Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!
Learn by Doing Photography #47 – Foreground Interest
If you have ever read about photography/composition the word foreground has been said. Foreground is one of those composition terms I am always trying to remember. Sometimes I look back on images and one stands out amongst all the others. I sit back and wonder why do I like this particular picture over another one. Many times the reason is foreground, I will notice a leading line in one or the way I was lower to the ground adding to the foreground.
When photographing I always try to move around. Make sure to take a picture standing, but also go low to the ground. That way when you’re sitting at your computer all the imges won’t look exactly the same. Learn from yourself which one stands out, which one you like best.
Of course Andorama always has a good photography video, today it’s with Bryan Peterson. He is an excellent photography. I own his book “Understanding Exposure” which I have referred to many times, and would highly recommend. Here is a quick photography tip on adding foreground interest to a photograph, and what a difference it makes!
Remember you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!
Thank you to all the photographers below for sharing their beautiful images with us today! They’re amazing!
This week on Learn by Doing Photography we practiced the Rule of Thirds. A guideline for composing images by dividing it into nine equal parts and placing your subject on on one of the intersecting lines. It can create a very strong balanced image. Of course all rules are made to be broken, but it’s good to know the basics first!
If you’re curious if your picture is following the rule of thirds, check out this awesome tool James Morley created. You can add one of your pictures to the group or just view it and see how the rule of thirds works with your picture.
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Assignment #44 – Leading lines!
Let me tell you how this week’s assignment started, it was kinda magical for me. I was driving through town thinking about photography thinking about what Bernhard Seuss said in an interview I recently read:
“the photographer learns to break down the subject to its basic compositional elements then builds an image from them.”
So I’m driving thinking about composition, when I noticed the light poles. They all went straight up! That might seem silly, I drive by these lights every day, but in a sense I never noticed they were lines. Lines connected to the earth shooting straight up to the sky! As I drove lines started appearing everywhere. Lights, telephone polls, the power cables flowing horizontally, the curve in the road as I watched a car turn. Lines, lines everywhere leading my eye… Some are interesting lines, some not because of the background or they didn’t lead me anywhere. I tried to visualize circles and triangles breaking down my imagine into a mathematical equation, but that proved to be a bit harder so I went back to looking for lines all day.
Take the day and look for leading lines without a camera… then pick up your camera and see if you still see them! I spent most of my day just looking and only took a few pictures. Still a long way to go, but I felt it was a start…
Leading lines pull our eye into the picture.
They can take the viewer through a journey from one spot to the next.
Lines don’t have to be straight they can be diagonal, curved,, horizontal, zigzag etc.
Simple lines bright our attention to the intended subject
A question to ask yourself:
Does the leading line take your eyes in to the image or out?
Take the day and look… See how many leading lines you can find whether they are straight to the subject, or curvy letting the mind slowly sweep through the image as it finds its way to the subject!
This is an excellent video on leading lines by Bernie Raffe. He shows the picture from a couple different angles and explains why he choose the one he did.
Assignment #25 – Take a picture any picture, but really think about your picture before you take it.
What is your subject? Do you like the colors? Should you move your subject over? Ah so much to think about besides just learning how to use your camera! Thanks for the composition idea @Paul! We could all use some tips on this subject! I myself know I still have a ton to learn!
You can have a 20 different people shooting the same scene and yet every single one of them will leave with a different picture. Everyone sees something different when looking at a sunset, everyone sees something different when looking at a single flower. For me sometimes I see what I want to take a picture of, but it’s hard to bring that picture to life. Find your own style and go with it.
I took a photography class on composition awhile back. I pulled out my notes…
In the end he said all rules are made to be broken… go with what you love!
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:
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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