Location Light Composition

7 Building Blocks of Photography 2

Location is important, not just so it matches the model. Location is important for light and composition too.

When you're going to shoot a photo it's all too easy to just point the camera and shoot the image without giving much thought about where you are and why you're there.

The 7 Building Blocks of Photography is THE go to course for technically advanced photographers to learn how to think like a photographer and connect creativity and technicalities for every image you're taking.

So in this video tutorial I'm going to guide you through why I'm using a particular place for a certain shot. And it's mostly down to light. Qualities of light not quantities, they're different. Quality of light are what makes an image interesting or not. Quantity of light is only how much of it there is available. In other words what exposure you'll need and that's easily controlled by combining shutter speed, ISO and aperture appropriately.

I've put them in that order for a reason. I don't often think of aperture as an exposure control because I'm more interested in using it as a depth of field control (it does both) and compensating with shutter and ISO.

So the location is chosen for the light and visual impact, next it's time to compose the image. There is no right or wrong composition. There is only what you like. What works to make an image visually appealing. That's all there is.

Now if you're doing my 7 Building Blocks... course you'll know that composition (Block 3) is best friends with focal length (Block 4) so choose a focal length which will enhance your composition. Use it to eliminate clutter, change how the background looks and make the viewer really home in to the place in the image you want them to concentrate on.

In this video tutorial I'm shooting in a busy public place so I chose a long focal length for these reasons.

OH - and welcome back Abbie Hills who you might have seen in other  videos. How do you like her new look?

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3 Landscape Tips

vietnam-txt-streamLandscape photography is one of those areas where patience, thinking it through and taking your time pays dividends.  We have all seen a scene we want to capture but sadly we’re in a hurry, so we leap out the car and just grab a shot without giving it too much thought.

This may or may not result in a great shot. But have you thought to ask yourself if there’s more to be had from a location than the obvious? You have to build upon an initial idea. Explore possibilities.

I was in Vietnam driving through the mountains when we came upon this amazing view of rice terraces. We stopped so the film crew could shoot some aerial shots with their drone so Simon and I took the opportunity to look around and shoot this video.

As we drove up the hill I’d noticed one of the little paths that wind their way through the paddies so we went for a walk to see what it would yield.

Almost straight away we came upon some greenery we could use as foreground, which can frame a scene and give it more depth. In some cases just finding a bit of foreground can make or break an image.

But don’t forget to look around you. It’s all to easy to miss a beautiful detail of the landscape that’s right next to you because you’re absorbed by what’s in front.

You have to concentrate and really look at a scene. In the first shot of the last scenario there’s a stick poking up on the left. I didn’t really notice it to begin with. It wasn’t until I checked the shot in the LCD it became apparent.

So how do we remove it? Well obviously there’s Photoshop but I’m lazy. A few steps to the side will change the geometry of the image. It makes things align differently so you can lose unwanted clutter from the composition.

So besides making sure the light is appropriate for the scene, here are 3 landscape photography tips to consider.

  1. Take time – think of other possibilities for the location
  2. Find some foreground. It could make a world of difference
  3. Look to the side as well as in front. You might have missed something

These things are not functions of your camera. They are functions of you thinking like a photographer.


3 Landscape Tips

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