Friday, September 30, 2011

Camera Button Friday: its all about perspective

In photography, there are 2 main ingredients to an image: Light and Composition.  More on Light here, but this is about composition.  By definition, composition is how things are aligned (more on that here) but your perspective (where you are and what you see) is just as imposrtant.  Getting your camera into an interesting location can sometimes be 50% of the shot...

This video it is 90% location.

I am not saying you need to become an astronaut to get good photos but the idea is there.  For the rest of us here on earth, it may take a little more creativity:

  • Don't take photos at eye level
  • Look behind you
  • Intentionally put yourself in the 'rough'
  • Find a good foreground and shoot over/through it
  • Get closer
  • Back up to include more context 
I know the last two are inconsistent but hear me out, many times taking a step back can add perspective or context to the scene, this has been a new way for me to show more about the 'story' of an image.

In short, look for a different perspective than the 'normal.'

(There is also an element of the unexpected.)

Play, explore and do something different.


Friday, September 23, 2011

camera button friday: story

I know, I am cheating by re posting images from 2 days ago...but for a purpose.

The other day I was talking with a writer about photography.  Trying to relate to what she knows, I connected photography to story telling (well at least the basics of story telling, think like a 5th grader now.)  In a story, you can start with an introduction of the scene that sets the stage, you then introduce characters and their relation to the scene.  You may draw out more details or interactions before you state a conclusion or result of the interaction.  Bonus points to the best stories that have conflict and resolution, usually told by juxtaposition of two elements or a character with their environment.

Here is a VERY simple photographic story, with similar elements of the above.  (If you really search, you can find the is in the desire to fill the empty bag with deliciousness.)

For a writer, or anyone who understands the complexities of story telling, this may be way to simple and childlike for you.  That is ok.  But do go out and try it.  The complexities of the actual photograph and the imagination of the viewer add in all the details that writers add with words.

Story telling is simplest in photography with a series of 3-7 images but the masters can do it in one!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

first apple picking

The apple picking of the season, hopefully the first of many.

We have never been this early in the season, it feels like Fall is falling a little sooner than normal.  Lets just hope it is because it will be a long one, and not a sooner winter.  We love this time of year.

Monday, September 19, 2011

sarah and shaun's wedding

Congratulations Sara and Shaun,I hope you enjoy your images as much as I did taking them.


Friday, September 16, 2011

cedar campus

Intervarsity has a couple camps that we use as retreat and training senters.  These are beautiful camps to say the least.

I was able to visit Cedar Campus for a recent project. The uper penicula of Michigan truly is a beautifyul as the say.  Not sure if I can say much more than that to do it justice.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

water like silk

One morning, I woke early and thought, “I should get out and photograph something.”  I remembered a stream I had recently discovered, so I grabbed my tripod and ran out to the spot.  Because the sun was still hidden behind the nearby hills, I was able to shoot everything with the same it was all in the shade.  I proceeded to race around like little boy who just got a new bike for Christmas.  The fact that the light quality was great and that I brought my tripod (and filters like a polarizer and a new Graduated ND) really made this a lot easier than it should be.

How to: After finding a location, the biggest thing is that you need a good, solid tripod.  This is hard because usually this means really heavy or really expensive.  (Lets just say mine is not the lightest out there.)  Second: I used a Polorizer to cut out reflections on the water and on the green leaves so that things were of a more natural hue...and it drops the light levels a bit too so that I could have longer shutter speeds.  Finally, I tried out a new Graduated Neutral Density filter.  This is just a piece of glass that I hold in front of my lens, it has a darker area on the top and fades to clear on the bottom,  this makes the top of my frame darker than the bottom.  This really helped in images like the first and last ones, where the light values in the trees were brighter than those on the creak.