I have never liked the phrase “rules of composition.” To me, it seems too formal, suggesting that such a complex topic as composition can be boiled down to a few quick tips. So, in a blatant attempt to out-do John Sherman’s provocative “Is Nikon’s New 500mm FL Too Sharp?” title, I have aimed this article at the heart of photography school’s most basic lesson in composition: the rule of thirds.
One of the common misunderstandings in photography has to do with the focal length of a lens, or its optical distortion properties. Many photographers claim that a wider angle lens will distort facial features either because of the lens distortion, or the focal length of the lens being too short. In this article and the accompanying video (which is extracted from our upcoming Photography Life Basics Video), we will prove that focal length has nothing to do with distorting a subject’s face and the additional information on lens distortion will explain in detail exactly what gets impacted by lens distortion.
A landscape photographer’s goal, especially in the most dramatic and massive locations, is to demonstrate the size and scope of the landscape in a photo. However, it is quite difficult to translate the three-dimensional world into a flat rectangle — certain aspects of a scene, including the scale of the landscape, can get lost along the way. In this article, I’ll go over some common ways to put the size of a scene into perspective.
The 21st century is also known as “the era of smartphones”. Smartphones evolved rapidly in this decade and became a huge success, and so did cell phone photography. Today’s smartphones are well-equipped and loaded with features and specifications, from fast processors to high resolutions displays. And these smartphones are also quite powerful when it comes to photography, featuring wonderful built-in cameras. Despite having tiny sensors, most smartphones are integrated with small and compact lenses capable of delivering crisp images that can directly compete with many point and shoot cameras in terms of image quality.
My name is Ori Cohen, I am a semi-serious photographer, and a computer science PhD student. Last year my wife and I traveled to Switzerland, so I packed a Sony NEX-7, a Sony 16mm f/2.8, a Minolta 24mm f/2.8 attached to an LA-EA4, and a Haida ND1000 filter.
One of the biggest challenges that many photographers face is yielding sharp photos when hand-holding a camera. Many end up with blurry images without understanding the source of the problem, which is usually camera shake. Unfortunately, camera shake can come from a variety of different sources – from basic improper hand-holding techniques to mirror and shutter-induced vibrations that can be truly challenging and sometimes even impossible to deal with. While I will go over the latter topics in a separate article, I would like to talk about the most common cause of camera shake: lower-than-acceptable shutter speed when hand-holding the camera. I will introduce and explain the reciprocal rule, which can help in greatly increasing the chances of getting sharp photos when you do not have a tripod around.
With the introduction of lenses like the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 VC, more people than ever before are using long telephoto zoom lenses. Sometimes they are disappointed with their initial results when using these lenses hand-held, especially at slower shutter speeds. This short article provides some tips that can help improve hand-holding technique.
It’s supposed to move you; to generate an emotional response. It’s about how it makes you feel, not just about how it looks. Anything from a single plain colour to highly complex dendritic patterns will have an effect of some kind. As photographers our judgement is sometimes so clouded by adherence to the strict parameters of good composition that we forget to see the subject and think about why we shot it. Was it really just about neatly filling a frame and fitting golden proportions? Or maybe something or someone intrigued us in that moment?
You have to forgive me; I have been off in my own little world trying to work two jobs so to speak. The most important job is the one that pays the bills and that’s managing my wife’s dental practice, somehow while doing that I am getting ready to attempt some serious selling of my photos at fairs and shows. Wish me luck. I have said it before, a writer I am not, however Photography Life has helped me many times, so I want to give back to the community. Let’s see where this long overdue article leads!
Although I am primarily a landscape photographer, I have recently found a great deal of enjoyment in photographing plants, both in botanic gardens and in the wild. Photographing these kinds of smaller scenes feels more meditative than photographing landscapes, as the process often includes slowing down, seeking out details, and taking time to craft photographs of sometimes tiny subjects. Another primary benefit of seeking out these kinds of subjects is their prevalence. Plants like those featured in this post can be found in almost any landscape or garden, which means it can be easy to find compelling subjects close to home. And, since many photographers pass by these kinds of scenes without a second thought, you have ample opportunity to make unique, creative photographs.