Alan Bohms – Top 5 Tips on Snapping The Perfect Photograph

What is snapping?
In the specific outcome of photography, the action of snapping is taking photos at high speed and often with an urgency that compels the capturer to think quickly.

Prolific photojournalist, Alan Bohms considers himself a snapper. He refers to this as a practice first and foremost which, he describes, allows for such large portfolios of work. In this action of quickly adapting to a situation or moment, the muscle memory and psychological habit of snapping compels the photographer to start storytelling through the image.

Bohms identifies 5 top tips in his snapping the perfect photography. Laying out a formalist approach, the skill set of hand will lead the eye in the sense that habit of technical ability will inform the aesthetic and conceptual.

Digital Mega Pixel Camera.
The ubiquitous use of camera phones and the ever evolving technology of quality lends well to the beginner of snapping. Since its multiuse and pocket ready suitability, having a smart phone with 12-megapixel camera matches early digital SLR image capture.
Bohms suggests using one’s own smart phone and to consider investing in high end phone quality phones when in need of updating. Huawei and Samsung offer this at affordable prices over the popular iPhone.

Shutter Speed
Get used to the idea that digital cameras are looking to mimic the SLR camera of way back. Smart phones are fitted with camera sensors that have the facility to adjust speeds so motion can be captured or blurred. In this way, Bohms instructs beginners to play with the effects possible in these settings with subjects in various stages of motion.

Depth of field
Camera Lenses, regardless of analogue baseline, operate under the principle of how much light is read to a sensor. Apertures are like eye lids that regulate the amount of light gets in. To this end, depth of field, or the range of focus, can be altered by having open or squinted apertures. Again this is referenced as a play factor in learning the basics of photography.

In mastering these skills, Bohms compels the beginner to utilise them as habitual behaviour. As such, the importance of critical thinking is incorporated.

‘Every artist always thinks in composition’ says Bohms. ‘The building up of part to form a whole’ he continues.
Composition is a way of seeing regardless of a view finder or picture screen and as such, Bohms encourages participants to see possible images in completed frames, mirrored reflections, staggered sequence, aligned positioning and use of angles.
Through observing other photographers ‘snaps’ can one build up on instinctive reactions to photographs and why they appeal. Reenforcing this will ultimately help the eye of the photographer.

What quick statement can be made from a snap? Does it describe something in a complete totality? And does it lead to further questions?
Bohms implores photographers to develop a sense of critical thinking around them, to help read the situation or space. Where stories are being written all the time, Bohms understands the ‘snapper ‘as the one who reads them.