•  

Tag: Composition

12 Tips for Successful Travel Photography

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
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!
Continue Reading »

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

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

Breaking the Rules: Ignoring the Rule of Thirds

Filed in Tips by 3 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

6 Ways to Use Windows in Your Photos

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

Abstract Photography For Beginniners

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

Taking Awesome Group Photos

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
Taking Awesome Group Photos

We can’t avoid taking pictures of groups. They are part of every company picnic, Sunday night family dinner, and school picture day. They are also the first pictures pulled out when everyone in hunched over the photo album, reminiscing about all the fond memories associated with family gatherings and nights out with friends. While they are a common part of our lives as people and artists, they can sometimes be stressful to pull off and difficult to do well. Here are seven tips to help you achieve the best possible results.
Continue Reading »

16 Tips for Better Landscapes

Filed in Tips by 3 Comments
16 Tips for Better Landscapes

To the snap-shooter, nothing could be simpler than a landscape. Just find some pretty scenery, lift your camera and press the button. Viola! Landscape.

Now if you’re not a mere snap-shooter, you know the absolute folly of what I just said. While it’s true that it’s easy to shoot a landscape, it is also extremely difficult to capture one. What I mean of course is that anyone can lift a camera and press the button, and because landscapes don’t move it seems as if capturing one should be as easy as that. But you and I both know that recreating a beautiful, three-dimensional scene in a two dimensional medium is much more difficult than just hitting that shutter button. Let’s see how to do it…
Continue Reading »

How to Win Photography Competitions

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
How to Win Photography Competitions

I know you have some pretty awesome shots in your portfolio. Maybe even so awesome that your friends have encouraged you to enter them in photography competitions. You might have even won or placed in those competitions – but if you’re like the vast majority of your fellow entrants, you came away disappointed.

The sad truth is, awesome photos don’t always win photography competitions. That’s because judges are human beings, and human beings can have vastly different opinions and different tastes. Photography is subjective, and just because you think your photo is awesome, and your friends think your photo is awesome, and all those perfect strangers on Flickr think your photo is awesome, doesn’t mean that Bob T. McJudgester is going to agree with you.

So is there a way to improve your chances? Let’s find out…
Continue Reading »

How to fix (or just avoid) Distracting Backgrounds

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
How to fix (or just avoid) Distracting Backgrounds

Have you ever snapped what seemed like a great picture only to discover that there was something in the background that slaughtered your otherwise perfect shot? Maybe it was a person wearing bright colors doing something incredibly boring, like feeding a parking meter. Maybe it was a photobomb, and not the good kind, either. And then there’s those non-animate background distractions: tree branches that seem to grow right out of your subject’s head, or signs directing the whole neighborhood and everyone who sees your photo to the nearest laundromat.

Yes, backgrounds are important. And to the extent that they can actually turn a great shot into something terrible, they can sometimes be even more important than your subject.
Continue Reading »

How to take a Perfect Panoramic Photograph

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
How to take a Perfect Panoramic Photograph

Today’s point and shoot cameras have a ton of bells and whistles. If you own one of these little cameras, you may not even be aware of all of those fancy features. In fact you may be surprised to discover that your little point and shoot (or phone camera) is capable of some things that your DSLR isn’t. One of the most widely under-utilized bells (or maybe whistles) that point and shoot camera have is the panoramic mode. While you certainly can take panoramic images using a camera without this feature, it does make these shots infinitely simpler.

But what if you don’t have one of these cameras? Let’s see how to take images appropriate for panoramas, and how to stitch them together.
Continue Reading »

18 Composition Rules For Photos That Shine

Filed in Tips by 9 Comments
18 Composition Rules For Photos That Shine

Rules. When you were a kid, you hated them. You probably still hate at least some of them. For all the good that rules do in our world, they have the ugly side-effect of stifling freedom and individual creativity. And what is photography but a way to express creativity and artistic freedom? There shouldn’t be any “rules”!

Actually, photography rules are kind of like pirate code. More what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules. They are there to provide guidance, but if you need to break them you should do so without regret. Let’s take a look at 18 of the more common composition rules (okay, guidelines) to improve your photography.
Continue Reading »

31 Images with Outstanding Composition

31 Images with Outstanding Composition

Great composition is one of those things that you almost can’t define – it’s either there, or it isn’t. Almost anyone – even a non-photographer – can spot outstanding composition, though it’s not always obvious what specific qualities actually made that photo a great one. That’s why the so-called “rules” of composition are really just guidelines – once you’ve mastered them, you can feel free to ignore or use them where you see fit. Here are some examples of images with outstanding composition – see if you can pinpoint the reasons why.
Continue Reading »

The Photograph as Art

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
The Photograph as Art

What’s the difference between art and a snapshot? The answer is not usually very obvious. Art is subjective, and sometimes we recognize it subconsciously rather than consciously.
How does a photo make you feel? Does it make you think about a concept or an idea? Is it technically beautiful, and if not, does it break those technical rules beautifully? Taking fine art photos requires a lot of skill, experimentation and careful thought – but it is a pursuit that can be very rewarding. In this article, I want to explore the difference between a photograph as documentation, and a photograph as art.
Continue Reading »

Finding Inspiration

Filed in Tips by 6 Comments
Finding Inspiration

It’s called “creative block”, and it’s an ugly beast. All artists complain of it at some point in their lives, even great ones. It can happen to you when you’re immersed in the doldrums of an uninteresting routine, or it can happen to you when you’re standing in the Mongolian grasslands during the Festival of Naadam. Creative block doesn’t discriminate, so you need to have an arsenal of tools at hand to fend it off when it decides to make you its next victim.

If you’ve ever stood in one place with your camera hanging around your neck and just could not for the life of you find a photo anywhere in your environment, you’re probably suffering from creative block on at least some level. The key to beating it is to start fighting it as soon as you recognize it, because otherwise it can keep you in empty memory cards for weeks. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do. If you use these tips and exercises, you’ll not only banish creative block, you may also come up with some really great photos that you probably would never have thought of if you hadn’t had a bout of creative block. Take that, ugly beast.
Continue Reading »

Improve Your Photography with Unusual Photographs

Filed in Tips by 1 Comment
Improve Your Photography with Unusual Photographs

If I had to guess, I would say that 99 out of 100 hobby photographers never bend their legs. It’s not so hard to see why – human beings view the world mostly from one or two perspectives: standing up and sitting down. Occasionally we will also lie down in a place other than our beds or the sofa, but for the most part everything we see comes to us at a perspective of somewhere between five and six feet off the ground.

So most photographers don’t think about finding other angles, because the angle from which we view the world most of the time is so familiar and comfortable. But the sad truth is, it’s also boring. When you walk past that favorite city landmark and snap a photo of it, the chances are really good that your photo will look exactly like the last thousand photos that the last thousand photographers took of that same landmark–unless you spent some time thinking about your subject and how you could capture it in a unique way.
Continue Reading »