Sunday, January 17, 2010

Photo Composition

I took a class yesterday on composition and intermediate photography thru the Digital Photo Academy. Since getting my new DSLR, I really wanted to take time to learn its functions instead of constantly using the pre-set buttons. What's the purpose of a DSLR if I use all the auto features?

This had to be my favorite picture of the day. Bright, vivid color with the monochromatic color of the lock and bolt.

My second favorite picture of the day. The above picture is a reflection in a moped's rear compartment. Kind of wish I wasn't in the reflection as well, but it's something to work on.

Ok, so the first part of the day was composition. I feel I already have a pretty good eye, especially with landscapes and nature, but it was really nice to go through some of the key elements to try and better my pictures. We learned about the rule of thirds, leading lines, use of color, etc. We then went out into Northern Liberties to try our hand at some of the stuff. The assignment was hard considering it is winter and there's not much color out there for me to play with nor is there the usual things I like to take pictures of. Still, I tried my hand at a few things.

The picture on the left was taken midday. Loved the colors. The picture on the right was a fluke. I was goofing off, trying to take a picture of myself, but the camera was lopsided and missed me altogether. This is what I got instead. Not bad. The lines of the wires are great.

The above picture is some barbed wire at a vacant lot.

I had taken a different version of this picture (street view w/ street lines), but Rick the instructor suggested I go back and find another way to highlight the lamppost. I came back w/ this. What I like about it is the fact that the utility post in the background seems to echo the lamppost in the foreground. Rick really liked it.

I had a lot of fun w/ the reflections in the mopeds parked on the street.

Gated window-front w/ the reflections of the street through the window.

I tried working on depth of field and the rule of thirds w/ the fence post on the left. On the right, I really liked this lamp as I was walking to lunch. I love how the line of the wall detail lines up w/ the center line of the lamp and how the diagonal line leads your eye to the subject.

Not sure how this is w/ the leading lines, but the rule of thirds works nice and the diagonal line captures your eye. Just a fence around a vacant lot.

More play on color, this time focusing on the contrasting colors of blue and orange. Also, I loved the color of the fire hydrant with its contrasting red (red orange) and green (lime green).

The 2nd part of the day was intermediate photography. It is designed to introduce you to the DSLR. We focused a lot on shutter speed and aperture and how/when to use it with your camera. We also covered white balance and fill flash. We then went outside for a bit to try stopping a moving car, panning, and blurring the car while keeping the background still. I didn't bother uploading many pictures from this part since it was more technical instruction so the pictures were kind of boring.

My attempt at panning. The biker is supposed to be clear while everything else is blurred. I still need to work on this technique.

Capturing and stopping motion w/ an increased shutter speed. Most of this was done w/ cars (boring), but I had fun playing w/ the flag blowing in the wind.

Overall, it was a good class. I would have liked to work on some other concepts on the camera, like size (raw v. jpeg) or some of the digital functions on the camera itself and what they mean, but this was a good start. I guess it's kind of hard to cover that stuff in a 4-hour workshop. Because speed and aperture are both numbers I kept getting confused. I am sure that I will need a refresher as well as a more advanced class to help me thru a lot of it.

However, I now realize my lens does not have as much zoom as I thought, so I'll be on the lookout for a good zoom lens before my trip in April. We all know how much I love to zoom.


Aberdonian said...

Great pictures!

piddleloop said...

panning is freakin hard

i think you have some really nice rule of thirds shots in there!! and it's always that way with the off shot you will get a nice surprise while 500 shot you take being calculated and they can all be crap except for the one off!

Anonymous said...

These are great! You have quite the eye! What kind of DSLR do you have?


Andrea said...

I see you learned a lot in your class. Love the pictures.

Mariss said...

Good for you on taking the class! I'm so excited you got a DSLR!!! What kind?!

One of my favorite shots is actually your "fluke" one. Love the silhouette and pretty purple background. I'm excited to see how your photography grows :)