Thursday, September 15, 2011

Combining the Rules

As you work on your blogs over the next few weeks, I’d like for you to keep the lessons of Unit 1 in mind. Although we talked about “rules,” it is important not to think of these as separate entities: all good photographs combine careful control of lighting, depth of field, and composition. In the above photos, taken this week near the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, you can see these elements at play.

In the top photo, of a field of sorghum planted by the NFS to attract bear and deer, you can see the focus “unfold” so to speak – the near objects are in focus, and your view is drawn along as the objects get more distant and less in focus. This effect is very deliberate, and is achieved with a zoom lens and a fast shutter speed.

In the next photo, of some folk art in the small mountain town of Burnsville, you can see the composition and subject matter is divided into thirds, with some attention too to depth of field – I made the background a bit blurry to push your eye to the foreground.

In the second from the bottom photo, of the sorghum again, you can see I deliberately “back lit” the subject, shooting almost into the line of the sun, to give it a glow and set it off from the (out of focus) background. Notice too how “thirds” are at play.

In the final photo, of the Queen Anne’s Lace, this too is back lit. I’ve also paid a lot of attention to how I placed the dark and light areas in the background in relation to the flower – I deliberately wanted the white flower to be against the darkest part of the background.

In summary, I each of these pictures I’ve paid a lot of attention to everything in my viewfinder.


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