Info of Creating Portraits

Props should be kept to a minimum. Allowable is anything which will support the mood and which will not detract from the main subject. A high key portrait can be enhanced with a white wicker chair, a loose white flower arrangement out of focus in the background or a high-keyed landscape judiciously placed off center, blending with the other background tones. A large, dark sculptured bowl of red apples, a black poodle, or a dark-toned piece of furniture in the background would contrast too sharply with the generally light toned subject and background. Attention diverted to these items due to their strong intrusion in the composition is lost to the main subject and detracts from the ambiance.

Attention should be paid to the lines created by the subject and other components in the composition. Lines leading strongly out of the picture should be avoided. Rather use curves to bring the eye back to the main subject. Moveable items in the composition can be place to complete gap in a leading line so as to facilitate the eye in its movement around the work. Invisible paths of light can be created with the use of similar colors, a repeated pattern or item, or the play of light and shadow along an edge. Where possible choose components with care, preferring meaningful items which play a part in the life of the subject, rather than an object chosen solely for its shape and color. For instance, if the subject is a potter, choose an attractive urn instead of, say, an antique doll which has no place in the subject’s interests.

The light that falls on the subject can be used to support the mood. Natural window light suggests an old master genre and the sharp golden rays of a small source of light created the highlights necessary for a mood with a positive spin. Any available light can create a beautiful portrait if the direction and ration of light to dark is controlled. Reflectors add light to a dark, shadowed area, scrims or shades can tone down a too-strong source. The direction or the main source of light should enhance the features by sending light into the eyes, outlining the jaw and cheek, and finding the proper areas to highlight. Additional highlights are supplied with back or side-back rays of light, as long as their effect does not invent unwanted facial highlights or block up needed detail. Pure rim lighting is fairly safe if used with care.

Composition in Photography

What I am trying to do is to encourage you to think about what you are trying to achieve when looking through the viewfinder. I will start then with something that you have probably already come across:-

The Rule of Thirds.

Basically, if you imagine a photo divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, the main subject of the image should be where a vertical line cross a horizontal one.

Many modern cameras allow you to place a grid in the viewfinder which can be used to place the object where two lines intersect. While we are talking about the Rule of Thirds, it is generally best to place the horizon on one of the thirds, rather than in the centre of the frame, dependent on whether the main points of interest are in the sky or on the ground.

Leading Lines

These lead the viewers eyes into the picture either to the main subject or on a journey through the whole of the picture. Examples of leading lines could be a path wandering through the image, a fence line, a meandering road or a stream or river.

Symmetry

To demonstrate that the rules are no more than guidelines, the next one contradicts the Rule of Thirds. If your image is symmetrical, then it could benefit from being centred either on the horizontal, or vertical centre line. This works particularly well for reflections

Rule of Space

This rule is talking about giving the subject in the photo, space to move into the frame. This particularly applies to animals and vehicles. The object should have the most space in front of it, and not be right up to the edge of frame, giving it nowhere to go.

Rule of Odds

Generally speaking, it is thought that photos with an odd number of subjects is more visually appealing and natural looking than those with an even number, where the viewers eyes may flick around the image, unsure of where to settle. I tend to use the rule of odds particularly if taking a close up of flowers or the like.

I hope that I have given you a brief insight into composition and that when you next look through your viewfinder you will at least stop and think for a few seconds at what you are looking at and how the shot may be improved. But just remember, these rules, and all the others you will come across, are simply guide lines to help you go in the right direction, they are not railway tracks that you have to stick to rigidly. Finally I will end with the words of Pablo Picasso – “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Photo Retouching

Not Ridding Halos around Objects Completely

Coronas are groups of lights that embellish the edges of the primary questions in photos. They fundamentally emerge as the consequence of poor climatic conditions. This in this way implies they must be wiped out to give the photos the honesty they require.

In many examples, these coronas are never expelled totally. Along these lines, the last nature of the photographs are not as attractive as in a perfect world should be the situation. Most extreme care in this manner must be taken to make sure that they are totally dispensed with.

Over-brightening of the Teeth

Those photos that are taken of grinning individuals will typically get defensive. While stained teeth are awful to see, over-brightening them, then again, may mutilate the honesty of the ultimate result. This may render the photograph insignificant and conniving particularly if the subject is an outstanding open figure. Therefore, this action must be completed precisely and with most extreme concern.

Editing Images Disproportionately

In a few cases, the pictures must be edited to guarantee some coveted measurements. To edit a picture just means slicing that picture to measure for advantageous surrounding and accomplishment of the coveted angle proportion.

This methodology has regularly been mishandled however, a reality that has frequently prompted lopsided ultimate results. It ought to accordingly be done fastidiously and ideally by a prepared master as it were.

Photographing Animals

1) Eye contact is important, but not always necessary. In some instances, a pose with eye contact from an animal works. In my opinion, this type of pose is equivalent to a traditional, formal portraiture. When the pose works, the body position is natural and shows the full-body.

2) The surrounding setting is important too. If there are a couple of background textures and tones which complement the animal and setting, this would be perfect! In this way, the animal and setting (the background) contain visual unity.

3) The camera’s flash fills in shadows and enhances the appearance of humans, as well as animals. Take a fill flash photograph and look for the shadows on and around the animal’s body. Now, take another photograph without the flash. Without the flash, part of the animal’s face is darkened and the shadows are not as pleasing to the eye. The shadows tell us about the form and shape of an object. Normally though, shadows can add beauty to forms.

4) Viewpoint perspectives can make or break a photograph. Sometimes, shooting down on an animal works and other times not. Photographers have to make needed adjustments for each situation. While maintaining eye contact with an animal, just as with people, the animal should not be straining his or her neck to look at you (or the camera). Make sure the pose of the animal is not disturbing to look at. The animal should look true to form and natural.

Camera and Condensation

This explains why my viewfinder got all steamed up when I started using my camera yesterday (ok, I had left it in the boot of my car overnight – this should not be condoned for reasons not only of condensation but also of potential theft). Luckily, condensation doesn’t usually signify resultant damage to the camera or lens and, after wiping the moisture away, I was able to take my intended shots.

Care should be taken though. Rough treatment of your lens with an inappropriate cloth could lead to scratches. Pooling of the water droplets around the edge of the glass could possibly seep into the lens mechanism. Not a good idea.

Most times however, you are advised to leave and store your equipment where there is warmth. You can reduce condensation by storing your camera in a good bag when it is brought in from the cold – the temperature change will be less dramatic. Luckily, most condensation will evaporate very quickly.

I always carry a soft cloth with me. This serves to remove the condensation without risking damage to the camera or lens. So far, I have not had any problems, and don’t expect any.

Condensation that forms on the lens can even be useful! It can give a nice soft focus effect for impromptu romantic images!