I think that one of the most frequently challenging aspects of the process of image composition is deciding what to leave in and what to leave out. When we first view a scene we view it in its entirety. We then set about the work of defining the story we want to tell with our image. Once we decide what story we want to tell, we much decide which elements in the scene support the story and which elements take away from the story’s clarity. When we first start to photograph, the general tendency is to include too much in our images. Our 3D eyes take it in and we want to include it all. As we develop a more discerning eye we begin to see how the supporting elements of the scene lead the eye along lines that take the viewer to the central subject. The key to a powerful image that communicates a story is the way in which the elements of the composition flow along those leading lines and help build the mood or feeling. The more I photograph the less I am inclined to include in an image. The maxim, “Less is more” works for me on many occasions. The challenge is always to find the best POV (point-of-view) that’s makes the optimal use of the elements in the scene. Most images are broken out into foreground, middle-ground and background, each on being tied together by the leading lines working with the Rule of Thirds.
A workflow could be: 1 Decide what story you want to tell with your image. eg. “A simple time in rural America” or "Powerful Sunrise" 2. Experiment with different camera locations and lens focal lengths to create the frame and POV to create a pleasing and harmonious image. 3 Expose the image but don’t stop. 4. Try other locations and focal lengths to compare compositions. 5. Continue experimenting as time and lighting permit. As Dewitt Jones says, “There is always more than one right answer.” Often the first right answer is not the best one.
May you all have great shooting opportunities.
Check out our new Featured Photographer, Frank Elwell. Click on thelink hereor go to the Featured Photographer tab in the menu bar.
The January 4 2017 Meeting
In John Hummel’s absence the January MAPS meeting was presided over by Dennis Warnesky. As the topic for the evening, Dennis presented an in-depth workshop on the do's and don’ts of "Available Light Photography" He included technical tips and examples of various situations where photographing in available light does and does not work. After the break, the group reviewed the Challenge images for December which were on the topic, “Holiday Spirit”. A few of the images from the meeting are shown below.
The February, 2017 Meeting
The February meeting was cancelled due to the continued difficulty with the huge amount of snow accumulation in the area and the possibility of another storm system moving in.
The March, 2017 Meeting
The next meeting will be 6:00 pm on March 1, 2017 in the CAC in the Lake Arrowhead Village, weather permitting. The group will be watching and discussing a 30 minute National Geographic’s video on landscape and wildlife photography. After the break, we will review the Challenge images for January/February which were on the topic, “Available Light”. Everyone is welcome and if you have not attended before, the first meeting is free. Come share your love of photography on Wednesday, March 1st!
Please see the "Contact Us" page to get more detail on the location Thank you to all who are participating in MAPS and see you at the next meeting.
The Monthly Challenge
The group will continue the Challenge project from January, "Available Light". Existing light, Available light or Ambient light includes natural light from the sun, moon, or sky, and also includes room lights, street lights, car lights, house lights and decretive lighting that were not supplied specifically for the act of making the photograph. It is distinguished from ‘artificial light’, which a photographer supplies by using flash or lamps. Existing light photography implies low light levels that require special techniques to capture the image without supplemental light. Please forward your jpeg files to me at email@example.com by February 28th to be included in the slideshow. You can also bring your images to the meeting on a flash drive.
Joe Whyte is usually at Camp Paivika on Tuesdays. currently around 4:30 PM for the sunset shoot and dog walk depending on the weather. Check our Blog Page or Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to confirm the time. This is a great opportunity for some great sunset rim views!