Saving Bad Photos: Badly Underexposed

29 10 2007

Quite frankly, I would much rather have a dark, under exposed photo then an overly bright over exposed photo. With a dark photo, at least there’s a chance that there will be enough color data and detail to save the shot. When they’re blown away and too bright — there’s little you can do to put pixels where none existed before.

Sad to report however — so many variables come into play that sometimes the shot cannot be saved no matter what techniques you use.

under exposed photo

One reader who enjoys photographing food on trips sent this photo of the appetizer at the Kia Lodge restaurant at the foot of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. This was a shrimp and cucumber moose, and it looks delightful. Too bad we really can’t see it. Yes, I would certainly try to save that shot because you might not be going back too often!

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10 Tips To Better Photograph

28 10 2007

Tip 1 – Use All Your Available Space

Don’t be afraid to use all the space in your photo. If you want to take a picture of something, it’s ok for it to take up the whole shot with no or very little background showing. Keep distractions out of your shot

Tip 2 – Study Forms

This is a vital aspect to photography. Understanding forms in your photos. Don’t see an object, she its shape and its form and find the best angle to photograph it from. Form is all around us and I highly suggest you read as many books on it as possible.

Tip 3 – Motion In Your Photos

Never have motion in your photos if you are photographing a still object. If there is something moving while you are trying to photograph a stationery object, your photo won’t turn out anywhere near as well. Also never put a horizon line in the center of your frame.

Tip 4 – Learn To Use Contrasts Between Colors

Some of the best photos have shades of white, gray and black. You can take great shots with just one color on your subject, but the contrasts between colors in a shot is what makes you a great photographer.

Tip 5 – Get Closer To Your Subject

This is one of the biggest mistakes most photographers make, not getting close enough to their subject. Get up and personal and close the distance gap. You can always reshape and resize a good shot but you can’t continue to blowup a distant object.

Tip 6 – Shutter Lag

Shooting action shots with digital camera’s can be tricky due to shutter lags. What this means is, when you press the button to take the photo, it can take up to a second for the shutter to take a photo, by that time what you were photographing would have moved or changed somehow. This means you have to compensate for shutter lag by predicting what your subject is going to do and taking the photo just before it takes the action you want. More expensive digital cameras don’t have this problem.

Tip 7 – Pan

If you are taking an action shot and your shutter speed is slow, pan with the object. Follow through with the subject, from start to finish and one of those shots will be a winner. You have more chance of getting a good shot if you take more then one photo.

Tip 8 – Continuous Shots

To pan like I suggested above you will need a camera that does continuous shots and doesn’t need to stop and process after every shot.

Tip 9 – How To Take Fantastic Night Time Shots

Night time shots can be spectacular, almost magical…. if done right! If not they can look horrible. Really horrible. Without adequate lighting, even good camera’s can turn out crappy photos if the photographer doesn’t know what he or she is doing.

Tip 10 – Study Your Manual

If your digital camera has a special night time mode, read the manual and follow their instructions on how to use it properly.





Photography: How to compose a photograph

28 10 2007

Composition is the key to an interesting photograph. Despite all the technical jargon, photography is essentially an art form, and its most important aspect is composition. To improve your art skills, find photos you like and study them, asking yourself: ‘Why exactly do I like this picture?’ Subject. When you take a photograph, identify what the subject is. Answering ‘a person’ or ‘a building’ is not good enough. You need to go deeper and specify ‘the curves of the body’ or ‘the crumbling stonework’ — something that activates your senses, that you can touch, feel, smell, or taste. This process is the most overlooked step in photography. Although it may be tempting to simply snap your photos and rush on, I urge you to take time to visually explore the subject and see what appeals to you. Ask yourself: ‘What is the purpose of this photograph?’ and ‘What is the reaction I want a viewer to have?’ Context. Next find a ‘context’ — a simple backdrop which adds relevance, contrast, and/or location to the ‘subject.’ You can add depth by finding a ‘context’ in a different spatial plane than the ‘subject.’ For example, if the subject is a building in the background, make the context a flower or person in the foreground. Now combine the two in a simple way. I like to say that a good photograph is a subject, a context, and nothing else. Remove any clutter that detracts from your message. Get closer — zoom in — and crop as tightly as possible.

 

Subject Placement. The placement of your subject in the frame denotes its relevance to the context. The center of the frame is the weakest place — it’s static, dull, and gives no value to the context. The more you move the subject away from the center, the more relevance you give to the context; so juggle until you get the right balance. Each item has a ‘weight’ and, like a waiter filling up a tray, you need to balance the weights within the frame. Lines and Paths. Create impact by using real or inferred lines that lead the viewer’s eye into and around the picture. Railway tracks, rivers, and fences are obvious choices, but there are also inferred lines from the subject to the context. Lines have subtle effects. Horizontal lines are peaceful; diagonals are dynamic or tense; and curves are active and sensuous. You can also connect lines in a path or shape, such as a triangle.A picture is a playground for the eyes to explore, so provide a path of movement, and some space for the eye to rest.

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