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Photography 101 - Tips and Editing Techniques

When Opportunity Meets Preparation!

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a 2 hour lecture on “Taking a great photograph, composition” by Doug Johnson. What would you expect the lecture to be about? Rules of thirds, three is a strong number, keep it simple, move in close. This approach would have been fine by me since I am still learning the rules so I can later break them.

Instead Doug took an entirely different approach which has me still thinking about how I photograph. Doug spoke of patience, how he once sat for three hours waiting for the wind to settle down so he could get the picture. Being aware and finding that decisive moment to express your subject and yourself. His lecture was extremely inspirational and well put together!

He brought with him many examples  by some amazing photographers.  Before last night I had never heard of these photographers so I wrote down my favorites:

Cig Harvey
Lisa Wiseman
Ami Vitale
Mark Story
Manuel Alvarez Bravo
Henri Cartier-Bresson

The first picture he showed was a picture of a older lady in the center of the frame walking up a hill. Doug asked our thoughts on this picture before saying it was a picture he took of him mom. He took it because he had an emotional attachment to his mom. He didn’t care about the trees or how it looked it was for him. I realized I take pictures one of two ways – One way is of my family which would be me capturing a moment for myself,  and the other way is luck. I don’t prepare or think about the photo I just wonder why an amazing photo isn’t falling in my lap. My thoughts don’t go beyond making sure my subject is in the frame.  Light an after thought usually when I am working in Photoshop I think hmm should have put a little more thought into that one!

Light – Moment – Perspective

Light describes so what should you think about when looking for the light:
1. Quality – is it a soft light (soft in the details) or hard light (exciting, strong)
2. Angle – Do you have front light which creates color, side light that will promotes form or depth and the last one back light that portrays shape.
3. Color – warm or cold (color balance)

I learned something else I think I might be a bit scared of shadows… All the images we looked at were interesting with depth and light dancing around arm in arm with shadows.

Three things I learned during last nights lecture, three things I need to think about every time I take a picture:

1. Pay attention to the light, look for it.
2.What is the story I am trying to convey
3. Being aware, finding that decisive moment to take the picture!

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