Monday, May 16, 2011

adding visual interest to your photos

hi everyone. it is safe to say that my blog is as good as dead since there haven't been any updates because i am too busy. as you might know, i am currently doing my diploma in Photography. i'm on my semester break now, and i am going to make good use of my time by sharing some tips about landscape photography. 

I have finally found my calling and it is Landscape Photography. i absolutely love taking shots of God's creations. i hope to do a lot of tutorials and share some tips regarding landscape photography on this old dusty blog.

I'm sure that every person at some point must've taken a liking towards landscape photography. maybe taking pictures of interesting places during your vacation, or maybe you're the type who likes to travel and take pictures for keepsakes. well, in this short post, i am going to share on how you can make your photos look more interesting.

in this post, i will show an example of foreground interest and why it can turn a dull photo into something that you can hang on your wall. hehe
let's dissect a picture, shall we?
here is b&w picture taken during my trip to Lumut.

In this picture, i composed my shot so that the rocks are in the frame as well. by doing so, i have successfully added a foreground interest in the picture to blend in with this shot's theme. by adding the rocks, viewers will appreciate the whole theme (but only if it blends in)

at this point, you might be saying "what the hell is this guy talking about?"
well, by themes, i mean elements. for example, i shot the picture (above) from the shore. and of course there are tiny rocks there as well.
it's a picture of a boat with tiny rocks in front of it to make the picture look more classy. there.

how can you go wrong with foreground interests?
blurry foreground
number one mistake, blurry foreground. in Landscape photography, sharpness is key. a blurry foreground will definitely be a problem. here's why: if you're using a wide aperture like f/3.5 to compensate for low ISO, you might think you'll get away with it but after you've taken the pictures and transferred the files to your pc, don't be surprised if parts of your picture are out of focus. told you.
the safest way is by using a sharper aperture of, let's say f/7.1 or f/8.0, or if you want, go for a  higher aperture value. but remember, you will need a tripod to avoid camera shake.
also, please remember that when you've chosen a higher aperture value, that doesn't guarantee a sharp photo.
the key is 'composing'. the DoF preview button is a handy feature. use it.(assuming you guys are using a DSLR)

number two, mismatched theme. let's say you're at a beach and you want to take a picture the sunset. you might want to go all fancy and stuff by adding a foreground interest. and you decided to include a picture of trash. get the picture? 

next, i will compare two pictures. one without foreground interest and one with.

a really dull shot
 this was taken using my EF-S 55-250mm IS, zoomed all the way out to 250mm. the picture looks ok to me but that's about it. just, OK. nothing special.

now this is a step up from the previous one.
Although the moon is a bit blurred, i still like this picture than the previous one. why? because this looks more interesting thanks to the visual aid of foreground elements.

ok, i think that's about it for today. i will share more tips when i have time. go out and enjoy taking pictures. good luck! :)

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