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Photo Examples of Good Rule or Technique Application, Help for the New Contributor


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Most of us that have been here a while have done our share of critiquing the portfolios of our many newcomers, often a bit more harshly than we intended or possibly should have.  While I realize

After 13 pages, I have no idea if it came up already or not, but just to be sure, sometimes it is good to ignore typical composition rules and leave some space for the buyer for copy or  cropping.

My apologies to those of you who are getting tired of seeing this thread but in reviewing my portfolio images I noticed how often I have used an "S" curve in the composition of my images.  While I lik

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3 minutes ago, geogif said:

You are right.

But sometimes, if really  boring, it is last  chance 😀

My cunning plan right now is to take some of the shots I have that just and just missed the mark (focus not quite there or whatever) and trace them as vectors to see how that works.  First step learn how to draw vectors lol

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Sunny F16 Rule

  • Do not meter and shoot in manual mode using the Sunny F16 Rule if there is any sunlight in the scene - Exposure equivalent to 100 ISO, 1/100sec at F16.
  • Bracketing exposures is unnecessary. One shot is all you need.
  • Then if necessary bring up the shadows in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom.
  • If the shadows are still too dark consider getting a camera that has higher dynamic range.

 

stock-photo-vancouver-british-columbia-c

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Geogif,

Thanks for your example.  I'm not real good at changing the sky but I've found the monetary return is well worth the time and effort.

In my experience landscapes with a gray sky are the best candidate for replacement.  As you know, the first problem is trying to find a sky that has the same angle of light as the landscape.  The second problem is adjusting the color cast of the landscape to match the color cast of the new sky.  Attached is the finished product of a Panorama I shot which left a lot to be desired, before I took the time to replace the sky.  "Adjusted" it has become quite a good seller. 

z   Big Bend Pano & Sunset Pano  flat.jpg

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10 hours ago, Seleya said:

Wonderful thread and thank you to all of you offering your examples and experience. I'll follow with great interest.

 

Lots of great books. for at least 50 Years. LOL same in Painting.

 

7 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

This is not a "rule" or technique and may be something that everyone knows but I thought I would share it since it's "In The News" (on the forum) currently.

First off, I switched from a full frame Canon to the Olympus OMD EM 1 mk II about two years ago.  I am not that familiar with other camera manufacture's features so if this qualifies as "everybody knows that", please forgive me.

KEEPING THE HORIZON STRAIGHT.  This is something that plagued me constantly before I switched to Olympus.  Most, if not all of their OMD Cameras have a level at the bottom of both the viewfinder and the LCD which will indicate whether you have the horizon straight.  This (keeping the horizon straight) was difficult for me when there were other competing angles within the image (see attached).  This may be a feature in all mirrorless cameras and may also be on the latest DSLR from the major manufactures but for me it has been a huge help in composing my images.   

z  _7301160  adj.jpg

One of the issues I see Most Often. why I have No idea like they weren't even Looking.

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I don't think I am that good of a photographer, so I am a bit hesitant to give tips, however, there is one thing I see so often in photos that people who just started taking photos do in a way that can be easily improved.  A lot of beginners take photos of common things they have around them - plants and, also, very popular, pets.

When you take photos of pets it improves the photo greatly when you go down on eye level with the dog. (or cat or whatever other animal you are taking photos of). For bigger dogs it might be enough to crouch down, but for very small dogs you should even lie down on the floor.
A lot of people take photos of their dogs from above, from where they stand. When you take a photo of a human, you also would not photograph the top of their head, and you also should not do so with your dog. It not only just looks bad, it also makes the perspective look all weird and sometimes you are missing out on great backgrounds. It also reduces the ability to have a beautiful blurry background, because the background - which if the photo is taken from above usually is the ground - is too close to the dog.

Comparison - The same scene shot from above on the left and from the ground on the right. None of these are great shots, but the right one always looks better.

007Hundefotografieperspektive.jpg

011Hundefotografieperspektive.jpg

014Hundefotografieperspektive.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Firn said:

When you take photos of pets it improves the photo greatly when you go down on eye level with the dog. (or cat or whatever other animal you are taking photos of).

Exellent point. That goes for babys and children too ...

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23 minutes ago, Firn said:

I don't think I am that good of a photographer, so I am a bit hesitant to give tips, however, there is one thing I see so often in photos that people who just started taking photos do in a way that can be easily improved.  A lot of beginners take photos of common things they have around them - plants and, also, very popular, pets.

When you take photos of pets it improves the photo greatly when you go down on eye level with the dog. (or cat or whatever other animal you are taking photos of). For bigger dogs it might be enough to crouch down, but for very small dogs you should even lie down on the floor.
A lot of people take photos of their dogs from above, from where they stand. When you take a photo of a human, you also would not photograph the top of their head, and you also should not do so with your dog. It not only just looks bad, it also makes the perspective look all weird and sometimes you are missing out on great backgrounds. It also reduces the ability to have a beautiful blurry background, because the background - which if the photo is taken from above usually is the ground - is too close to the dog.



 

In general, this applies to most of the animals that are shot.

image.png.2c8c0a26c428adc3446685c35d986d14.pngimage.png.1e7765622716bdebef6c4f18aff22b98.png

image.png.85249ad77aa7ced861a44c11a3c28606.pngimage.png.27db027d64a3a1335baedb86811151e1.png

image.png.f86de10ef007f0e3551038463ce29c69.pngimage.png.eb1aab7724e91f401b06229cade6a5d8.png

Most animals are shot lying down.

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16 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

This is not a "rule" or technique and may be something that everyone knows but I thought I would share it since it's "In The News" (on the forum) currently.

First off, I switched from a full frame Canon to the Olympus OMD EM 1 mk II about two years ago.  I am not that familiar with other camera manufacture's features so if this qualifies as "everybody knows that", please forgive me.

KEEPING THE HORIZON STRAIGHT.  This is something that plagued me constantly before I switched to Olympus.  Most, if not all of their OMD Cameras have a level at the bottom of both the viewfinder and the LCD which will indicate whether you have the horizon straight.  This (keeping the horizon straight) was difficult for me when there were other competing angles within the image (see attached).  This may be a feature in all mirrorless cameras and may also be on the latest DSLR from the major manufactures but for me it has been a huge help in composing my images.   

z  _7301160  adj.jpg

Totally agree, and if it's not a rule, it should be...

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When doing night photography, it's often more effective to shoot before the sky is completely black. Between sunset and true darkness, there's this beautiful time in the evening when the sky is a deep blue colour which can make a very attractive backdrop. And any parts of buildings or other structures, hills etc that are not illuminated by a light source will form silhouettes against this blue background, revealing their distinctive shapes. If you waited later when the sky is black, such structures would not be visible since they would blend into the darkness. 

Mallorca, Spain - July 1, 2017: Gateway of the Iglesia de San Juan Bautista church against an evening sky.

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1 hour ago, RLD Photography said:

And in some cases from in a tree, lol...

Not sure lying down with an active tiger about is a chance many people get - I do have tiger shots and plan on getting more but they involve being seated in  car in the local safari park.  One thing I did learn early on if you are shooting in safari park is to carry glass cleaner and make sure you give ALL windows a clean inside and out before driving through and do it every single time (I used to go weekly or more often).

 

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Thanks to those new folks that have contributed their fine images as examples. (michal, Firn, Simone, and Patrick) as well as those that made comments.

One point that has not been brought up yet (possibly because it's obvious) is framing your subject so that it is either looking into or traveling into the image. While my description may not explain it adequately, the attached images should illustrate the point fairly well.  If you don't do this your viewer will always wonder, "what is he (the image subject) looking at" or "where is he going".

It also provides that copy space that Mike brought to our attention earlier (with his volleyball image). 

z   _5230832  adj.jpg

z  _8052566   adj  ex.jpg

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Starsphinx,

Good point, getting down on a wild animal's level is often difficult, if not dangerous.  However, I understand that using a telephoto lens (combined with the actual distance from which you are shooting) reduces the angle of the image making it appear you are close (closer) to the same level (height) as your subject. 

Once again, my explanation is probably inadequate but the attached image should help to make the point.  I was relatively close (150 - 200 ft.) to the 40 - 50ft. tree and nest (which is near a trail frequented by beach goers) with my 400mm zoom when I took this picture. Some may debate it but to me the image looks like I was close to the same height as the birds rather than 40-50ft. below them 

z   _4200284   Landing Osprey adj.jpg

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28 minutes ago, Steve Bower said:

Starsphinx,

Good point, getting down on a wild animal's level is often difficult, if not dangerous.  However, I understand that using a telephoto lens (combined with the actual distance from which you are shooting) reduces the angle of the image making it appear you are close (closer) to the same level (height) as your subject. 

Once again, my explanation is probably inadequate but the attached image should help to make the point.  I was relatively close (150 - 200 ft.) to the 40 - 50ft. tree and nest (which is near a trail frequented by beach goers) with my 400mm zoom when I took this picture. Some may debate it but to me the image looks like I was close to the same height as the birds rather than 40-50ft. below them 

z   _4200284   Landing Osprey adj.jpg

Lenses definitely help - the shot below is several years old - and is not on stock, it has faults,  but it was taken from my car through the glass - and you would swear I was close enough to touch her which I wasn't by a long way and definitely not on her level (I did learn some interesting contortionist tricks though lol)
The safari park in question does do photography packages - and they have vehicles with cutouts down low so you can shoot that low.  They are on my list of must-dos - though mainly cause if lucky you get a cheetah sat on the car lol.

Thirsty tigress

 

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3 hours ago, Simone Hogan said:

Three point lighting in a studio setting - one soft box on each side and one from behind. The reason to use soft light rather than hard and direct is that the light wraps around the object much nicer, and leaves no hard shadows anywhere. Not having much hope they'll ever sell, too much competition... but I had fun shooting them.

https://image.shutterstock.com/z/stock-photo-two-red-roses-isolated-on-black-with-copy-space-1293022081.jpg

https://image.shutterstock.com/z/stock-photo-beautiful-white-calla-lily-zantedeschia-aethiopica-also-known-as-arum-lily-isolated-on-black-1289006710.jpg

Very nice Simone, they probably will.  I've shot similarly with fresh picked Peonies and they've sold.

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  • Steve Bower changed the title to Photo Examples of Good Rule or Technique Application, Help for the New Contributor

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