Besides general photography and videography directions, this article also includes important guidelines for shooting photographs and videos on the Rutgers campus. Parts of this article have been informed by the Rutgers brand policy for filming and photography on campus. You may want to check out the policy for specific guidelines.
The Rutgers campus is as beautiful as it is architecturally diverse. It would have been a real shame if cameras weren’t allowed on the campus. Fortunately, there are tons of cameras around RU and professional and amateur lens-wielders are making an overkill. We made a separate article about the list of awesome places you can visit in and around Rutgers. In this piece, we tell you about the best ways to preserve a piece each of all that beauty on your camera.
Decide on the lighting
You do not always have to spend a fortune on setting up the right lighting. On most occasions, sunlight is enough to shoot good still photographs. However, if you can afford an indoor lighting setting, shut out all windows and curtains. This way, you will have complete control over the lighting of the environment. Feel free to add and subtract light sources for more variation.
A quick way to manage outdoor lighting is to use reflectors. The outcome of still photography can be maneuvered a great deal when you use one or more reflectors to accentuate the natural lighting.
Learn a little about shot composition
Acclaimed photographers are often master composers of shots. Composition basically means the objects and elements (and their placement) in the shot. A strong composition generally relies on the application of the rule of thirds. Ideally, you would want to work with just the subject and the backdrop in the frame with limited, or preferably, no distractions.
There’s always extra marks for being innovative with the composition in still photography. Be clear about where you want eyes to land on the image. For one, every other element in the composition must add more value and not subtract a thing from the composition.
Follow the right people
Playing by the photography rulebook is never really as important as following the right people. A lot of amateur photographers learn quicker by following the pros in the business. More importantly, you should look for pros with common interests in subjects and photography styles. This way you will know the best way to treat the same (or at least similar) subjects.
Nature itself is another great experience for outdoor photographers. Many outdoor photographers lose themselves in the location before conducting an actual shoot.
Select appealing subjects
By appealing subjects, we mean subjects that appeal to you and your interests. Unless you develop some kind of interaction with your subject (living or inanimate), you would be hitting a tad lower than what you would generally aim for.
Here’s the simple derivation: if you like a place generally, there’s every chance you will click good pictures of it. You might end up capturing good stills without taking an instant liking to a place. But it always feels much better to develop that connection first.
Consider a tripod for still photography
Many of us beginners have this issue where the hands just can’t be still while holding a camera. Buying an inexpensive camera can summarily eliminate the problem. Plus, it gives you the leverage of multiple preset (and some custom) angles. A tripod also makes a remarkable difference to the way you look at subjects and lets you use longer aperture speeds.
Using a tripod definitely adds to your shooting capabilities. But you should not let the tripod affect the movement of your camera. Some of us tend to let the camera sit in the same spot for the whole length of the shoot.
Work on post-production
Clicking a photo is half the job done. Once the shoot is done, you should look to add software perfection to still photography. And you should not see this as a regular chore. Make it fun. If you are not already fluent in it, try and learn some Photoshop.
Standard Photoshop actions are great ways to beautify and accentuate photographs. In addition to generating perfect effects, standard actions also make work way easier and quicker. Everything from food photos to outdoor attractions deserves some love from Photoshop.
Rutgers photography guidelines
Here are a few things you should know about photography and filmography at Rutgers:
- If you want to use athletic/academic venues to conduct photography/videography shoots, you must request permission 30 days prior to the shoot.
- Get in touch with a Rutgers location coordinator who will help you find access to facilities, make time estimates, and accompany location scouts on campus.
- For video shoots, forward the script with details on the project subject and how you will treat the location.
- Submit the still photography mockups/storyboards to the location coordinator.
- All the submitted scripts, mockups, or storyboards need to be approved by the university before the signing of the location agreement.
If you are an amateur or pro photographer at Rutgers, download the Onata Providers app today. Onata® helps Rutgers students trade their photo and video skills for cash by connecting them with interested takers on campus.