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...


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