Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back to Basics

Wow! After my last shoot where I cut off one too many hands in my composition it got me thinking about how often the basics are overlooked. In this particular shoot I became so caught up in getting the family of 5 in focus and getting them all to cooperate that I missed some of the my composition problems. But many times I see beginners on here looking for advice on some of their images and these are the most important things to look for:

In the simplest terms, exposure is: “is the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium during the process of taking a photograph.” To accommodate the huge variety of brightness levels we see in the real world, we need to be able to control how much light gets to the camera’s sensor. We do this by adjusting one or more of the three points of the “exposure triangle”. These three points are ISO, Shutter and Aperture.

Underexposed images or images with blown out highlights are some of the most common problems with beginners. Play with your auto settings and see what the settings are for certain scenarios and then try to replicate it manually by adjusting as necessary. Read what you can and practice as much as possible.


Lets start with the good old favorite - The Rule of Thirds - 'One of the most popular 'rules' in photography is the Rule Of Thirds. It is also popular amongst artists. It works like this: Imaginary lines are drawn dividing the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. You place important elements of your composition where these lines intersect.' Of course some of the most stunning pictures break this and most of the following 'rules'. But it whether you follow them religiously or break them rebelliously its worthwhile knowing them.

One of the easiest ways to improve your photography is with careful attention to framing. Look into the corners of the viewfinder to see what is there. Do you need all that background? Can you get closer to your subject or zoom in? Would the picture look better as an upright or landscape? And in my recent case, is everything of importance INSIDE the frame?

Perspective is the angle or level from which the photographer takes the photo, or their point of view. Stand up, squat, lay on the ground, tilt, any way you can get it! But ask yourself how else you could view your subject and experiment with it.

And remember, Photoshop is a great tool for enhancing images but you have to have an understanding of your equipment and the how to's of taking pictures. Focus on getting it right in camera first and then enhance what you have captured!

And a few images from this week:


Tabitha said...

What a great couple these are wonderful!