How many times have you taken what you were sure was the perfect shot, only to be disappointed when reviewing your work later on the computer? There's the trashcan you didn't notice in the corner; the stranger's elbow jutting out behind your subject. And why did that tourist have to step into the frame? These image-wrecking situations are easily avoided - if you notice them before you press the shutter button.
|It's easy to be so preoccupied with capturing an interesting subject set in a stunning locale that you ignore small but distracting details like the out of focus pole jutting out from the bottom of the frame.|
Photography is unique among most crafts in that more experienced practitioners often work a lot slower than those picking up a camera for the first time. Watch most any novice photographer as they approach a subject, hold the camera to eye level, take the picture and then move onto the next shot. A more seasoned shooter in the same situation puts a premium on trying different vantage points, re-adjusting camera settings, changing lenses, you name it.
And they are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating the scene via the viewfinder or on the LCD display. Does this process take more time? Certainly. But it's borne of an attention to detail that eliminates unwelcome surprises later on in the image review stage.
|Before photographing this plaza, I took the time to ensure that the logo was centered, the horizon level, and that there were no pedestrians entering the frame.|
In this article, I want to share with you an exercise that will slow you down, train your eye to better evaluate compositional elements and increase your ratio of keepers to rejects. I call it the Five for Five technique. The next time you go out to shoot, make yourself a promise. Once you pull the camera up to your eye, spend five full seconds looking carefully through the viewfinder or LCD screen before you press the shutter. Pay particular attention to each corner of the frame, looking for any elements in the scene that detract from your desired composition. If you find anything objectionable, adjust the camera position to remove it from view and then spend another five seconds repeating this process.
|Moving closer to your primary subject for a tighter shot is an obvious way to create a different composition.|
Once you take the photograph, don't pack up just yet. Compose and shoot four additional images of the same subject. Get down on your knees and shoot from below. Shoot from a side angle. Get closer. Try horizontal and vertical shots. The idea is to come away with five images captured from different perspectives and angles. And remember, before each press of the shutter you are still examining the viewfinder or LCD screen for five seconds.
|Switching to a vertical format opens
up a wide range of compositional
alternatives. Here, I positioned the
camera so that the steps mimicked
the butterfly shape of the logo...
| ...while here I shot at an acute angle
with the camera just inches from
|Getting down on one knee provides a vantage point distinctly different from that of a standing position.|
From one location, I've captured five separate and distinct photographs. If you're used to shooting quickly and covering a lot of ground, this exrecise is going to be a drastically different way of working. But I guarantee that while you may come home with fewer images, your reward will be more thoughtful compositions and a greater variety of images.
Amadou Diallo is a technical writer at dpreview, photographer and author of books on digital image editing and travel photography. His fine art work can be seen at diallophotography.com.
Jul 14, 2014
Aug 11, 2014
Jun 6, 2014
Jun 5, 2014
|Al Fateh Grand Mosque by mallen1976|
from Your City - B&W Night Picture
|Fascia walkie talkie building London by ian herridge|
from Abstract Architecture
|Beakable by Hobbyfotograaf|
|St Paul's - DT NYC by mollymcd|
from Modern - Old-Fashioned
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.
After 1.7 million downloads on Apple computers since the launch in November 2015, Aurora HDR will be available for Windows PCs for the first time with the 2018 release.
The company behind the new Meyer Optik Goerlitz lens manufacturing business has formed a new brand to bring back the Biotar 75mm F1.5 that was made by Carl Zeiss Jena in the 1940s and 50s.
The updated Qualcomm Spectra system is a dual-camera setup that is capable of sensing depth and motion in real time.
A sizable swath of the United States will be treated to a total eclipse of the heart – er, sun – in just under a week. Here are a few excellent guides to help you photograph this rare occasion.
f11 Magazine—an ad-supported, free magazine for 'photographers and aficionados' that focused on photos rather than gear—is suspending publication due to financial troubles.
The Minolta MC Rokkor-X 40-80mm F2.8 is unlike any zoom lens you've probably ever seen. Instead of a helicoid, it uses a gearbox, and because of this it's still one of the sharpest zoom lenses out there.
If you're looking to switch to Sony, the company's new limited-time "α trade up" promotion can snag you up to $500 + trade-in value towards a brand new a9, a7 II, a7R II, or a7S II when you hand over your DSLR or mirrorless camera.
The Google Camera app exclusive to the company's own Pixel phone has been unofficially ported to other Android devices. If you're willing to take the risk of installing, you can now use features like HDR+ on the Galaxy S8, LG G6, OnePlus 5, and more.
49-year-old David Hilos is known by the Singapore photography community as the 'camera whisperer.' When a service center says a camera is beyond repair, Hilos can usually coax it back to life.
Photographer Ryan Kelly captured one of the most viral and graphic images of the horrifying events in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. This is the harrowing story behind that photograph.
Data storage manufacturer Synology has added a new, lower-cost NAS to its DiskStation j line that has a maximum capacity of 40TB, and which is aimed at home users and photography enthusiasts.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but here it is: the $500 interchangeable lens camera is about to go the way of the $200 compact.
On April 16, 2016 disaster struck in Kumamoto in the form of an unprecedented 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Here is the public's first look at Sony's sensor factory during the quake, the resulting damage and the efforts to restore operations.
Last August, travel photographer and Resource Travel editor Michael Bonocore escaped to the island of Tahiti for a month of cool adventures and amazing photography.