Monday, March 1, 2010

Things to Focus On

As you set out on your day I hope that some of you are viewing the world
in a different way. Are you looking at things with 'new eyes'? Do you say,
"That could be a cool picture." Or as you are taking pictures are you beginning
to take from new view points that you hadn't thought of before?

One thing I've found myself looking at differently are music videos. Try it.
Watch them as a photographer. They are awesome. Every angle, every shot,
all the lighting, the zooms, the composition, how they position people in the
foreground and background, cars, building, animals, black and white, bleached,
old-fashioned, you name it, they have it all. Any emotion they emote it. Sure
the music has a lot to do with it but put it on mute. Do you see the story?
Can you still tell there's feelings and emotions of some kind? Usually absolutely.
The old adage, "A picture is worth a thousand words," comes into play here.
The worth to you can be a photography lesson. So go listen to MTV or VH1.
Study the photography and then go practice what you learned. Mimic it.
Mimicry is the highest form of flattery and a great way to learn. Just make sure
you aren't out right copying.

Things to Focus On

1. Move In: Get close to your subject

2. Be Quick: Have your camera with you and ready! It does no good at the bottom
                      of your backpack. Make sure it is accessible and you can turn it on 

3. Compose: cut out the unwanted, watch your backgrounds for clutter. You don't
                      want light poles growing out of heads, tree branches coming out of
                      ears and garbage cans decorating your backgrounds.
4. Focus on your subject: make sure your subject is sharp. If it's a face focus on 
                    the eyes.

5. Light: best times of day are early morning and evening, the twilight hours. Be sure
                to use a tripod in low light conditions, the self timer or cable release to prevent
                camera shudder or a stable rock, railing, chair etc. to place your camera on.
               Gorrilla pods are great for your point and shoots. AND just because it is noon
               don't let that stop you. Add a polarizer filter or with the point and shoots
               try holding different sunglasses in front of the lens. The effects can be really
               neat, at twilight times too.

6. Whether or NOT there's weather: If there has been rain, like lately, clouds add
                depth, texture and drama to photos. In Arizona so often we have that plain
                old blue sky, so take advantage of the cloudy days and lovely sunsets. TIP:
                Wait longer after the sun goes down. Usually the best part of the set comes
                 in the glow later but you'll need that pod or stable 'something'.

7. Keep it Simple: from your picture to travel, best motto: LESS IS MORE
               Make sure your intended subject is the focus. The less distractions from it the

               I tend to do the same with my camera bag. I don't even really carry one unless
               of course I'm traveling or hiking. For games, around town etc, I have my 
               camera out and ready, extra cards in a pocket or purse, if it's multiple games, I
               will have an extra battery and sometime my flash and another lens I'll keep in 
               the car or my purse. I hate hauling around a bunch of 'stuff' and I usually never
               need it.  The biggest thing is to make sure you have your cards and batteries.
               It's always good to fire a couple of test shots before you leave the house (with 
               both batteries). One, you will know they are both charged, two, you will know
               if you have a  least one card in your camera. Believe me it's not fun getting 
               somewhere and you forgot your card, like State Softball Playoffs of all places!
               I walked around until I found a pro with a Canon and asked if I could buy a 
               card off him. He sold me his old used up card for $60, reprimanded me for 
               something I already new (bring extra cards) and he laughed all the way to the
               bank, I'm sure.  So the motto for me: the less I have to keep track of the better
               and check and recheck before I leave the house.

8. BE BOLD! The most intimidating of all but has the biggest and best results. Get
               yourself out there. So what if you are down on the floor, crawling in the hall, or
               in some other compromised position, if you get a great and awesome shot it's all
               worth it. Be Fearless. People who act in spite of their fear are the brave ones.

Keep snapping and emailing your photos. Take your cameras to the pep assembly!! Good photo op... maybe even for the paper!!!

1 comment:

  1. And if you want to make pictures you'll need to carry your camera....all the time.
    Here's a few words of wisdom from one of the worlds greatest natural lgiht photographers: