Tag Archives: composition in photography

Environmental portraits lesson/www.creativefreedomphoto.com

As a Photojournalist for several newspapers, environmental portraits are a must.They tell a story. The photo below was the morning after hurricane George hit Key West.

hurricain george pxl

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just because wilma h

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Above a sign turned up side down,one of the weirdest things I have ever seen!

What exactly is an environmental portrait, how does it differ from a typical portrait?
An environmental portrait, also called a location portrait, uses a person’s surroundings to tell more about that person. Sometimes this environment is directly connected to who they are—it’s that person’s home, place of work or community. Other times the environment has little or no connection but helps create a mood that contributes to an understanding of that person.

Below an old Cuban man making hats out of psalm fronds in Key West Fl

“Thats What Fronds Are For”

Thats what fronds are for!!

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Why do I prefer environmental portraits?

  • they give context to the subject you’re photographing
  • they give points of interest to shots (something you need to watch as you don’t want to distract from your subject too much)
  • they help your subject relax
  • they often give the viewer of your shots real insight into the personality and lifestyle of your subject

Backgrounds

There should be some background detail, to add character to a picture, but not so much that it overpowers the presence of the person in the shot. The idea behind this method of photography is that the background subtly adds to the feel of the portrait yet does not become the main feature. If you find the background to be too distracting, try using a wider aperture to blur the background so you can still make out what’s there but the eye is immediately drawn to the person instead. You could also try cropping the shot when you’re back at your computer or simply move your subject to a place where the background isn’t so distracting. Remember, you want your location to relate to your subject and add interest to the shot without actually pulling attention away from your main point of focus.

One of my favorite photographs of my son in his teenage yrs

bella senior 5

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“The best asset that any photojournalist has is the ability to schmooze—the ability to relate to somebody else, the ability to talk to somebody else and to make them feel comfortable. If they’re comfortable with you, your pictures will clearly show it,” “You can’t be shy if you’re going to play photojournalist. You have to talk to people.”

An artist in his gallery in New Orleans

nola 2

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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

aa1fb-001

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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).

a1fbed

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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.

 framed

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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.

bridsmaid walking

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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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ajb300

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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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IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY! Rules of composition In Photography /byhttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

There are no fixed rules in photography, but there are guidelines which can often help you to enhance the impact of your photos.

It may sound clichéd, but the only rule in photography is that there are no rules. However, there are are number of established composition guidelines which can be applied in almost any situation, to enhance the impact of a scene.

These guidelines will help you take more compelling photographs, lending them a natural balance, drawing attention to the important parts of the scene, or leading the viewer’s eye through the image.

Once you are familiar with these composition tips, you’ll be surprised at just how universal most of them are. You’ll spot them everywhere, and you’ll find it easy to see why some photos “work” while others feel like simple snapshots.

RULE OF THIRDS

Imagine that your image is divided into 9 equal segments by 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. The rule of thirds says that you should position the most important elements in your scene along these lines, or at the points where they intersect.

Doing so will add balance and interest to your photo. Some cameras even offer an option to superimpose a rule of thirds grid over the LCD screen, making it even easier to use.

afws22

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LEADING LINES

When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place lines in your composition, you can affect the way we view the image, pulling us into the picture, towards the subject, or on a journey “through” the scene. There are many different types of line – straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, radial etc – and each can be used to enhance our photo’s composition.

bella wedding 10

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SYMMETRY AND PATTERNS

We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made., They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great way to use them is to break the symmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.

 golden reflections

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SYMMETRY refers to a line that splits an object in half and, if both sides of the object are an exact mirror image of each other, then this object is said to be symmetrical. The line that splits a symmetrical object is called the line of symmetry. Symmetry is a powerful tool that lets you automatically create harmony and a sense of aesthetically pleasing balance and proportion in a photograph. You probably remember learning about symmetry in geometry class, but I rarely see photographers apply it in their work. That’s too bad, because symmetry is a powerful photographic tool. Symmetry is all around us and has always been associated with beauty, so why not use it? Depending on how you are holding the camera and how much of a scene you choose to show, you can strengthen or weaken the symmetric properties of an object or scene. there are many types of symmetries

Photographers look for symmetry and shoot it on purpose but sometimes even they create symmetry unconsciously as well. Symmetry soothes the eyes and mind of the viewer. Symmetry requires an eye-catching point of interest and a powerful composition. Without these two elements, it cannot hold the viewer’s attention for long. Achieving symmetry in an unexpected scene can make very appealing photography subjects.

FRAMING

The world is full of objects which make perfect natural frames, such as trees, archways and holes. By placing these around the edge of the composition you help to isolate the main subject from the outside world. The result is a more focused image which draws your eye naturally to the main point of interest.

aa1fb-001 a1fbed

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Opt for Simplicity

The concept of less is more lends itself effectively to just about everything, and photography is no exception. Overly complicated or complex photographic composition has the same problem as compound complicated sentences in writing, which make it difficult for the audience to understand and appreciate the idea that is trying to be conveyed. Simple in this context doesn’t mean simplistic, but rather lacking unnecessary elements that confuse or are redundant. In photography creating uncluttered, but distinct compositions simplify yet enhance the delivery of the idea. The mind’s eye of the viewer can do all the heavy lifting.

Photography Rules of Composition:
Simplify

Here is the first of the photography rules of composition you need to have in your toolbox: simplify! You want to break the rules? Well, you need to master them first, so read on!

Simplify

simplicity INNOCENCE PX

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You’ve probably heard of the KISS principle. “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” It teaches us to strive for design simplicity, and avoid unnecessary complexity. In photography composition, that means that we don’t want to include any elements in our picture space that distract from our main message.

It’s very tempting sometimes, when we come upon a great scene, to try to includeeverything in the picture. That is a mistake. It ends up being a jumble of elements that make for “information overload” for the viewer. It’s up to you to figure out what attracted you to the scene in the first place, and simplify the image to emphasize that factor.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PICTURE TAKING!

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