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Fill the Frame in Your Photography Composition

As a young photographer, I was often disappointed by my photos. There was no instant feedback as with digital images. And, as I began to learn digital photography, I realized that so many of my images had small subjects—disappointingly so. Cropping in post production with Photoshop didn’t help. What I needed to do was fill the frame.

filling the frame in photography composition

By filling the frame you add instant impact to the image. You exclude unnecessary clutter and bring a dynamic element to the photo. There is an incorrect assumption that you have to have every part of a subject or object for the image to be complete—not so. There is no reason why you can’t chop off parts of the subject when getting in really close. When shooting a person, get in really close and shoot just part of the model’s face. This gives a dramatic effect.

So why should we fill the frame? What are the benefits to doing this?

Practical Photography Tips for Beginners

Is photography getting you down? Did you stretch your budget to buy the best camera you could, then realize you were in over your head? One look at that inch-thick manual, and many new photographers just switch their camera to ‘auto’ and that’s where it stays.

beginning photography

Does this sound like you? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Camera manuals reflect the technical power of modern cameras, but they are intimidating to any beginner who just wants to take a decent photo.

When to Use Levels or Curves in Photoshop

Many Photoshop users learn to use the Levels dialog and then never progress to learning how to use the Curves. Let me give you several reasons why learning to use the Curves will make you more of an expert with Adobe Photoshop.

black and white landscape

What is the difference between Levels and Curves?

Tips for Maintaining Creativity as a Photographer

As photographers it is pretty much in our job description to produce creative and inspiring work. If your income is based around photography then you know creativity sells. However, there’s always a point in time when creativity is low—writers call it ‘writer’s block’.

creative photography

So how do we combat this unwelcome phenomenon? Luckily there are a few tips to help you keep your work fresh and creative—and here they are provided in a nifty list format!

1. Surround yourself with creativity

You may or may not know that you’re not the only artist out there. In fact, the Internet is home to millions of artists. Spend an hour or two browsing the web to find all sorts of wonderful photography to draw inspiration from. Don’t just look at photographs, read about them and their creators. Learning about yesterday’s greatest photographers may just turn you into tomorrow’s greatest. And don’t just limit yourself to photography…

2. Art provides infinite inspiration

Photography isn’t the only thing you will find inspiring. Paintings, architecture, and even sculptures can have a similar effect. Don’t just limit yourself to visual work for finding creativity. Music and writing are just as inspiring; in fact music may be the most helpful tool I turn to when looking for inspiration. Again it is important to not only experience these works but to learn about them as well. Expanding your knowledge is key to increasing creativity.

Tips & Hints to Develop Your Photography Skill

Many people are interested in photography but are unsure if they have the skills to become good at it. It is important to keep in mind that it is especially helpful to learn anything and everything possible about setting up your shot. This article will give you a few tips and hints to improve your photography skills.

pro photography

  • Understand that smiling photographs aren’t the only kind of pictures. Real stories are told when people are allowed to express themselves authentically. The most memorable photographs in history are those that tell stories and convey emotions, such as “Migrant Mother” or “Vietnam Napalm.” No matter if your pictures change someone’s life or are simply an everyday happening, the emotions should be nothing less than real.

Stop Making These 5 Common Photography Mistakes

It never ceases to amaze me the number of fuzzy, low resolution, badly exposed and poorly composed photographs that people take. Whether they’ve all been brainwashed to click that button as fast as possible or are just finding the reality that few subjects sit still, too many people forget that the camera is a tool for them to capture their life’s moments. This article explores five mistakes that every photographer can avoid.

lots-of-photographers-photo

photo captured by m01229 (Click image to see more from m01229)

1. Low resolution

5 Steps to Better Smartphone Photography

There is photography, there is videography, and now there is iPhoneOGRAPHY! Compared to DSLRs, iPhones are less bulky and more convenient to carry around. We always carry our phones around nowadays. Be it iPhone, Android, or Samsung, most phones now have a good quality camera for us to play around with. Now, you can forget about your bulky, inconvenient camera gear and maybe even complex photo editing software. Who says iPhones cannot shoot unique photographs?

iphone photography

Today, I am going to give you a few tips on iPhoneography.

1. Keep your photos simple

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

The Golden Ratio Applied to Photographic Composition

If you have been using The Rule of Thirds in your photographic compositions, you may have discovered an inherent shortcoming. Composing for the Rule of Thirds involves lining up a subject with one of the recommended intersections or lines. This can sometimes result in the subject being crowded too close to the edge of the frame.

rule of thirds composition

The problem can be minimized, if not eliminated using the Golden Ratio Grid, rather than the standard equally spaced Rule of Thirds grid.

rule of thirds

What is the Golden Ratio?

4 Basic Steps to Improve Your Photography Skills

Anyone can take good photographs, regardless of experience, training, or even equipment. What it all comes down to is how well a person understands the art of taking a photo. And as it turns out, there really are only a few things that are absolutely essential. Now, this article might not launch your National Geographic career, but it certainly could make your photos stand out amongst the sea of drab images that flood Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

1. Focus On The Upper Third

Our eyes don’t naturally go to the center of a picture when we first look at it; they scan the thirds of the images. Simply by placing the main focus of your picture in the upper third area you can drastically improve the quality of your photograph. It’s really that simple; just put someone’s eyes in the upper third of a photo the next time you take their picture.

portrait composition

2. Think Before Using Your Flash

Next time you’re more than 20 feet away from whatever you’re taking a picture of remember the following analogy and think whether or not your flash is actually going to help:

If you had a flashlight and pointed it at a truck that was driving away from you, how far do you think the truck would drive before the flashlight no longer illuminated the back of the truck? Ten feet? One hundred feet? Either way, we can all acknowledge that eventually the truck would be too far away for the flashlight to illuminate it properly. The flash on your camera is actually really similar, except that unlike a flashlight it’s meant to flood a relatively small area with a lot of light, whereas a flashlight usually covers a much greater distance with a narrow beam of light.

This is important because if the camera fires the flash it will assume that whatever you were aiming at was lit by the flash, leaving you with underexposed (dark) photos if your subject was too far away.

portrait with flash

3. Read Your Camera’s Manual

As simple as a camera is (light is focused by the lens on a sensor, which records the information) the software that operates the camera usually has dozens of controls and strange names for operations. This is true if you’re using anything better than a cell phone, and even more true if you’re using a DSLR. So make sure you keep the manual handy at all times.

If you, like most people, threw your camera’s manual away, or lost it somewhere amongst countless other manuals that you never read, don’t panic. Pretty much any manual for anything ever can be found online, usually on the manufacturer’s website. Just go ahead and Google the exact name of your camera and you’ll probably find all kinds of interesting information. The task may seem daunting, but try to look at it as a learning opportunity.

4. Keep It Fun

Taking pictures should be fun above all else. The tips provided above are good tips that will help you improve your technique, but they are by no means a comprehensive guide on how to be a better artist. Try not to take advice or implement practices that make photography feel less enjoyable.

fun photography

So, we’re interested—have you read your camera’s manual? If so, did you find it useful? If not, why not? What other fundamentals would you suggest to a novice photographer?

About the Author
Daniela Brannon is an Account Manager for Swagger Media. They have a blog on marketing skills. Swagger Media offers video production services, post-production services, animation, marketing and strategy, and everything in between. Reach out to us with any questions, comments, or rate inquiries.

[this post syndicated from Picture Correct]

Beyond the Postcard – 14 Tips for Creating Unique Photographs in Iconic Locations

Photography has been around since the early 1820’s. Of course, back then the technology of “picture taking” was not accessible to the common person. But have things ever changed! With the availability of digital cameras ever present, even in our cell phones, take a moment to consider these facts. Every two minutes today there are as many photos taken as were taken in the entire 19th century (1800s), and ten percent of all the photos ever taken were snapped within the last twelve months!

The Postcard: The Start Westward Monument in Marietta, Ohio. (18mm 1/80th of a second at f/5, ISO 100)

So, with nearly 200 years worth of photographs in our collective albums and portfolios, it has become challenging to find an iconic view or subject that hasn’t been overdone by millions of photographers, especially when it comes to state and national outdoor landmarks. In order to look beyond the “postcard shot”, you need to research unique perspectives and techniques to capture that popular subject in a way that creates an original image. But first, go ahead and take that “postcard shot”. (You know you want to!) Then consider the following 14 different suggestions for creating unique photographs of the most popular spots.