Saturday, April 23, 2011

Capturing a Satisfying Image

Matt Considine, one of my favorite photographers, is today’s guest blogger. I’m sure you’ll enjoy his words and extraordinary photography as much as I do.

Matt is a professional photographer, based in Hong Kong, with over 25 year’s experience. He is currently working on several travel photography books.

I’ll turn the post over to Matt:

Thanks Mari for inviting me on as a guest blogger.

I think everyone who has have ever taken a photograph knows the feeling of capturing an image that has that special something that makes it stand out. When you start photography, it is hard to really pin down why you like one image more than another.

There is no doubt that the more keepers you get, the more enjoyment you will get from your photography. The question is how do you increase your rate of keepers. Initially, you might take a lot of photos hoping that sheer numbers will do the trick. This approach works to an extent, and if you are starting in photography it will also help you develop basic camera skills.

However to really increase your rate of keepers, it helps to know a few fundamental concepts and to really think about each image before you take the photo. It might seem counter-intuitive that good images can be analyzed, but it turns out that there are a bunch of factors that can be found in most interesting images.

So what are some of these factors? Firstly, you should know what sort of image you are taking. Is it an image with a clear subject or is the image more abstract. In this article I’ll talk about images with a subject.

For this type of image it helps to ensure that the exposure of subject brings out the features you intend. These features could be from an evenly exposed subject to a shadowed subject or even a silhouette. The point is, you choose don’t let the camera choose the exposure for you.

Avoid cluttered backgrounds and minimize distracting the viewer from the subject. In fact, the background is often one of the most important factors in a good image, so move around until it’s right. Find backgrounds with repeating patterns or interesting textures. Lines leading into the subject can also help direct the viewer to the subject.

Next, is controlling the aperture and thus the depth of field (that is the parts of he image in focus). A wide open (big) aperture (say f 2.8) gives you a shallow depth of field which means that if the subject is in focus the background will be out of focus. This helps concentrate the viewer’s attention on the subject.

If the subject is alive try to capture the moment when the subject is doing something. For example sipping a coffee, growling, yawning…you get the idea.

Consider placing the subject according to the rule of thirds. To do this, divide the frame vertically and horizontally into thirds and position the subject where these lines intersect. Alternatively have the subject fill the frame or perhaps make the subject smaller than normal, to convey a sense of scale.

Something to consider, is that a DSLR or high end point and shoot will give you more control over the aperture (depth of field) and will actually help you take better images. DSLRs have undergone amazing improvements in recent times so even entry level DSLRs are very good tools for acquiring satisfying images.

Follow these guidelines and you will find that the more keepers you get, the more satisfaction and fun you will have with your photography! 

Be sure to have a look at my site at http://www.mattconsidine.com/ and leave a comment on my blog.


Cheers
Matt Considine
Travel Photographer



Matt, thank you so much for this great information and for the guest blog. Also check out Matt’s work at Palau – Micronesia Gallery, Laos Indochine Gallery, Sri Lanka GalleryRajastan – India Gallery and
Varanasi India Gallery. Please do leave your comments on his site.




It's not too late to enter our Mission Possible Challenge! See fellow bloggers photos in the comments section of the Mission Possible post.



15 comments:

Nelieta said...

Thank you for sharing these tips with beginner photographers!

Sailor said...

That was fantastic Matt and thanks to Mari for bringing Matt on board.

melissa said...

very impressive mari... and very handy tips... "subjects" are, of course, very important... but sometimes we dwell so much on the background... and the place where photoshooting could be done...

but i guess a good photographer can create wonders with a very simple subject in the most ordinary place such as a market...

i can't go thoroughly on the details of the camera, however, that's one limit i have... and the time to shoot the subjects...

but thanks...i'll share this to my photographer friends as well...:)

Kriti said...

Mari thanks for the fantastic introduction! Matt this was really fun and informative - a rare combination.

emilene said...

Great stuff - thanks Mari and Matt, I'm going to visit your site right now.

sulekkha said...

Lovely guest post and wonderful tips for us beginners. Thanks for sharing.

whatstruckme said...

Thank You Mari for having Matt over at your blog.
Matt,those tips are very helpful. Thank you once again. I shall visit your site.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I'm glad everyone enjoyed Matt's guest blog. Be sure and check out his photo links.

Regards, Mari

Debra said...

Mari, thank you for introducing us to Matt… stopping by to visit him next. I’m using this post, “Capturing a Satisfying Image”, as a reading assignment for my teen daughter, who has taken up photography this past year. She and a friend of mine are journeying together into this realm.

David said...

Thanks for the guest blogger as Matt has some amazing photos. As a beginner the pics certainly give me something to shoot for. Take care!!

N'na the Goodhealthdiva said...

I greatly appreciate those tips! I have been adding a whole lot more photos in my blog post and this article is a true blessing! Stop by the blog and leave comments on the pictures beside pictures of my garden I have picture of the city look under the category "Chattanooga" to see the articles with pictures of the city.Thank you so much for always sharing some good tips!

vaisakhi said...

amazin pics...loved the pine cone n blue bird pic the most...:)...n thanx matt 4 the tips...:)

vaisakhi said...

amazin pics...loved the pine cone n blue bird pic the most...:)...n thanx matt 4 the tips...:)

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I'm glad everyone enjoyed Matt's guest blog. Be sure and check out his photo links.

Regards, Mari

emilene said...

Great stuff - thanks Mari and Matt, I'm going to visit your site right now.