Sunday, October 31, 2010

Organic Framing

The yacht by itself on a flat sea is probably only of interest to its owner.

Retreating from the subject, under a tree, creating a frame so the composition becomes a tango of frame and focus.

The tree seems about to swallow the yacht.

Choosing not just a rectangular frame. Instead, letting the frame make a statement. So the foliage intrudes, but the eye sees through it.

Some people grow trees in their garden to enhance the view. The frame grows to become an organic part of the picture.

Canon 5DII, 70-200mm (144), f4,1/4,000, Colonia del Sacramento 101029

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunset and sailboats


The subject is a cliché. The treatment is a cliché. Why take postcard snaps? It's the kind of scene that has memories for the person who took the photo.

Nevertheless, if you’re going to take such a picture, arrange it well. Time it well.

Have the sun beam his reflection down the water a little off-center. Stagger the boats to give a sense of depth. Focus on boats with different mass and rigging.

It looks symmetrical but it pleasing well isn’t.

Canon 5DII, 70-200mm (200), f4.5,1/1,250, Colonia del Sacramento 101023


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Friday, October 22, 2010

Verticals and Horizontals


I know an architect who, whenever he sees a building, shuts one eye and squints. If something isn’t square, he’ll say, “That wall’s a bit out of whack.” Or “The roof is sagging.”

Architects are programmed to check the verticals go straight up and horizontals follow the horizon.

And it helps your photographs if you approach certain subjects with this in mind.

Especially buildings. Use a wide-angle lens. Position yourself dead center and aim the camera lens dead horizontal and check there is no tilting. The house walls should be parallel with the vertical side of the picture frame and the floor should be parallel with the bottom of it.

Check the image on the photo editor. Pull the dotted marquee tool into a rectangle and check the verticals and horizontals of any square objects in the picture, like a house.

If the verts or horizes are a bit out of whack, you can rotate the picture until it comes right.

You can’t get it right every time. The pink house pictured had to be rotated 1 degree clockwise.

Canon 5DII, 17-40mm (40), f6.3, 1/2500 Colonia del Sacramento 101018


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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Color juxtaposition


You are walking along a street.

The sight of something stops you.

In this case a combination of two bricks in a concrete block wall.
One brown, one blue.

Warm against cool.

Frame it so it resembles a flag.

There is always a reason why something attracts the eye.
In this case, juxtaposition of two colors almost opposite on the color wheel. They contrast and complement each other.

A good introduction to the color wheel is here.

Canon 5D Mk II, 70-200mm (150), f4, 1/500, Colonia del Sacramento,101014


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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sunset shots can be better than WYSIWYG


Sunset can produce vivid colors.

Sunset is a time when the photos often don’t need brightness, contrast and hue adjustments to be made in Photoshop.

Sunset photos can be even better than “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG). Where the setting sun falls on an object set against a dark background, the results can be very contrastive.

The gold dog stands in eerie inky water.

The terracotta pot pushes back the oncoming darkness.

Canon 5D Mk II, 70-200mm, f4, 1/320 (dog), 1/1600 (pot), Colonia del Sacramento,101009


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