It is essential to think about the composition of every photo that you capture, and I have been looking at different composition techniques in my composition challenge inspired by Emma – she shares some wonderful examples.
- Background – If you haven’t mastered backgrounds yet, please take one thing away from this whole month: your background mustn’t distract from your subject. No distracting highlights or red spots. No telegraph poles sticking out of heads (or any other intrusive overlap of subject and background). Do make the subject stand out from the background (“background separation”) by using a contrasting colour, or knocking the background out of focus, or lighting the subject differently.
- Straight horizon – This doesn’t need an explanation. It’s the one rule of photography that can’t be broken, and until it’s automatic, it’s something you should check in the viewfinder every time.
- Form/Shape – Sometimes the form of your subject is all you need – it is the photograph. Keep it simple and minimise other distractions.
- Texture – Use lighting to emphasis texture where it’s important (side light brings out texture, front lighting eliminates it). And use contrasting textures to highlight your subject.
- Looking into/out of the frame – You get a very different connection with your subject if they have eye-contact with the camera, than if they are looking out of the frame. And it doesn’t have to be people or animals – many inanimate objects can appear mysterious and interesting if they are “looking” out of the frame, or about to exit to one side.
- Creating depth – From your perspective drawing lessons you’ll remember how to give the illusion of depth by using converging lines. The same rules apply in photography.
- Suggest movement – Once you start to go beyond taking a record shot, and have started creating a deliberate emotion or reaction in your viewer, you have become a photographer. If you can take the light you have available, and the subject in front of you, and deliberately make a suggestion to someone looking at your photo, then you are an artist. Suggestions include Blur (long shutter speeds) panning, using the law of physics to imagine what happens next.
With those thoughts in minded, I went for a walk with my 50mm lens and captured some of the detail of some local wild plants and fruit after a shower of rain.
Final message today – did you know it is World Photo Day – there is an amazing gallery of images from all around the world that have been posted here. If you take photos – be brave and submit one … you never know what it might lead to. I have submitted my header image – the New Forest at Dawn with my border collie in it… just because I like it….