A couple of months ago, I took an abstract/intimate landscape photo that I was happy with, and some people have asked me how it was made. It’s a somewhat tricky image to parse, so today I thought I could go behind the scenes and show how I took it.
Composition and Art Category Archive
I just returned from a long trip to Yosemite, partly to test some lenses for upcoming reviews, and partly to unwind. Although I had a great time out there, the conditions for “classic” landscape photography left something to be desired: very few clouds or fall colors anywhere.
Maybe it's happened to you, too - and not necessarily in photography. Perhaps you accidentally put an ingredient in your soup, or meant to pass the ball but kicked it toward the net instead. And the result? You scored. It's known as a happy accident; I call it the "magic...
One of my favorite photography quotes is Ansel Adams’s observation, “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” I find that very poignant. Here’s the longer quote to show a bit of context:
I think that photographers can learn a lot from classic works of art – not only by early photographers, but also from painters, sculptors, and other artists who lived before photography was even a twinkle in Nicéphore Niépce’s eye. One technique that is especially applicable to photography is called chiaroscuro.
I’ve gone on two photography trips recently with very different results. The first trip led mostly to duds, aside from a single portfolio-quality image. The second led to dozens of publishable shots and multiple for my portfolio. It made me wonder what counts as a successful photography trip at all.
I’m a fan of black and white photography. A lot of subjects that fall short in color look evocative and powerful when captured in shades of gray. But it’s not always easy to decide if a photo should be color or black and white. Today, I’ll explain how I choose.
The first part of wildlife photography is encountering a subject. The next is making the most out of that encounter. It is easy to end up with boring images of your subject if you get caught up in trying to document the animal and don’t look for powerful compositions.
Composition, as it’s usually explained, is the way you arrange the visual elements within a photo. But that definition misses something. A large portion of what’s important when composing a photo isn’t within the photo at all. Instead, it’s the bits outside the frame that are completely excluded from the image.
Last year, I wrote an article about finding subjects to photograph when there isn’t anything obvious to shoot. That’s a common situation in photography: not enough good subjects. Sometimes, however, the opposite is true, where there’s an abundance of good subjects and not enough time to photograph them all.