Tel/Fax: 080-3207-6191

Tips for Better Photos (by Valarie Sawatzky)

Keys to Capturing Great Images
Of Your Family’s Years in Japan

Do you ever look at your pictures and feel somewhat disappointed with the results, as if your camera is not quite capturing your family’s memorable experiences in Japan? If this is the case, then by following a few simple “rules of trade” before you press the shutter, your results will measurably improve and you will be well on your way to creating striking photos of your years abroad.

1. Don’t leave home without it: your camera, that is!

Fantastic photo opportunities abound every day in dynamic cities such as Tokyo, so although this is clearly stating the obvious, without your camera at hand, every photo opportunity is lost.

2.Look for repetition.

A single subject repeated (consider lanterns, bicycles, fruit, umbrellas) gives effective results.

Photos By
Valarie Sawatzky
Carin Smolinski

3. Fill the frame.

Always let your subject fill the entire photo frame. Move in close, and then closer, until only what you want to appear in the picture is in the frame.

4. Always think of color.

Taking a picture for color alone can provide truly striking results. Crop closely and take the shot simply for color and contrast.

5. Choose a great setting, and wait for the action to occur.

Rather than following your children with the camera, first set up the shot with a fantastic background, and then watch as your subjects come into the scene. Think of using temples, old gates, or wooden doors to create a beautiful composition. Check out the postcard stand to see where some of the best photo spots are: the professionals have already done this research for you! Just add your own personal touches, (or family members!) to make the shot your own.

6. Shoot the cliché images.

These are your “Japan years,” so let your pictures tell the story! This is a country rich with signs of traditional culture; don’t forget to photograph such things as weathered wood at temples, colorful kimono, produce stalls, and kanji on signs. These will definitely set the Japanese tone to your photo collection.

7. Try for the “Magic Hour” of twilight.

Take your pictures just after the sun goes down, but before darkness sets in. This “between light” provides rich colors and dramatic photographs.

8. Pitfalls to Avoid:

Gray skies in pictures: To avoid the “grayness” on cloudy days, crop your pictures closely so as not to include the sky.

Direct sunlight on faces: While it is always best to use natural light for portraits, try to move into open shade for portraits on sunny days to avoid bad shadows; use a flash to brighten faces.

9. Have fun!

Head out the door either alone or with your kids (and your camera!) with the intent of taking some great pictures. Develop your personal style: experiment with camera angles, compositions, and viewpoints. Before long you’ll be saying “Now these pictures are definitely worth keeping!”

All Articles
Birthday Parties
Book Stores
Cleaning Secrets
Did you know? (8)
Did you know? (9)
Football In Japan
Gaijin Mama - 7 5 3
Gaijin Mama - New Year
Gaijin Mama - PTA Mama
Gaijin Mama - Potty Problems
Gaijin Mama - Shiny Kids
Gaijin Mama - Tanshin Funin
Gaijin Mama: Cram School
Gaijin Mama: Hello Kitties
Gaijin Mama: Sports Day
Gaijin Mama: Summer School
Gaijin Mama: The Bike Brigade
Gaijin Mama: Valentines Day
Gajin Mama: Holiday Season
Gajin Mama: What's for Lunch
Hot Tips
Hot Tips: Issue 6
Hot Tips: Issue 7
Martial Arts in Japan
Photo Tips
Roving Rep: Issue 4
Roving Rep: Issue 5
Roving Rep: Issue 3
Roving Rep: Issue 6
Roving Rep: Issue 7
Roving Rep: Issue 10
Roving Rep: Issue 11
Roving Rep: Issue 12
Roving Rep: Issue 13
Roving Rep: Issue 14
Roving Rep: Issue 15
Roving Rep: issue 9
Roving Reporter
Shopping: Gotemba Mall
Shopping: Hypermarkets
Shopping: Mashiko Pottery
Shopping: Palette Town
Swimming Lessons