Tuesday, 27 January 2015

52 Week Challenge - Week 4

This week it's about seeing things in a different way.  The challenge is to take three photographs of the same thing but from three different points of view, any subject you like - pets, people, still-life, landscape, trees, cars, anything.  So put your camera above your head, or on the floor, look straight up, or straight down, zoom in, zoom out, crop in an unusual way (don't be afraid of negative space; that big blank bit of your image where the subject isn't!), stand on a chair, sprawl on the floor, move to the left or right, just experiment, but keep in mind the rules of good composition (and remember, if there's a horizon of any sort, keep it straight unless you're deliberately shooting at an angle).  Get used to trying different points of view.











Wednesday, 21 January 2015

52 Week Challenge - Week 3

This week it's all about frames within frames. 

More composition this week.  Don't groan! :-) The point of these is not so that you have to remember a whole list of rules, it's to get you used to looking for certain things before you press the shutter so that you instinctively know what will make a photograph 'work'.

Remember how leading lines can give your images a sense of depth and perspective? Well framing your subject with another suitable object can do the same.  When you take a photo you are creating a two-dimensional image from a three-dimensional scene, so this is another way of bringing back the illusion of a third dimension to your work.  It also allows you to place the emphasis on what you want the viewer to find most important, plus the eye finds it pleasing because of the control and order it imposes on a scene.

What can you use as a frame in your images?  Anything that works! It can be the branch of a tree, a doorway, a window, a bridge, or even other people.  

This week's challenge: create a photo that uses a frame within a frame as part of its composition.






Thursday, 15 January 2015

Be Still 52

KIM KLASSEN dot COM


This is just for me, a moment of calm each week amidst all the craziness...



Wednesday, 14 January 2015

52 Week Photo Challenge - Week 2

Continuing with the composition theme… it really is so important in photography.  It's you choosing what to include or exclude to create the image you want, you deciding what the main elements will be, the effect you want, and how you'll let people know how to look at it, so it's worth dwelling on it for a while longer.  

So, this week it's all about lines.  Lines are a great compositional element to include in your images; they can help create mood, they can add depth or give a sense of scale or distance, they can create patterns, and they can direct the viewer's eye to where you want it to be.  Leading Lines especially are a wonderful device for directing the eye through the image and giving a sense of depth and perspective.

Leading lines can consist of a fence, paths, tracks, a row of trees or lamp posts, rivers, a row of buildings, anything that works to lead the eye from foreground to background, or to lead the eye around the image, or to the main subject, or to draw a connection between two objects. It's up to you what you want to emphasise as important in your shot.

So this week's challenge is to take an image that uses leading lines.





Tuesday, 6 January 2015

New Year, New Challenge...

Welcome to my 52 Week Photo Challenge!  It's a photo project that you can start and stop at any time, with weekly themes or topics that will hopefully improve your photography.  All you have to do is take a photo connected to the weekly theme and either share the link  to where you've posted it in the comments section here, or post to our Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/855683557788006/).  Please take the time to visit and comment on other people's work, it's a great way to make new photographer friends.

This week's theme is Rule of Thirds.

A nice easy one to start off with.  Composition is a key element to taking a great photograph, and one of the easiest ways to start to get it right is to think of the rule of thirds. It's the compositional device originally developed by artists, that states an image will seem more balanced and pleasing when its subject or subjects are placed along imaginary lines dividing the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically.  The eye tends to go to any of the intersecting points first when viewing an image, so it makes sense to place things of importance there.  

What the heck does that mean? Here's one I did earlier… notice the line of trees on the top horizontal line and the water tower and its reflection on the right vertical line.  (A quick aside here, please, please, please, if you are including the horizon in a shot then MAKE SURE THAT IT IS STRAIGHT! If you take a great shot in gorgeous light, but you have a wonky horizon, then that is what people will hone in on, it will be impossible for them not to notice it!).


It doesn't have to be a landscape either, it works with any genre.  Just think before you click the shutter; what is it that I want people to look at in this image, and how do I make them do that?  Here I wanted to emphasise Sam's beautiful eyes...


… and here it was the bike, basket and berries.


The good news is if you don't get it right in camera, then it's easy to crop in just about any editing software to get your image to conform to the rule.  I use LightRoom, and the overlay grid is such a useful tool.

Of course rules are meant to be broken, and every shot does not have to conform to this to make it great.  But know the rule first and know what you want to achieve by breaking it.

So the first challenge is go create a photo or photos that conforms to the rule of thirds, any genre. Have fun :-)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Wordless Wednesday...

After the weekend's crazy photo shoot and then being back at work yesterday, this morning it was just nice to go for a meditative photo walk through Ambion Woods.  

All taken with Canon 6D and Canon 135mm f2 lens.








Monday, 15 December 2014

Creative Shoot with Kitty LeCreme...

At last time to draw breath! More of what I've been up to over the last few weeks in the next few days, I just really wanted to post some pics from a crazy, fun, creative shoot I did on Saturday with burlesque artist Kitty LeCreme.  There were three shots I knew I wanted to get with her, one involved fake snow, another was dark with rim lighting,  and the last was inspired by a Rankin portrait and involved a feather boa.  Kitty also wanted some shots of some amazing headdresses she had so we had a busy afternoon, helped by some gorgeous make-up by Scarlet Holton (who doesn't like cats but is still a nice person - and besides she was quite taken with Mrs P). 

So here's the snow shot.
I gelled a flash with blue cellophane to hit the background and turn it blue, 
(you can see it highlighting her hair on the right of the shot),
and we used two static lights with diffusers on either side just in front of her.
I wanted the whole thing bright and zinging with colour.
85mm lens at f8

I love this shot so much!
Again the two front lights were used.
135mm lens at f10

Here the lights were put slightly behind
Kitty.  I gave the whole thing a Cyanotype tint
in Lightroom.
85mm lens at 85mm

One of Kitty's amazing costumes.
I wanted to keep it quite dark, so
just used one light feathered to front left.
Texture added in Elements to give it a matt
painterly feel.
85mm lens at f2

Apart from the last shot which had where very specific editing was needed, there was only basic edits done to the other shots.  It really helps to learn as much as you can about lighting, because get that right and you're 90% there.  Plus it's great fun to play about with different light and see what you can do (and no these weren't taken in a studio but in my living room). Enjoy!

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