Friday, July 29, 2011

Flower Friday

I’m working on another post for my series on street photography but haven’t gotten it finished. So, I decided to make this a Flower Friday. I hope you enjoy my images. 

Here's a link to my first Street Photography post from July 17, Takin' It To The Streets 

Recommended reading:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Composition Summarized

Over the past few months I’ve posted several guidelines on composition and this post will summarize them. 

We have several guest photographers with us today and I’d like to thank them very much for sharing their photos. Their images are great and add unique character to this post. It’s always important to view other photographer's work and learn new ways to improve our own photos. This post would not be nearly as interesting without my guest's photographs.

I've posted the photos in the category the photographer chose or, if they did not choose a category, I chose one for them. Photography, like art, is subjective. Some of these photos fit into several categories so I choose which I felt suited the image best. 

These compositional guidelines help you take more compelling photographs. They give a natural balance, draw attention to the important parts of the scene, or lead the viewer's eye through the image.

The guidelines take your photographs from snapshot quality to professional looking images. Once you have the guidelines down pat, start experimenting with breaking them.

All photos and other content are copyright protected. Do not use content in any way without explicit permission from image or blog owner. Thank you. 

Compositional Guideline: The Rule of Thirds

Jim from:  Holes In My Soles

"Looking across Chobe River
from Ihaha Camp at sunset. 

Chobe National Park, Botswana."

In Jim's comment on his photo above: "Horizon I have placed at lower third horizontal. Sun I have placed at right third vertical. Unenhanced, just as my camera took them on Sunset setting."  Jim, this is one of the most beautiful sunset photos I have seen! 

The basic principle behind the Rule of Thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds, vertically and horizontally, so that you have 9 parts in your image. Some cameras allow you to set the viewfinder or LCD display into a Rule of Thirds format meaning that when you look through your viewfinder you see the grid. Picture this grid over Jim's photo above.

The theory is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or on the grid lines that your photo is more balanced. 

Below is a great candid shot. There's a bit of mystery here with the mother and child looking away from the camera. It makes you wonder who or what they are looking at. The mother is on the left vertical grid line.

Christine Tandoc  (Melissa Tandoc’s sister)
Melissa's Blog: Depth

I will be posting more of Christine's images in my next post on street photography. Her work is some of the best I've seen! She captures great emotion and human interest in her images.

Melissa's blog, Depth, is always full of wisdom, wit, candor and wonderful poetry and verse. Be sure and visit her.

Jim from:  Holes In My Soles
"Awaiting the lions...again."
Chobe National ParkBotswana.
Jim's comments on his second photo: "Second breaks the rules. The pain endurance of this mauled hippo demands a full frontal effect on the viewer so his eye with tears streaming is centrally located." Check out more of Jim's nature and travel photos on his blog. His photos and posts are always fascinating. I love them because I get to learn about and see places I'd never get to see otherwise.

The 4 images below all follow the Rule of Thirds. Can you spot the imaginary grid lines in each photo?
Photo by Rimly Bezbarua’s son Ron 

Photo by Rimly Bezbarua’s son Ron 

Photo by Rimly Bezbarua’s son Ron 

Photo by Rimly Bezbarua’s son Ron 

I'm not sure how old Rimly's son is but his photos are excellent. I love macro images and Ron captures them with a great eye for photography. Keep it up, Ron! 

Rimly's blog, Journey, is entertaining on many levels. Her poems and writing are lovely and thoughtful, her talent obvious. Be sure and visit her blog. It's always a joy to read her work.

Read the full  Rule of Thirds Post 

Compositional Guideline: Composing Backgrounds & Elements

Background is one of the essentials in photography. However you must be aware of everything around your subject before you take the shot, not just the background.

Christine Tandoc  (Melissa Tandoc’s sister)
Melissa's Blog: Depth

If necessary, place your subject in a different location with a different background or take the shot from a different angle. Turn your subject, kneel down and shoot up, stand on something sturdy and shoot downward.

Jaqui Wilson
Artyjax-Creating My Art

Jaqui Wilson
Artyjax-Creating My Art
Jaqui Wilson is one of my favorite artist-photographers. Her art degree shows in her photography. Her use of color, detail, dimension and composition are always a joy to see. Be sure and visit her blog, and from there check out her photos on Flickr. You'll enjoy her personal perspective in both her art and her images.

Photos By Jan
Jan Neel Photography

Photos By Jan

Jan Neel Photography (above)
As Jan says on her blog, Photos By Jan, her images are random pictures of things or people she finds interesting. And her photos are not only interesting, she has a great eye for composition. She uses, as she puts it, a cheap camera and posts her photos without much editing. I love it! It shows you can be a terrific photographer without lots of fancy gear or software. I hope you'll see more of Jan's work in my posts! Be sure and stop by her blog, it's well worth your time. 

Photo by Rimly Bezbarua’s son Ron 

Do the elements in your composition add to it or distract from it? Remember to stop and look around before you push the shutter release button.

Christine Tandoc  (Melissa Tandoc’s sister)
Melissa's Blog: Depth

Another of my favorite travel and photo blogs is: Team G Square
Team G Square is another truly interesting travel blog. They always offer great information to match their images. They are a must see. Check them out.

Photo by Rimly Bezbarua’s son Ron 

Compositional Guideline: To Chop or Not

Chopping arms, legs and heads in the wrong places gives your photos a distracting unprofessional look. Your photos look like snapshots if cropped incorrectly.  Don’t chop off part of a head, hands, feet or legs unless done with well thought out planning.

This is one of the best examples I've seen of proper cropping for maximum impact.  The water, the boats, the relaxed feet propped on the wall - the whole image says "I'm relaxed - I'm on vacation - don't you wish you were here?" And yes I do!

Alida Sharp
Blackpurl's knitpickings
 Alida is an expat living in Belize. She's doing amazing things and explains her blog this way: "I began this journal just before our move to Russia to chronicle all of our life experiences so that I don't forget a minute of this incredible journey called life. Being an American abroad has its ups and downs.  And being a missionary to people recovering from alcoholism and/or drug addiction along with working to eradicate the sexual exploitation of children/youth is rarely glamorous but, every step of the way we are grateful for each experience we encounter."

Take a step back, move closer, zoom in or out to prevent cutting off an arm, leg or feet in the wrong place. Shoot more into your photo than you plan on using - you can crop your photos in post editing for the look you want to achieve.

Faye combined 4 photos of she and her friends into a great collage. The ideal cropping of arms, legs and hands draws attention to the faces of each person. 

Faye and her friends
Faye commented on the cameras/phones used for these photos: "We've used different cameras on that. The first picture on the upper left was taken using my phone that time which is Nokia 7373.The next picture was taken using a DSLR camera. Below the first picture was taken by phone which is Nokia 5610. And beside it was taken by an ordinary digital camera." 

Faye's blog combines fashion and photography. She has a great sense of both along with a charming outlook on life.  As she puts it "I love how the rain pours, the fireworks, how great the photography is, how wonderful the stories and poems are, everything that the world has."  You'll always leave her blog with a smile on your face.

Team G Square

Read the full To Chop or Not Post

Compositional Guideline: Frame Your Subject

One of the easier compositional techniques in photography is the use of framing your subject, in your photo, using elements in the scene.

Framing draws the viewer’s eye to the main subject and provides more depth to the picture. The result is an image which draws your eye naturally to the main point of interest. Framing often intrigues the viewer and causes them to linger on your image. Framing can offer context of who, what, when and where your photo was taken.

Photo by Rimly Bezbarua’s son Ron 
I love not only the cat snoozing on the deck but the cat peeking out the window.

Photos By Jan

The rocks and trees on the right and left of the image frame the waterfall beautifully.
Team G Square

The ship is framed by the sun and also the wave in the foreground.
Team G Square

Frames in photographs can include using anything from windows, trees, tunnels, arches or doorways. Use your imagination – take advantage of serendipitous opportunities. Don’t limit yourself, experiment.

Read the full Frame Your Subject Post

Compositional Guideline: Leading Lines

There are many different types of lines we can use in our photographic compositions: straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, and circular. Each can be used to improve our photo's composition. 

Looking at a photo containing strong lines naturally draws our eye along them. Think about how you place lines in your photo and you can affect the way the image is seen. The viewer can be pulled toward the subject, through the scene or into the picture.

I felt this fit the leading line guideline because the angles of the paths and building pull us into the photo. What do you think?
Team G Square

This cute little guy is definitely pulling us up from the corner of the photo into the center.
Photo by Rimly Bezbarua’s son Ron 

The hills, waterline and clouds pull us into the photo.
Photos By Jan

Team G Square

The colorful tree leads your eye up and through the photo.

Photo by Rimly Bezbarua’s son Ron 
Here's a perfect capture of the bend in the curved railing leading your eye to the center of the image.
Photos By Jan

The power lines, row of buildings and trees, and motorbikes very powerfully pulls your eye into the center of the photo.
Christine Tandoc  (Melissa Tandoc’s sister)
Melissa's Blog: Depth

Lines have many uses in a photograph. They can unify, divide, or accent a composition. If they are interesting enough, they can become the subject of the image themselves.

Read the full Leading Lines Post

All photos and other content are copyright protected. Do not use content in any way without explicit permission from image or blog owner. Thank you. 

If you'd put a particular photo into a different category which photo and which category would that be? Remember, all photography, like art, is subjective and open to the viewer's imagination. Leave a comment and let us know what you think. Post a photo of your own in the comment box.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Takin' It To The Streets

I’m talking street photography, also known as photojournalism or candid street shots. 

New Socks

Street photography is considered a form of documentary photography. It features subjects in candid situations in public places like streets, parks, political conventions, cities and other settings. 

Thank you kk for use of your photo

United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP15 - CopenhagenDenmark

Thank you kk for use of your photo

United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP15 - Copenhagen, Denmark

Thank you kk for use of your photo

United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP15 - CopenhagenDenmark

Street photography shows a single human moment, caught in a specific or touching way. It can also show a very personal image of the subject matter, giving the viewer a more factual experience of walks of life they might only be vaguely familiar with. 

I love street photography and capturing a spontaneous moment in time.

There’s lots of discussion and argument on just how to accomplish dynamic street images. Discussions include the type of camera and lens to use and whether or not to ask permission of the subject to snap his or her image. Asking permission takes you out of the realm of candid however.

Here are some thoughts by various street photographers about camera types to use. Experiment and chose which work best for you. 

Some street photographers prefer a small Point and Shoot camera with the lens fully extended. A Point and Shoot is small and less noticeable than a dSLR.

iPhones have become popular for street photography and are less obtrusive than a Point and Shoot or large dSLR camera.

Some suggest using a dSLR camera and a wide angle lens. The wide angle lens is small and not intimidating. A wide angle lens lets you capture more of the subject and their surroundings giving you an environmental portrait.

The most popular lens and camera combo is a dSLR with a 50mm prime lens. With a prime lens you must get close to your subject for focusing.

And of course there’s always reason to use a dSLR and zoom lens. With a zoom lens you can stand back from the subject and capture the action from a safe distance.

My next several posts will include more tips on street photography. 

Next week I will summarize my 6 posts on photographic composition. I have several guest photographers submitting photos. If you'd like to join in, below are the links to review, then email your photos to me at You will get a photo credit and a link to your blog. Let's have some fun!

Composition: Leading Lines
Composition: Frame Your Subject
Composition - Cropping
Composition: Rule of Thirds

Recommended reading on street photography: