when your subject is placed at the intersection, it would give the photograph much more dynamism and a professional look.

I will share a couple of examples to depict this.

Slide 6: Sweet Farm

Slide 7: Sweet Farm with Grid

Slide 8: Busy Bee
Slide 9: Busy Bee with Grid
If you noticed, here the subject was placed at the intersections that made the photograph appear slightly better.

Now, we will understand the second guideline i.e. Leading Lines

Slide 10: Leading Lines
‘Leading Lines’ is another guideline, which you may consider while shooting a photo. It helps the viewer to scan your image from a point to a point. It also gives us a sense of depth, size and, distance. I will again show you some examples.

Slide 11: Hampi Temple
Slide 12: Hampi Temple with leading lines shown
Slide 13: VV Puram Street
Slide 14: VV Puram Street with leading lines shown
Now, the third guideline, Less is More

Slide 15: Less is more
When we want to click, we want to cover as much as possible. We worry about getting all the details of the scene onto our image. However, sometimes the opposite might make sense. Sometimes, having a minimal number of objects in the image can give it a better look. Let me share some examples for this.

Slide 16: The Moon
Slide 17: Birds on a wire
There is a sense of calmness and serenity in these pics. It still depicts a lot, by depicting very less. If we can try minimalism in our photography by giving some white space, that can help us to compose our shots better.

[Conclusion]

Slide 18: Break the rules

I have just talked about Rules. But, the actual rule of Photography is that there are no rules. There are just guidelines. For creativity, we are often encouraged to break the rules. So, if you ignore the above 3 guidelines, you can still create some good compositions. Some more examples for you.

Slide 19: Attack on Hampi (A combination of Rule of Thirds and Minimalism)

Slide 20: Choose a Side (A subject which is totally centered in the frame)
Slide 21: Buy some Balloons (With colors selectively removed)

Slide 22: Another Balloons seller (It just tells a story)
You can try your own styles and bring the best photographer out of yourself. Always remember, it is not the tool which is used to click your photos, but it you who is more important.

Happy Photography!

Back to Toastmaster!

I delivered this speech twice. Once in my club and second time in another. Based on the feedback I got, I also added one more slide to explain the Rule of Thirds better. However, to my surprise, not many were familiar with ‘Golden Ratio’. So, I had to quickly skip this over and get on with the guidelines itself.

golden ratio
The Golden Ratio

 

Quotes Used:

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.

– Ansel Adams

It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument

– Eve Arnold

I am not interested in shooting new things. I am interested to see things new.

– Ernst Haas

Photos Used:

  1. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/15617411224/in/datetaken-public/
  2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/15225977757/in/datetaken-public/
  3. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/15225011191/in/datetaken-public/
  4. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/15087393791/in/datetaken-public/
  5. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/14865966002/in/datetaken-public/
  6. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/8745107830/in/datetaken-public/
  7. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/7726677248/in/datetaken-public/
  8. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/24167178343/in/datetaken-public/
  9. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/16251021649/in/datetaken-public/
  10. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/16451111855/in/datetaken-public/
  11. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/15821625744/in/datetaken-public/
  12. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/27057063652/in/datetaken-public/
  13. https://www.flickr.com/photos/abpix/25109600519/in/datetaken-public/

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