On composition, part 22: Distortion

A fundamental part of photography is focusing light onto the recording medium, be it film, digital sensor, or even our own retinas. And the method used for doing this the vast majority of the time is a lens, a transparent substance with a certain index of refraction – the trait of bending light when [...]

On composition, part 14a: The lurking cliché

This is an extension of the topic tackled in a previous Composition post, because I felt it deserved a closer examination. So join me as we dive bravely into the seedy underworld of the cliché again.

The word itself has distinctly negative connotations, doubly so when there’s any connection whatsoever to the Art World [...]

All too brief

On Sunday, the temperature topped 22°c (72°f,) making me break out the sandals for the first time since November – they’re my summer footwear, if I’m wearing anything at all. I had a student, and these images came from our session out scouting conditions and planning for the busy season come spring. It was [...]

On composition, part 21: Water

While it may seem that “water” is more of a subject than a compositional tool or element, there are actually so many ways to use it that it begs for greater examination. So let’s dive in sorry – sometimes you can’t resist.

The primary trait is, of course, reflectivity. It can mirror a subject [...]

On composition, part 20: Contrast

Main light from the strobe, backlit by the sun. Notice how the edges are defined brightly, especially the antennae, which makes them stand out.

I find it hard to believe that I never actually tackled this in a separate post before – I guess I kept thinking I’d done it early on, and have [...]

So how does one ‘compose’ an image?

It’s been a slow couple of weeks for finding topics of interest for some reason, which hasn’t helped with my resolve to top the number of posts done in 2011 (2012 was well short, and I’ve already passed that mark.) It’s one of those things that I don’t worry about too much, because I’d [...]

A matter of timing

I’ve been watching the autumn colors developing slowly, wondering what this year’s conditions are going to be like. The pursuit of “peak colors” is a routine activity for anyone who chases landscape images, and some photographers and painters are quite dedicated to it, ensuring that they’re in a prime location in time to see [...]

On composition, part 19: Distractions

While the pole could be cropped out, the wires just don’t fit with the old barn (this is infra-red, by the way)

When we’re learning how to do something even vaguely artistic, there is a series of pitfalls that can arise: while concentrating on following “rules” or guidelines or better techniques or whatever, we [...]

Doing the fartsy thing

No, the title does not mean last night was burrito night – it just means that, since I don’t do the artsy thing, this must be something else.

In the past several days, my right arm has been bothering me due largely to wielding the camera and flash bracket one-handed, often in awkward positions, [...]

Advice on advice

If you came to this post by following one of the links under “composition,” I’m going to apologize up front, because this isn’t exactly about how to compose photos. Yet, it does have some relation, so stick with me for a second as I explain.

Last week was a busier one for me due [...]