Category Archives: composition in photography

Improving your photography/advice from a pro

In this blog I will share with you some simple tips for you to improve your own picture taking.Photography is made up of light and composition,you need both elements to make a great photograph’ The photograph below has both,great composition, notice how I framed the cats eyes.framing is a law of composition and will definitely make your photos much more interesting

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In the photograph below I purposely used the noon sun (a time you do not want to take portraits) I wanted the effect of shadow and depth.In this composition I filled the frame with the subject.

UP RISEING

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The best natural light for photographs is overcast,skin tones are even and colors pop.You cant always get what you want so if you are going out shooting in natural light,go in the”magic hour” first light of day and an hour before sunset when the sun is low in the sky.Below a great example of overcast and also “framing”

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The photo below,”LEADING LINES” Another rule of composition,I rarely put my subject directly in the middle,when you have leading lines its O.K to do so.

 

The photo below/what makes this photograph great are a few things.the angle,shooting from above looking down,see how this also isolates the background.There is nothing more distracting to me in a photograph than clutter. The photo also tells a story,it says something not just a photo of the couple smiling and looking at the camera,it captures the love the joy between this just married couple.fws1-003

Photos below two thirds rule,see how in these photographs the subject is NOT directly in the middle

 

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n order to capture a clear silhouette, you’ll need the background to be brighter than your subject. The best way to do this is to shoot at the beginning or the end of the day. The optimum time to shoot a silhouette is when the sun is low in the sky – either when it is rising or setting. Sunsets are a favorite among photographers who regularly create spectacular silhouettes, but you can also shoot a decent silhouette against a blue sky.

Happy shooting! Practice makes perfect!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Improve your travel photography/advice from a photojournalist

 

My very favorite thing to photograph is travel/street photography. Especially when I see a place for the very first time.Being a “people” photographer No place on earth inspires me more than New Orleans.To me its the people that make the place!

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  My best advice.:
1) use a lens that cane do both wide angel and zoom.Invest in a camera backpack,limit the amount of equipment. Its NOT the equipment that capture the moment,its you.
2) Do not walk around alone.
3) Be fearless,go off the beaten path.While visiting New Orleans I went to the ninth ward. There is a magical place  called “musicians Village” that is were I met David
4) DO NOT go on a guided tour
5) Talk to people,get up close and personal
6) Street musicians are a good place to start,they never mind if you are talking their photo.
7)Pay attention to detail
8) think outside of the box,try interesting views,different angels and perspectives
9 ) Go out with your camera in the magic hour right after the sun comes up,right before the sun sets.After the rain,photograph reflections in puddles,take advantage of overcast light,makes colors pop and skin tones, even. Twilight immediately after the sun sets for night scenes.
10)Try to stay in the center of town,I shot this one from my balcony at three in the morning.
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11)Most of all, let the story unfold before you,enjoy the adventure.Its like when I photograph a wedding I dont think about it and put pressure on myself,the story unfolds before me, I am there to tell the story

“SEEING THE LIGHT” NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHYhttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

232ee5Photography is mainly made up of light and composition, you can have the greatest composition but without the right light…bla,or you have the most amazing light but with out a great composition,it will not be a great photograph

  I have been asked many times, how do you learn about light. My answer is go out there and shoot in every possible light.
  The two “magic hours, the first and last hour of light.
Back lighting is my favorite (makes things POP,look three dimensional)
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When your subject is in front of the sun silhouette)
NOON the WORST time of day for portraits deep shadows and texture,however
 if that is what you are going for like the photo below I wanted her to look as if she were rising out of the ground (I call it up rising) would NOT have worked at all in the “magic hr”
UP RISEING
 NOW my FAVORITE is overcast makes colors POP, skin tones perfect,so dont freak out if it rains on your wedding day chances are the light will be great for portraits.
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Rain, protect your gear but DO get out there or right after the rain, puddles and reflections make such interesting photos.
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TWILIGHT, the 10 minuete window after sunset when the sky is not black yet and all the neon and available night light comes out,good to use a tripod at this time and perhaps a slow shutter speed.
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Now get out there!!

“GIVE ME THE DETAILS” Photographing wedding details by

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Like any event photographer, most of my wedding shots are of people, i.e. the bride, the groom and their guests. This, after all, is what a wedding is all about and what people mainly want to see when they open a wedding photo album. Weddings, though, are always packed full of other visual details besides the people. So much time is spent in preparation to make a wedding look beautiful that it would be a shame not to preserve some of this in the album. I find that sometimes the best way to achieve this is to make these details the subjects of some of my photographs, even if this means leaving people out of some shots completely.

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Efficient time management is a major factor in a successful wedding shoot, and it can be difficult to capture all the shots you require across the day. That’s why I always show up   early. I do this partly because it affords me the opportunity to walk around the venue – both inside and outside – and assess the lighting conditions on the day. However, it also gives me the chance to get some photos of the building itself and perhaps some of the decorations, flower arrangements and so on before any of the guests have arrived. I always remind my bride to have all of her details together for me when I come into the room where she is getting ready, flowers, rings, vows ,jewelry,shoes, anything and everything that she wants photographed. I challenge myself to find many creative ways of photographing  inanimate objects (since  I am a people photographer) this is always a challenge. I have been know to take an interesting painting off the walls and use it as my background. I try to stick with the colors of the wedding. Keep in mind all of this put together will want to look coordinated in a wedding album.

Of course, often we are asked to take photos of the bride, groom or both getting ready for the wedding. If this is in a hotel or other location far from the venue, it may be difficult to find time to turn up early and capture these detail shots. If so, don’t worry, there will be plenty of other opportunities. Try to spot details and photograph them across the day, and perhaps steal a bit of time at an opportune moment. An ideal opportunity is usually during the meal; most people don’t want to be photographed when they’re eating, so I take the chance to have a walk around the building and its exterior to grab some extra shots.

ALWAYS remember to photograph the venue and location. For destination weddings I might include some of my personal shots of the place I have taken before or after the wedding/

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PHOTOGRAPHY LESSON/VANTAGE POINT

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One of the most common mistakes an amateur/novice photographer makes is to take the majority of their photos standing up with the camera held near chest or eye level. Although this is the most comfortable/natural orientation it’s not the one that is going to yield impressive or unique photos. Everybody else is doing it and if you’re interested in taking photos that are going to impress an audience outside of friends and family it’s time to get down & dirty, climb, contort & twist your body all over the place

1) Look Up / Look Down

As mentioned previously, taking photos from chest or eye level is what 90% of other photographers are already doing. Start noticing what’s going on up & down. You might notice a man shaving nearby an overhead window or a cute dog scurrying about at ground level. Try taking photos of somebody climbing up steep steps from an overhead perspective. The next time you take a portrait of somebody have them sit down and look up towards the sky or ceiling before taking their shot from an above perspective. Try capturing architecture or a statue from a close-up perspective pointing your camera upwards to capture a distinct or select element.

2) Climb a Mountain, ladder, tree or just some steps

One of the easiest ways to change your perspective is to shoot from a higher vantage point. In other words, be prepared to get physical and do a little exercise climbing a mountain, ladder, tree, or just some steps When shooting above and looking down it’s almost as if you have a bird’s eye perspective of what is going on below. From a higher vantage point you can take great shots of parades, crowds, traffic or scenic valley views. The rewards of doing this are that ‘many’ other photographers are simply too lazy to ‘climb’ something. This is a tip that can’t be underestimated: putting in a bit of grunt work

IMPROVING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY “FRAMING” /by creativefreedomphoto

Framing is the technique of drawing attention to the subject of your image by blocking other parts of the image with something in the scene.

For this photograph I tore a hole in a leaf-in order to frame the couple

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The benefits of framing pictures include:

1. giving the photo context (for example framing a scene with an archway can tell you something about the place you are by the architecture of the archway or including some foliage in the foreground of a shot can convey a sense of being out in nature).

2. giving images a sense of depth and layers (in essence framing a shot generally puts something in the foreground which adds an extra dimension to the shot).

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3. leading the eye towards your main focal point (some ‘frames’ can draw your photo’s viewer into the picture just by their shape). Some also believe that a frame can not only draw the eye into a picture but that it keeps it there longer – giving a barrier between your subject and the outside of the shot.

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4. intriguing your viewer. Sometimes it’s what you can’t see in an image that draws you into it as much as (if not more than) what you can see in the picture. Clever framing that leaves those viewing your image wondering a little or imagining what is behind your frame can be quite effective (get it wrong and it can also be quite annoying!).

Frames for photographs come in all shapes and sizes and can include shooting through overhanging branches, shooting through windows, using tunnels, arches or doorways – you can even use people (for example shooting over shoulders or between heads) etc.Your frame doesn’t need to go completely around the edges of your image – they might just be on one or two edges of your shot.

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My rule of thumb when considering framing is to ask the question – ‘will this add to or take away from the image?’ Sometimes framing can just add clutter to a shot and make it feel cramped – but at other times it can be the difference between an ordinary shot and a stunning one.

GO OUT THERE AND START FRAMING, challenge yourself see how many creative ways you can think of to frame your photographs

 little Louisiana girl

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Framing with color

This photo was captured at the Goombay festival in Key West

The photo below I wanted to find something to frame the beautiful eyes of this child

INNOCENT

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The art of finding the perfect wedding photographer/by creativefreedomphoto

It must be an overwhelming task,everyone and their mothers are now “photographers”

When selecting a wedding photographer, there are three important elements you should keep in mind: personality, the photographer’s style, and cost. The first two are related to character traits unique only to that person and cannot be copied. The third element fluctuates due to many different variables. Let’s talk about each in the order of importance.

into the light

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STYLE-

The  first element and almost as equally important as personality is the photographer’s eye. That is, the way he or she sees and captures the wedding day. This unique trait separates one photographer from the next, and is considered “the photographer’s fingerprint.” In other words, a photographer can copy another’s style, but the fact is no two photographers see exactly the same way. Therefore, when looking at different photographer’s work, really take notice of how and what they see.

Do the images move you?

Are They emotional?

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Do they tell a complete story?

Are they artistic and creative?

Fairy Tale

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Are they real, and do the people look comfortable?

Here comes the bride

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Finally, out of all the photographers you met with, whose images did you gravitate towards the most? Usually, the answer to these questions, and the definitive question “Who is the right photographer for me?” is only an inner voice away. Just listen and trust.When you finally say “yes to the dress”,You have no doubts in your mind, you know this is the one!

PERSONALITY-

Very important is the character and personality of the individual who you will hire to capture your day, and invite as a guest to your wedding. These characteristics may not be the first thing you think about when choosing a photographer, however, it will definitely be the most important factor in the decision-making process.

The most obvious component is to determine whether or not you like the images and style that this particular photographer has to show you. Before you even schedule an in-person consultation, it may be helpful to browse through that photographer’s website. After you have scoured pages and pages of samples, your instincts will help you eliminate those photographers you don’t want to see and help you to figure out which ones you do. It is definitely important to be intrigued or excited by the images a photographer has to offer. If you have made an appointment or decided to visit the photographer, chances are you already are interested in their work but this is not always the most important factor.

What is? Personality.

Now that you are in this person’s studio or space, the questions you have to ask yourself are:

Do I like this person?

Do I trust them to handle such an important day in my life?

Do I feel comfortable with this person?

Will my friends and family like him?

Would I invite him or her to my wedding?

You could find the Ansel Adams of wedding photographers, but if he or she annoys you in any way and you are determined to politely overlook that fact, the only person who is going to suffer is you. The bottom line is, if you don’t like your photographer for any reason, your wedding images and your memories are going to be reflected upon as if looking into a tarnished mirror.

Cost

Finally, the last deciding factor is usually the cost. You have likely spent hours, if not days, of your time interviewing photographer after photographer and now you have found the perfect one for you. The images are amazing and he or she has a great personality, and it all feels right. However, your inner voice picked someone who is a little out of your budget. What do you do?

When it comes to budgeting, ask yourself an important question:

After the wedding is over, what am I going to have left?

Answer: Your pictures and your memories.

Everything else is going to be forgotten, eventually remembered only through your photographs. According to a survey run buy the largest online wedding website, the number one regret couples had is that they wished they would have spent more money on their wedding photography.

Shopping for a wedding photographer is like buying a house: you get what you pay for. In both cases, the purchase is based on emotion. Buying a little more than you can afford is always a wise investment that you won’t regret as long as you have put in the time to find the perfect one for you. first danve

Don’t make the mistake of weeding out photographers because you called or e-mailed them for prices and then crossed them off your list because they exceed a certain dollar amount that you determined photography should cost. Finding a great photographer is much like discovering a great restaurant. Let’s say you were to call around to ten different eateries and ask, “How much are your meals?” If you never take the opportunity to meet the owner, taste the food or experience the ambiance and charm of the restaurant you cannot make an educated decision. All of these things make dining a great experience, and simply calling on the telephone won’t give you the same education. So, go taste the food. Wouldn’t you feel better spending more afterward because you loved your photographer and your images were so great you want to buy them all, than to get less than you imagined and end up spending more than you dreamed?

In summary, there is no secret formula or one photographer who fits every couple. What separates the good from the bad is in the eye of the beholder; after all, art is subjective. Just make sure you feel great about the person you hire and see a distinction in the work. Give careful consideration to your photography budget and invest as much as you can into that part of your wedding. In the end, you can’t afford to be disappointed when the curtains close on your wedding day.

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