My Blogging Reasons:

1) When I was just starting out in the photography world I didn't have a lot of people to help me, I didn't have money to take classes so a lot of it was done the wrong way first. I want this to be a place of resource for beginners/hobbyists and everyday people, a place where you can ask me anything
2) Once I found a network of other photographers there were so many willing to dish out their secrets for free and help me along the way and this is a way I figure I can give back to the community
3) I have learned so much that my head is starting to overflow and I need a place to keep my notes freeing up some of my brain space for other things
4) The best way for me to remember something is to teach it to someone else.

Disclaimer: I don't think nor claim to be the worlds greatest photographer, but I continue to study and work really hard and by golly one day I might just be the best, but for now I will continue to learn right along with you!

I will add onto the lessons, so if something doesn't make sense chances are you are skipping ahead go back and read through the archives. If it is doesn't click ASK me anything anytime!

You can email me any questions or just post it in the comments and I will address them all here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Composition Says It All

Okay so maybe not all, but most. It is what separates a snap shot from a portrait, it is what makes an images an "ahhh" moment or an "ehhh" moment.

So the basic rules:

1) keep it simple-watch your backgrounds for unwanted clutter, use props that bring the focus to the subject and not ones that become the subject. Remember you are taking a picture of your subject and not your surroundings

2) rule of thirds-keeping the most important parts of the image along the intersecting lines of the thirds-see example-avoid placing objects of interest in the center.

3) eye travel-when you look at an image pay attention to how your eye travels, the more you do this the easier it is to see. When you are composing your shots watch for leading lines-do they lead into the frame or out of it? Where is your negative space is it in front of the eye or behind the head?

4) Point of view and angles-pay attention to the angle you are shooting your subject and ask yourself is this a snap shot position or a portrait position? Is the angle you are shooting at flattering to your subject?

Okay so your homework assignment(s)-I hope you are reading this because I am changing it just a bit.

1) ABC word creating interesting angles and compositions also paying attention to your exposure and focus, take pictures of objects that create letters see here for examples. Create a word and submit it for critique on compositions, focus, and exposure.

2) take one object and shoot it from at least 5 angles/directions/depth of view send me all of them and the one that you like the best and why.

3) send me at least 3 other images for composition critique


Snow Family said...

Oh happy day!! Thank-you so much for starting this blog. I used to work with your sister Carrie and we would all drool over your photography. What a gift. I am a novice with a Cannon Rebel. I am dying to learn how to edit. My latest dilema is with black and whites. Also, trying to get that color pop. Would you please share with the world what is in your camera bag, lenses etc. and what program do you use to edit? Or any other editing how to tips would be great. You can check out my blog at Any feedback would be great.

Amy N. said...

Hey Erika!
My Camera Bag:
Canon 40D
50 mm 1.8 lens
28-135 mm lens
70-300 mm lens
Digital Slave
Gray Card
Camera Manual
Extra Bateries and CF cards
I need a bigger bag so I can add some new lenses and a new flash.

I use Paint Shop Pro X2 for all my editing, it is pretty much the same as PhotoShop, but MUCH cheaper! I have yet to find something that PS can do that I can't do in PSP.

As for editing I will put together a tut. soon for black and whites as well as a color pop, but really the key to good editing is to start with a good picture and do as little to the image as possible.

All are welcome to jump in on our assignments so feel free!