Archive for Composition

Visual Tension

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2018 by lilybug1960

Visual Tension.
 
Thank you to everyone who made it out to my presentation last night in Lawrenceville, GA for the Georgia Nature Photographers Association meeting. The weather was horrible but it put a smile on my face to see so many people brave it. It was an honor to have my Dad at the meeting to hear one of my presentations. He is responsible for placing a camera in my hand and helping to create my passion and love for photography.
 
One of the topics I talked about was why we have the “Rule of Thirds”. You hear all the time you should use the rule but no one ever says why. I have even made it a point to ask people “why”? The overwhelming majority of the time the answer is “because its a rule”. Well I will finally tell you “why” and do my best to explain it. There are two types of composition, symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical or “bullseye” means everything is balanced top to bottom, left to right. Asymmetrical is where you create a “visual tension” in the image and force the viewer to study the image. Simply put, you want people to look at all of the image, not just the center, you want them to study the elements of the image that compliment the subject. Now you know why you “break” up the frame from that 50-50 split, you want the visual tension, but make sure you use all the areas to move your viewers as they work their way through the frame.
 
In this image, I am actually using the “Rule of Thirds”, but it is actually more of a symmetrical image vs asymmetrical. I have centered my subject, but instead of creating the tension with an imbalance of elements, I balanced it by positioning myself to place the emerging coneflowers on each side.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 6400, shutter speed of 1/250th of a second, Sirui P224S monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional
Advertisements

“Doing it wrong and normal”

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2018 by lilybug1960

Doing it wrong and normal.
 
So this past week while I was in Wyoming a few good friends and I went out to shoot at Schwabacher’s Landing for sunrise. We were probably the 3rd car there and we decided we liked the reflections in the “curve” vs the traditional pond and set up there. We waited until the light lit the clouds in a way that only nature can produce. As we were there one of the other speakers came by and said hello then walked around with no tripod and did a few images holding their camera above their head. No biggie, it is their choice on how to compose. By the way, I won’t reveal the name of the photographer. The part that is humorous is that this photographer put an image of the 4 of us and an image of him (photographed by someone with him) side by side into his presentation and made the statement his was done “right” while we were wrong and normal. He then showed his image which he had manipulated to the point of ridiculously saturated (he made all the greens yellow and cooked the clouds) and minimal reflection since you had to be lower to get the best reflection. His overly saturated image is his choice and that is fine, but I’m not in the habit of calling out other photographers for their choice of image composition, especially in a presentation, but I do find it humorous that the incredible colors that nature produced weren’t enough to save his image and the idea of the need to over saturate in post was the choice needed. Again, his choice, but I will take “doing it wrong and normal” any day. I guess he missed the memo where I don’t go out and photograph for him, I photograph to capture the beauty of nature as it displays itself to the World. I would love it if he would put our images side by side for all to see, but that won’t happen.
 
Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-850, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 64, shutter speed of 1/13th of a second, Sirui SR 3204 tripod and K40x ballhead, Sirui 2 stop Graduated Neutral Density filter set just enough to hold back a little of the exposure on the sky, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #SiruiFilters

“Seeing through your eyes”

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Macro tips, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2018 by lilybug1960

Seeing through your eyes.
 
I was having a discussion with a friend about composition the other day. His question was “how do you see a composition when you look at a scene”? I thought for a minute and realize we all see “with” our eyes, but composition is different than just seeing, it is more of visualization of the arrangement of elements in a scene. It is seeing the effects of depth of field, angle of view, and things like the effects of shutter speed. I decided it isn’t just seeing with your eyes, but instead “seeing through your eyes”. The idea of composition isn’t just sight, but the process of seeing. It is your mind using the eyes to see what it visualizes. So my advice for him was to slow down when looking at a scene, identify what is the “subject” to his mind, then find things that lead him to either isolate the subject or tell a story about the subject. Think about how much of the scene you want to include and at what angle you want to show others your subject. Seeing through your eyes is nothing different than your mind using your nose to smell, we all are attracted to smells differently, none right, none wrong, just differently. I am willing to bet that some folks who don’t have the ability to see due to near total blindness have the greatest vision of all. They let their mind see through their eyes vs simply accepting what they see as the way things should appear. Begin seeing through eyes, let your mind lead your vision instead of letting your eyes leading your mind.
 
Tamron SP 90mm Di VC USD 1:1 Macro lens on a Nikon D-850, Manual Exposure mode, f5.6, ISO 64, shutter speed of 1/80th of a second, Sirui N3204X tripod and K30X ballhead, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #seeingthroughyoureyes

One lesson…”stop taking pictures”!

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2018 by lilybug1960

One lesson…”stop taking pictures”!
 
For many years I have been asked to speak to groups in clubs, at conferences and during workshops, and I am asked for that one piece of advice that will help them with their photography. My answer is this, stop taking pictures, start creating images. These 6 words can improve your photography more than anything else. Why? A picture is nothing more than a moment in time, meaning the shutter speed simply captures that moment in our life. It is a snapshot of an event or a place, where an image is a memory of that moment in time. When I go out to create an image, I slow down, choose a place, a lens, an angle of view, shutter speed, filters, in other words, there are lots of decisions that I make. I arrange the elements within the frame to visually lead the viewer through the frame. I want the viewer to be there with me, to feel what I felt as I stood in that spot. Every image I have ever made, I can remember vividly the circumstances of that moment.
 
So if you could ever learn anything from me or my images, I hope it is to stop taking pictures and start creating images. Your love for photography and the World around us will simply get better.
 
Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD lens on a Nikon D-700, Aperture Priority mode, f8, ISO 200, resulting in a shutter speed of 1/13th of a second, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster

Pay Attention to your Background

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2018 by lilybug1960

Pay attention to your background.
 
While I lead my group around Zoo Miami, I would try and find “lessons” as we walked. When we got to the Lion’s enclosure, a great lesson presented itself. From the spot that seemed a perfect area to photograph the Lion there was a tree behind it that I knew would present itself as a distraction in the finished image. I explained to the students that were with me at the time to do their compositions, then remove their eye from the viewfinder. When they returned their eye back to the viewfinder I asked them if their compositions looked the same as they did only moments prior. Everyone now noticed the tree behind the Lion where they missed it before. I then moved the group to our left enough to remove the tree from being a distraction. When you compose your image it is easy to develop “tunnel vision” and to miss objects in your frame that aren’t elements that will aid in your image but instead distract. Take a few seconds to remove your eye from the camera and then when you return it can be enough to break that “tunnel vision”.
 
Tamron 100-400mm Di VC USD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 200, shutter speed of 1/800th of a second (first image) 1/500th of a second (second image), Sirui P326 carbon fiber monopod, MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13L Slingbag, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

Element Orientation in Photography

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2017 by lilybug1960

Element Orientation in Photography.
 
When approaching a scene one thing that every photographer perplexes over is where to place the subject. I am doing some presentations this July in Amherst, MA for the NECCC on “Designing a Landscape”, and this is one of those subjects I will cover. This is the tree in Cades Cove that probably every photographer has been at least tempted to shoot at some point. Placing it in a frame to keep the viewers interest is the key to making it successful. I have heard of a study, but have never seen it, that said since we read top to bottom and left to right in our culture, the strongest points to place a subject is either top left, or lower right. In this image I find myself preferring the image with the tree in the lower right. It could be because of the small tree on the other side of the frame that complements the larger tree or there might be something to the study. Next time you are out photographing, experiment with subject placement and see which is best for your liking.
 
All three images were made with the Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD lens on a Canon 5Diii, Manual Exposure mode, f16, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/30th of a second, Sirui W2204X tripod and K20X ballhead, MindShift Gear FirstLight 20L, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronImageMaster, #TamronLensesUSA, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

“The Rule of Nine-Tenths”

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2017 by lilybug1960

“The Rule of Nine-Tenths”
 
You often hear about “rules” of composition, the most often cited is the “Rule of Thirds”, and I agree, it is always good to know rules but better to know when to break them. In this image, there is not enough interest, in my opinion in the foreground to fill one third of the frame, so minimize the foreground, add more sky since the clouds and the blue area are more interesting. This again is an image where an asymmetrical composition is the way to go and to allow the “negative space” of the clouds and sky to simply compliment the minimal area with the tree. A key to composition is to look for less, never more, don’t confuse the viewer. This is the famous tree that everyone photographs in Cades Cove. I am glad to see it survived the high winds that damaged so much of the Park this past week, keeping it closed for several days. The iconic image that everyone gets on Sparks Lane is very different today than it was a week ago.
 
Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD lens on a Canon 5Diii, Manual Mode, f16, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/30th of a second, Sirui W2204X tripod and K20X ballhead, MindShift Gear FirstLight 20L, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronImageMaster, #TamronLensesUSA, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear