Sunday, June 8, 2008

Get Closer to Your Subject


Almost any shot will look better if you take two or three steps closer to your subject. Filling the frame entirely with your subject will make a terrific difference to your photos.

Alternatively, instead of moving closer, use the Optical Zoom of your camera to get a close up shot. Don't use your Digital Zoom as it will degrade your image quality.

When taking shots of family and friends, most people place the subject's full body in the frame, or place head and arms in the shot. Instead, fill the frame with your subject's FACE only - particularly if they are smiling or are in a moment of reflection.

Why does this work? With less clutter in the image, there's less to draw the eye away from the main subject of your photo. Also, human faces (particularly children's faces) are something we all feel pleasure looking at.

If you can't get close enough when you're taking the shot, you can zoom in later using photo editing software - crop out everything except the subject's face and see what a difference it makes.

When using the viewfinder for close shots, be careful of Parallax. Because the viewfinder is not at the same position as the camera's lens, centering the subject in the viewfinder may mean it is not centered for the lens resulting in an off-center final picture. Most digital cameras now come with an inbuilt LCD screen. You can eliminate this problem by using the LCD - which shows you what the lens sees - rather than the viewfinder.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Nature Photography - Experimenting with Nature


Nature photography is one of the best ways to create an appreciation of nature, whether that nature photography is flowers, landscapes or animals.

Nature photography can be one of the most rewarding - and one of the most frustrating - types of photography. Wind can cause blur, not only with too much motion in the flora, but also making it difficult to depress the shutter smoothly. (If background is unimportant in your nature photography, consider a light tent to reduce wind and to block out background.) Sunlight also can cause problems in nature photography with too much exposure. Experiment to find what works best with what you want to accomplish through nature photography.

One thing that you'll want to be able to do with nature photography is to take close-ups of flora. Make sure to have a zoom or macro lens. A tripod is helpful to stabilize the camera in nature photography. Tripods that have a rotating central shaft allow you to get in closer.

Experiment with angles in nature photography. The most common angle in nature photography is looking down from the top. This has the advantage of being able to photograph flowers that are very close to the ground. Try eye level or photographing upwards for an interesting and unique shot.

Try differing backgrounds in your nature photography. If you have nothing in the background, context is hard to determine. Too much in the background, though, will detract from the main focus of your nature photography. However, by zooming in closer, the background will become softer. Your main focus, then, will stand out in sharp relief.

Another way to experiment with nature photography is with camera position. Most photographs are horizontal. See what kind of self-expression you come up with by simply rotating the camera 90 degrees.

With practice nature photography can become second nature.

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