Photo of a stone structure
When taking landscape and scenic photos, there is usually more than one picture contained in the scene that you are photographing. You just have to find them. The best way is to “work the scene.” A technique I use is to first examine the location with the naked eye. I analyze and assess the character of the scene—is there a story to be told or just attractive picture options? I look for what...
Portraits of children present a different challenge.
For a wide variety of reasons, we love taking pictures of people. Most photos of people are candid, not posed. Posed photographs are more formal and classified as portraits. Here are some tips that should help you shoot first-rate portraits. The face The face is of primary importance in portraiture, and the subject’s eyes are the most important feature. Always show both eyes unless you are going...
John Toutkaldjian photo showing converging lines.
Photographers use a number of different methods to create an image that has interest, appeal, and depth. One method involves the use of lines: • Straight lines • Diagonal lines • Curvy lines—particularly S-curves • Converging lines—actually two lines that seem to meet in the distance With converging lines, there is a strong emotional effect on the viewer when lines seemingly unite at a far-off...
man playing guitar and harmonica
A genre of photography that you see all the time—and may unwittingly perform yourself—is street photography. It gained popularity with the advent of small, portable cameras in the ‘50s and ‘60s. While closely related to documentary photography and photojournalism, street photography was not intended to record history or support social issues as completely as those genres...
fall photo of woods and fence
I’m often asked my opinion of a photograph. My answer depends on who’s asking. Is it a stranger, a family member, a casual friend, a photography peer? For most, it’s enough to say, “That’s nice.” A peer is usually looking for more of a critique. My answer also depends on the content of the photo, be it a snapshot or an attempt at fine art photography. All...
still life photo
“Photography is an art of observation; it’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place.”—Elliott Erwitt, advertising/documentary photographer It’s been said that a photographer is an observer, while an artist who paints is an interpreter. I think that’s an over-simplification in the case of the photographer. It’s true that a photographer...
horses
To best appreciate a photograph, or any image, view it at the proper distance. What’s the proper distance? Well, an 8” x 10” photo viewed at arm’s length is about right. But if a photo is smaller, hold it closer. If it’s larger, step back or push back in your chair. This concept applies to electronic images, too. Think about computers, tablets, and smartphones and...
fall scene
Fall is my favorite time of year for exterior photography. The air is cool, the sky is textured with clouds, and trees and shrubs burst with color. The monotonous green of summer gives way to brilliant landscapes of yellow, red, ochre, and brown. Autumn is the time for Mother Nature to put on a show. Jump in your car and head out into the countryside. That’s what I do. Sometimes I even get...
Photo under a tree with flash
If you plan on taking portraits in sunlight, don’t do it. The best place to take portraits outdoors on a sunny day is out of the sun . Direct sunlight is too bright and causes people to squint. The harsh contrast makes for very unflattering photos. It creates dark shadows under the eyes, nose and neck due to contours of the face. The way to solve the problem is to get out of the sun. Look...