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Tag: Composition

Using Vertical Lines in Your photography

Filed in Tips by on February 4, 2016 0 Comments
Using Vertical Lines in Your photography

I know you’ve heard a lot about diagonal lines, and how they can be used to add depth and dimension to a photograph. Diagonal lines are wonderful because they act as arrows, drawing your viewer’s eye into a scene and encouraging it to spend some time looking around. But what about vertical lines? What do they do for your photographs? Keep reading to find out. Continue Reading »

Using Horizontal Lines in Your Photography

Filed in Tips by on January 28, 2016 1 Comment
Using Horizontal Lines in Your Photography

Diagonal lines lead the eye, vertical lines imply strength, height and majesty, now what about horizontal lines? We use horizontal lines in our photography probably more than we even realize. Almost every landscape photograph has a horizontal line, or at least an implied horizontal line—and that’s the horizon. But you can find horizontal lines in other places too, and you can use them to create different moods and emotions in your photos. Keep reading to find out how. Continue Reading »

For Better Photographs, Don’t Think Big, Think Simple

Filed in Tips by on December 31, 2015 1 Comment
For Better Photographs, Don’t Think Big, Think Simple

Keep it simple, stupid. Yes, there is perhaps no phrase that is more true and more insulting all at the same time (who are you calling stupid?) But generally speaking, the first part of that phrase describes the best way to accomplish most of the things we do in life. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, but for the most part the simplest option is usually the best one.
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Five Things Fiction Writers Can Teach You About Photography

Filed in Tips by on November 19, 2015 1 Comment
Five Things Fiction Writers Can Teach You About Photography

Most of us can recall some sort of instruction in story writing, whether it was in grade school, high school or college. Never mind that you didn’t really have an interest in writing fiction, for some reason academics seemed to demand it. So do you remember anything you learned while you were penning those required mysteries, romances and sci-fi stories? Believe it or not, you may find some of those lessons useful in your photography. Read on to find out what they are. Continue Reading »

The Three Composition Rules That Work Best (and why)

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The Three Composition Rules That Work Best (and why)

Photography rules, as you know, are really just guidelines. If you break the rules of thirds, for example, you will not be punished. The hand of the photography gods will not come out of the sky and take your DSLR away from you. You will not be shamed by the composition police (well, maybe in some circles you will, but you should probably just avoid those people). The rule of thirds – like all those other rules – is just there to give you an idea about how to compose a photograph. There’s no law that says you have to use it.

But the thing is, those rules exist because most of the time, they do work. So how can you look at any given scene and know for sure which one (if any) of the many compositional rules you should apply?
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How To Avoid Sensory Overload in Your Photographs

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How To Avoid Sensory Overload in Your Photographs

The dog is barking. The phone is ringing. Something in the oven is burning. There’s some really fast-action, colorful stuff happening on an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants on your big-screen TV, and your kids have the volume turned up all the way.

This is called sensory overload, and if you have kids you’re probably intimately familiar with it. But did you know that sensory overload can also plague your photographs?
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How Clutter Can Wreck Your Photo

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How Clutter Can Wreck Your Photo

Yes, clutter. It’s the bane of most modern people – unless you’re Martha Stewart. Most people’s homes contain some version of clutter, whether you call it that or not. It could be that you have an extensive collection of knickknacks. Or it could be that you just aren’t very good at picking up the dishes after every meal. Whatever the case may be, the clutter that is so pervasive inside your home it is not very good background for your photographs. So apart from hiring Martha Stewart to organize your home for you, what can you do to avoid clutter in your photos?
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Mastering Composition

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Mastering Composition

(or, why you can’t just point your camera at something and press the button)

A bad photo is easy to spot. Even a lay person knows a bad photo when she sees one. The only people who don’t seem to notice bad photos are the people who take them.

You know the sort of image I mean. Just go to Facebook and click on any random friend’s collection of family and vacation photos. Sure, some are going to be great because some people have a better natural eye for composition than others. But a lot of them are going to be bad. Kids in chaotic clusters trying to chase a soccer ball. People who appear as tiny specs in front of giant landmarks. Seascapes with no sense of dimension. Where did all these images go wrong?
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Twelve Mistakes Rookies Make

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Twelve Mistakes Rookies Make

No one is born knowing how to use a camera. Every single photographer you know from amateur to professional at one time picked up a DSLR (or an SLR) camera, turned it over awkwardly, looked at all those buttons and thought to himself, “How the heck do I use this thing?”

Rookie mistakes in any field are usually pretty predictable. That’s because they’re honest mistakes, and it’s pretty easy to see how the unschooled and unpracticed might end up making them. Even if you’ve come a long way since the first time you held a DSLR, it’s worth reviewing this list so you’ll know which mistakes you’ve moved past, and which ones you may still be making (don’t worry, your secret is safe with me).
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Beyond Snapshots (or, why do all those other photos look better than mine)

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Beyond Snapshots (or, why do all those other photos look better than mine)

There are two types of photos in this world. No, I don’t mean black and white vs. color. I don’t mean digital vs. film. I mean snapshots vs. works of art.

You have probably taken your share of snapshots. We all have. Snapshots are what happen when we whip out our iPhones to grab a picture of Kid A or Kid B holding that preschool graduation diploma or smearing spaghetti sauce all over his face. And don’t get me wrong, a snapshot of something you want to remember is better than no photo at all. But why settle for a mere snapshot when you can have a work of art instead?
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12 Tips for Successful Travel Photography

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12 Tips for Successful Travel Photography

If you are anything like me, you thrill at the thought of traveling somewhere new and exotic. We drool over the thought of capturing the fruits of our exploration with our cameras. Travel photography is an especially decadent genre that presents some varied challenges from the mundane to the extravagant. Here are 12 ways to make sure your trip and your photographic endeavors are everything you want and more!
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Breaking the rules: When is it OK to break the active space rule?

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Breaking the rules: When is it OK to break the active space rule?

Now that you’ve learned all the rules of photography, I’ll bet this is just what you want to hear: forget everything.

Well, don’t forget everything. The “rules” are there because there’s a very good reason for them. Most of the time, you will want to follow the rules of photography because most of the time they will serve you very well.

But not all the time. That’s why I’m bringing you this series on when and how to break the rules of photography. This is rule number two on my list, or rule-breaker number two: the “active space” rule.
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Breaking the Rules: Ignoring the Rule of Thirds

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Breaking the Rules: Ignoring the Rule of Thirds

I’m not going to say, “Rules were meant to be broken”, because everyone already knows that. Besides, it’s such a cliché. So I’ll just say that in photography, the word “rule” doesn’t mean the same thing as at means, say, in politics. Not that it means anything there, either.

In photography, rules are like pirate code: they’re really more like guidelines. You can break them, but you need to have a good reason. So to help you along in that goal, I’d like to welcome you to my series on breaking photography rules, starting with the grand master of all photography rules, the rule of thirds.
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6 Ways to Use Windows in Your Photos

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6 Ways to Use Windows in Your Photos

Windows provide light and add beauty as an architectural feature. As a photographer your concerns about glare and reflections may cause you to steer clear of windows, but you may want to consider including them more. If you do it properly, including a window in your composition can actually add visual interest and of course light to your photos. If you are stuck in a creative rut, this may be just the ticket. Read on for six ways to use windows in your photographs.
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Abstract Photography For Beginniners

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Abstract Photography For Beginniners

Photography as an art is usually based on your viewer looking at all the parts of a photograph and forming meaning based on their world experiences. Abstract photography removes the parameters of context. So it frees you to create the meaning you wish to convey… so your viewer will be able to look at something in a completely new light. Abstract photography is the art of stripping away and stripping down. It helps to have a keen eye for detail and the ability to see an object (often a common everyday item) as its individual parts rather than the whole. Abstract photography is a challenge but there are some basic tips to get you started off in the right direction.
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