Following the Rules

The best part of the rules of photography is the idea that we could break them at any time. However first you need to understand what the rules of photography are. Too often I see photos of great grand views but the subject is directly in the center of the photo, so I don't really get the scene that they're trying to show me. Following the rule of thirds gives us the opportunity to help our audience feel what we feel. There is nothing wrong with centering your subject if that is what you feel as the photographer best shows your subject. If you always center your subject, it tells me you pointed the camera in the vicinity of the subject and pushed the button. The difference can be "did you take the photo or did you MAKE the photo"?
Here is a picture looking down into a valley with big puffy clouds and rich green fields. Notice the valley is in the bottom third of the photograph and the top two thirds is filled with sky. I was trying to give my audience a sense of expansion. I feeling of looking on forever.
The next time you are taking a photo, try moving the camera or the subject around to give a sense of where you are, what you are feeling, or simply a different perspective. Using the rules, Find your look for the photograph...

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Camera by the Back Door

Yesterday I was taking the dog out back when I spotted a Cooper's Hawk in the back yard by the herb garden. The ground was covered with freshly fallen snow and he was just sitting there. Fortunately I had a Nikon Coolpix L820 sitting by the back door I had just come out of. What I love about this camera in the 30x optical zoom. I took the dog back in and grabbed my camera. Because it has such a long focal length, I could stay back from the hawk and still get a decent picture. I realize this could've been better possible on my DSLR but THAT was not by the back door. From now on I will always have some sort of camera by my back door, ready to capture any moment.

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Christmas is Coming

I have done a little HDR but haven't spent a lot of time really thinking about it, so I decided to enter a contest this year and focus on making a decent HDR photo. I know that I am not Trey Ratcliff but I enjoy his work and I wanted to see what I would end up with. I tried this image 2 ways. The first one is with a 2 EV difference over 3 exposures and the second one is 1 EV over 3 exposures. Ironically I used to do this with film back in the 80s and 90s but they never looked this cool.

Which do you like better and why? Also I want to see your HDR images.

HDR EV -2, 0, +2 

HDR EV -1, 0, +1

Thanksgiving Weekend...SNOW!

This weekend I made a commitment...to my iPhone. I decided that the only camera I would bring with me is my iPhone 5s and to use it as often as I can. I have been taking landscapes, food, and even portraits. Here are two of the images I took using the iPhone. I used iPhoto for iOS to stay true. The first image is a barn. I increased the contrast and saturation and cropped it to an 8x10.
The second image is of my wife, Alice. I went close up and added some saturation to her eyes and lips and then softened the background a little more.
So far I am enjoying the iPhone. It is always with me and very convenient. I do have to spend more time on post editing but I like the results.

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Using recovery time from surgery

I have been using the time I have for recovery from my surgery to learn more about photography and video editing. IMA also pushing myself by using only one lens a day and sometime only black and white.
This image was shot with a Nikon 28mm at f2.8 in monochrome.

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