'Perspective changes everything'
When you decide to take a photograph what do you think? Be honest with yourself, do you look at something and think, that's cool I'll snap that, then later look at it and feel it doesn't look as good.
We need to work on that. When I look at something I want to photograph, something else kicks in. I want to reflect how I feel. I do this (partly,) by using different perspectives. This does several things:
- Helps to tell the story
- Leads your eye through the picture
- Adds drama
Flowers are very photogenic, but to know where to place them in the image is not always easy.
Alliums are one of my favourite flowers, they are architectural. Instead of photographing them from above, I get down to their level.
Here, I used a tripod to keep the camera in exactly the position I wanted. I focused on one flower head and made sure that I found a position where the green stalks filled the bottom of the picture.
I adjusted the depth of field so that the flower head was in focus but all it around was blurred. It did take a few minutes to capture this, but patience is worth it.
This feature appeared in Country Living.
This image is of a guy demonstrating Japanese cloud pruning. I could have shot this so that you could see everything going on. But I wanted to show the students interest and the array of tools, the sense of him working. It doesn't tell the whole story in one go.
What does this picture convey to you?
Why is the woman there?
What is she thinking?
It leaves the viewer with lots of questions.
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Complimentary colours zing off the page. Complimentary colours are those opposite each other on a colour wheel (See below). Here I deliberately placed the green apple against the red door.
Play with focus and crop
If you choose colours opposite each other on the colour wheel they will have the strongest contrast.
Canon EF50mm f/1.4USM
1/320s at f1.8
In this photo I hint at the story; a family day out collecting apples. The mum is in focus, the children are blurred in the distance. I focused the lens on one of the apples in the basket and set a fast shutter speed, the children where moving quite fast. This is quite a contemporary way shot, it leaves you to imagine how the story plays out.
Canon 100mm f/2.8
1/50s at f2.8
The great thing about cameras today is that lots have a macro function, even smart phones and although I took this shot using a macro lens (macro lenses allow very close-up photography) I could get something like this with my smart phone or compact. However, you will need to steady the camera by using a tripod or placing the camera on a firm surface.
I placed a leaf and an acorn on a tree trunk, got down low and with the help of my tripod and a narrow depth-of-field to blur out the background this is the shot I came back with.
I took the picture below with my smart phone a Sumsung S5, which is a lot less expensive than a macro lens!
Look for patterns and colour
I took this with my smart phone, a Samsung S5. So no fancy camera here, but it is a pretty smart camera.
I was walking round a swimming pool on holiday and saw lots of lovely patterns and colours in the water
so I composed the picture and clicked the shutter.
I took this on a walk in Autumn. The bark of the tree had a really rich texture, then I looked up.
I took this with my Canon 5d mark II with an EF 50mm f 1.4 USM lens. 1/30th s at f 5.6
I photographed this when I was at the Norfolk broads in the UK. Lots of water means lots of reflections.
I shot this image as a reflection, then flipped it in photoshop. I used my Canon 5d mk II - with my Canon 85 mm f/1.8 USM set at 1/800 s at f/16.
You could get the same effect with any camera including your smart phone.
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