Category Archives: Composition

Composition: Drawing the eye using light

I have been studying. A main point that stood out to me as obvious but sometimes overlooked is that the lightest area in a photo is where your attention is drawn. By squinting your eyes you can see those areas more obviously. In a portrait the main focus is most often the face and eyes. This portrait was snapped outside in the garden and it is busy. Busy colour, busy environment. In this instance I felt the environment framed the subject well, but distracted slightly from the face so I decided to make it black and white. I converted it to black and white in Photoshop then identified the colours that needed to be altered slightly to enhance the face region while retaining as much detail as possible and minimise the background. When I felt I found a balance I liked I used a high pass filter with a layer mask to sharpen the outer edges of the face to emphasise them from the background and that was that.

Here is the result. As always with my photography it is a work in progress. I would love to know your thoughts. Particularly any ideas for improvement. My own critique included less contrast to reveal more detail in the face next time. I find it difficult to work that out. Monitors seem to make them varying brightnesses etc. Ah, well, back to the drawing board.

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Composition: Framing

I have been looking at framing the subject using whatever is available. I have picked flowers and held them in front of the camera.

Flowers held up in front of the lens create soft shadows to create interest.
Flowers held up in front of the lens create soft shadows to create interest.

Stood behind objects to highlight something.

The sunset in the window glass was beautiful. The rest of the scene was messy. Shooting from behind a tree removed distractions and helped focus on the glass.
The sunset in the window glass was beautiful. The rest of the scene was messy. Shooting from behind a tree removed distractions and helped focus on the glass.

And looked for backgrounds to envelope the subject.

The light frames the flower and the rest of the bush creates an interesting background.
The light frames the flower and the rest of the bush creates an interesting background.

I love it. I love the effect and interest it can create. I enjoy the challenge of finding a new, more interesting way of photographing something. Isn’t photography great?!

Portrait Photography: Its All In The Eyes

I look to find the essence of a moment between a subject and the camera.

I am becoming increasingly interested in portraits. All ages.

That is the first time I have articulated those thoughts and it sounds a bit esoteric, but it is my truth. I have no idea what the aim of a portrait photographer is supposed to be. Yes, I like to find nice composition and interesting shapes, colours and textures, but they are a bit incidental. I will be coercing my friends into helping me explore portrait photography in the coming year. It will be interesting to see if I develop a personal style to my portraits. Exciting times, at least in my mind. My excitement makes me think I have found my photography niche.

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Backgrounds and Wallpaper

Its Christmas time again. That means the yearly personalised calendar. I always have plenty of photos to go into it (often too many to choose from), but I like to have a personal background too. So today I popped outside and looked for textures and backgrounds.

I look for interesting colours and textures that have enough interest, but nothing too outstanding to overpower the photos in front of them.

I thought I would share a few.

background brown leaves background fallen gumnut berries background gumtree trunk copy background lavender background red gumleaves background snail grass background tin

Self Portrait…well essence of self

I am about as uninteresting as stereotypical people go.

I am a stay at home mum. I have three boys. I spend my days making sure they don’t hurt themselves or each other…Um, that’s it.

You can imagine that although I wouldn’t trade even one second of my time with my kids, after 4 years, I needed something a bit different to prevent my brain from turning completely to mush. When I got my first smart phone I got a hobby. Taking photos.

4 years later the smartphone has changed and alternates with my DSLR. The later is my ultimate challenge. I imagine I will feel frustrated by it and love it dearly for the rest of my life. But although I am isolated, between my children and my photography I will never be bored.

Here is me on any given day.

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Photography: Documenting the Tum

I am pregnant. Very pregnant. So pregnant that my husband now laughs at how big the tummy has become. You see the rest of my body hasn’t changed. Photoshop out the tummy and I would look like I did before this pregnancy.

I felt like I wanted to document the tummy. This will be our last pregnancy and its size needed capturing, but I’m not really into glamourizing it (pregnancy for a mum of two young kids and another on the way is not glamorous) and the image wouldn’t represent the situation at all. I also wanted to stay true to my lack of time. So I have used my camera phone and not my DSLR.
I decided to use a documentary or lifestyle type shot to just capture a moment.

I quite liked it and then tried a few filters for fun. Somehow the colour version seemed too personal to share?! Anyway, at least there is a record of the gigantic tum!…and my son’s interest in it.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: through my eyes

The world as it appeared to me standing by the jetty of Lake Bonney in Barmera, South Australia. I was using my camera phone but still trying to find the best perspective. What do you think? A, B, C or D?

A

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B

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C

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D

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Which appeals to you most?