Okay, as I was scanning recent photographs, it didn’t take me long to come up with an idea for a new photography tip blog entry. Yay! I forgot how much I like to share this kind of stuff. Really fun!
After reviewing images from an outing last Spring, I realized many of my photos were all shot with a single wide-angle prime lens. I was following my own advice and limited my focal range for a single outing. Now it’s fairly common for one to use a wide-angle lens for such things as landscape, seascape, and cityscape photography, but shooting wide can also create fantastic spacial effects and transform the mundane into magic. Objects shot at close range with a wide angle lens (see your lens’s minimum focal distance) can make objects that would otherwise seem relatively near to your main subject, appear quite distant. The perspective of your subject will also appear greatly exaggerated.
Please enjoy the following images I took with a 20mm lens on a full frame equivalent sensor camera.
Note the exaggerated distance in the first image of my two dogs (Danny and Sandy) and then the exaggerated perspective of the bench and the taco truck images.
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If there are other things you would like to see, please please let me know!
Here’s an example of how simply cropping your photograph gives you a better composition. I spent a great bit of time setting the long exposure for the water, and positioning my tripod to achieve what I thought was going to be a great shot. In this image, I had too many things both to the left and right of the focal point (in this case the waterfall.) I also noticed that the focal point was rather diminutive and by simply cropping I would solve both problems. I found a square format worked nicely! (Oh, and color worked better than b&w this time.) Thanks for stopping by, and happy shooting!
Often times you are presented with a subject that has no discerning background or with a landscape that has a clear division between two parts. Understanding the relationship your subject has with the negative spaces and applying a clear use of dominance can mean the difference between your pictures looking okay and looking outstanding.
After adjusting the image with some curves in photoshop to completely whiten the background, I cropped in a little closer to provide interesting shapes in the negative space. This also gave the rock dominance by allowing it to occupy more space than the background.
With two main sections in this image, I had to decide between the two which would dominate. Visually it made more sense to allow the dark water to rule. The flow of the composition moves from left to right smoother and it also places my bird in a pleasing space.
It seems to me that shooting photography down a shoreline always presents opportunity for dominance choices. Should I let the land dominate, or the water? The answer isn’t always clear and many times, both options work. Here, I chose the land. This is a case when both would have worked with a little moving around on my part.
Now, go forth and conquer your next photography quest! As always, feel free to comment, ask questions, or request a subject for a post.
We are all taught in art school or photography classes about portrait and landscape formats and the appropriate uses of them. Today, I want to demonstrate the power of the square! If done right, presenting an image in a square format can make a bold statement. There is something kind of hip about ignoring rules and putting something out there that looks a little different from the rest. With that in mind, there are a few things you want to look out for to avoid making your image look less like a statement and more like a mistake!
As in other formats, you want to remember some basic rules of good composition. Think thirds and avoid dividing the picture in half will keep the image dynamic(if this is your intent). Try not to pull the eye out of the picture by cropping lines or high contrast objects out of the frame.
In this example, there are lines leading away from the subject matter, but they are minimized by the use of value. The brightest and highest contrast is on the Slug shaped fallen tree.
Another great way to use this format is by creating an abstract image. Use pattern, shape and rhythm to make images that resemble abstract paintings.
I titled this one “Rothko Day” after the famous painter. There are three major bands going across this picture with enough detail to retain a natural element, but remain abstract.
Keep It Moving:
To counter the stagnant nature of the square, choose a photograph that conveys motion.
The lively nature of this small waterfall keeps the square format lively and visually compelling!
Thanks for reading. Please follow my blog for further articles with examples. Contact me with any questions or comments.