Archive for the ‘Composition’ Category

7 Great Shots for Camera Phone Inspiration [Shoot Anywhere]

13 May

Last week I looked at some articles for taking better photos with your camera phone, and since then I’ve been looking for some inspiration photos to give me some personal creative ideas for taking some shots. I’ve included some of my favourites below, and a list of sites that you might like to visit at the bottom.

Enjoy! (more…)

5 Unusual Perspectives on Trees [Looking Up]

27 Mar

A little while ago we talked about changing your perspective, and recently a group on Flickr took this to heart with a little competition it was running in the application of this to trees – [See the Upward View of Trees group, and the group Tree Photos – Looking Up Competition].

Some of my favourites are featured below for your enjoyment. :-)

Sydney red gum by LSydney

Umbrella in the Rain by Stephanie Krishnan

Gum Tree Branch BW by johnno_oz

Gone but not forgotten by M??K

view from my beach chair by Marlis1

Exposed! Over- and Under-Expose Photos! [Break the Rules!]

07 Mar

I have a new favourite site in Haje Jan Kamps’, and the article In Photography, Rules aren’t Laws he reminded me in the first point about exposure.

Recently my family went to India to fulfil a desire of my husband’s to take the kids to see the Taj Mahal at the same age that he first saw it. There were loads of images of the Taj Mahal, and I don’t flatter myself thinking that my images were any better than the myriad of photos that have been taken before, but there was one photo that I took of my darling, gorgeous husband that just plain floats my boat (or rocks my socks, whichever you prefer).

My Love - at the Taj Mahal

Is this a great photo? No, not really – it breaks a lot of rules about focus and exposure. But I think this is why this particular photo works for me. As a portrait it conveys a lot about the character of the person.

I have some other great classic shots of him, however the grittiness of him on vacation, smiling, carrying the kids’ shoes over his shoulder, with one of the most classic symbols of love in the background seems to be expressing him better in this overexposed shot than in some of the more traditional shots that I took that day.

Is there a formula for over- or under-exposing shots? Well it certainly involves letting more or less light into the photograph, but as for when or how to use it, there are better writers than me that can describe this. However I will say that over-exposing tends to lend itself to more edgier and informal shots, and under-exposing adds moodiness and tends to increase contrast (especially with very light or bright elements within the photo). This can also serve to highlight shapes (eg. a silhouette), or increase the saturation in some colour elements.

Certainly I’m not the only one to appreciate this. Check out the links below.

Now some nice, edgy and/or moody images that have been over- or under-exposed, and don’t forget to check out the Over- and Under-Exposed Gallery on Flickr.

Overexposed by Marsup' aka MARS

Fly Overexposed by artic pj

Alice Overexposed by hickoryhollow113

underexposed by JonathanCohen

Caught in the Window by Stephanie Krishnan

7 Ways to Change your Perspective [Things are looking up!]

04 Mar

I was with a friend recently and he told me about his Dad taking photos… basically he uses a camera that has a swing out LCD screen, and takes the photos from about hip or thigh height.

It got me thinking about perspective, and how I like to occasionally put the camera on the floor and take a photo, so here goes with 7 things you can do to change perspective in photos and make them more interesting.

  1. Lay on your back and look up – this works really well under a tree or in a field of flowers, but can work equally well for buildings, in rooms, under stairwells, underwater (if you have the gear), to name a few. In some cases you don’t need to lay on your back… some good shots can be taken with your camera on the ground pointed up, but it may take you a few goes to get it “just right”.
  2. Turn you and the camera, or your subject, upside down – this can give startling results. If you are upside down, and you focus on composition, sometimes the change in perspective can give you a new way to look at an old subject. Subjects can also be turned upside down for interesting results, although be careful with pets – I will not accept any responsibility for scratches and other injuries! :-)
  3. A Boy on a Cow at the ZooTake a step back – I use this one for portraits, and it works well with camera phones as well as regular cameras. Taking a step back from just a person in a shot often forces us to consider a principle composition technique that is used with landscape photography – include a foreground, a midground and a background. The photo on the left is one that I took of my nephew could have just been an expression of joy on his face as he was placed on the Ben & Jerry’s cow by my brother. Taking a step back included the cow (the source of the joy), and the background (Singapore Zoo’s Ben & Jerry’s outlet), and provided a bit more context and interest for the shot.
  4. Tilt the horizon – be warned with this one… you either do it a lot or not at all. What I mean is either tilt the horizon drastically, so that it looks deliberate, or keep it flat and straight. A small tilt usually ends up looking like you couldn’t be bothered setting up the shot correctly.
  5. Shoot from the hip – don’t use your eye in the viewfinder, or (depending on whether you’re trying to be surreptitious) even look at the LCD screen. Shooting shots from this low perspective can either be done so that people don’t realise you’re taking the photo, often resulting in more candid photos, or just a different height level – 2 or 3 feet off the ground, instead of 5 or 6. And because you aren’t consciously framing every detail of the shot, sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised by the results.
  6. Get down on their level – advice often given for taking photos of children and pets, however this works on objects as well.  A popular example is flowers in a vase – don’t (some say never) shoot from above. Try side-on or below. This works for rooms as well. If you take the photo from a 5-6 foot level, you often see all the clutter on tops of surfaces. You could try taking at a lower angle where less clutter appears (just make sure you dust, because at this angle it can be quite apparent if you haven’t :-) )
  7. Shoot from above – this works for subjects that you wouldn’t normally look at from above, like buildings and adults. As the objective here is to change the perspective, don’t include pets and children in this one, as we are constantly looking at them from a height above. This is probably why a lot of people like aerial shots.

Obviously the above is not a definitive list, and if you have more ideas or links to sites that have other suggestions, please post in the comments below.

Other articles that are available with information on shooting from a different perspective are as follows.

I’ve included some different perspective pics below, but have gathered a few into this Gallery on Flickr – Change your Perspective. Enjoy!

Looking Up, Many Branches, Topsy Turvy Perspective by Fractal Artist

Bliss by Dave Ward Photography

Super-Cat! (Aka Evie)

Super-Cat! (Aka Evie) by Chrissie64

Fisheye: Proud and Heavy by garreyf

Catching up on reading!! by Houry Photography

paris...moving fast...3

paris...moving fast...3 by skantzman

brz-lubi_09 by mariczka

A Visual Feast

My very own interestingness…