Tuesday, July 21, 2009

10 photography quotes you should know

Posted: 20 Jul 2009 02:06 PM PDT

In this post Hákon Ágústsson from PhotoQuotes.com and www.Imageree.com. shares some great quotes on the topic of photography and explains why they’re worth knowing.

Take note of and remember the following photo quotes. It’s always worthwhile to learn from masters.

“The wisdom of the wise and the experience of the ages are perpetuated in quotations”. - Benjamin Disraeli

1. “ You don’t take a photograph, you make it. - Ansel Adams

Full awareness of what makes a good photo is essential in taking great photographs.

Why would anyone be interested in this photo and what elements can be included or excluded to make it truly great?

2. “ Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst. – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Do you know how many photos you have taken up until now? You will have to take thousands of pictures to reach a point where you can begin to evaluate them objectively. Looking upon your photos as if you were looking at them through someone else’s eyes is a good way to give yourself constructive criticism. Comparing your first photos with your most recent, do you see improvement? Do you remember how you loved some of your first photos – do you still love them or are they now not so good anymore?

3. “ Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph. – Matt Hardy

You often don’t or can’t see beauty in the world until someone shows it to you. Take a look around you just now – even without moving from the computer. Can you see something in a new way, a different way of presenting something common? Just take a look again…

4. “ Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment. – Elliott Erwitt

When the world is your canvas, so to speak, you need your tools with you to capture everything around you. Make a habit of always carrying a camera with you—you will never suffer the regret of wishing you had.

5. “ Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow. – Imogen Cunningham

Never be fully satisfied with what you’ve done.

Never stop photographing. It is very likely that your best photograph has not yet been captured.

6. “ You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper. – William Albert Allard

We are always looking for reasons for not taking good pictures. Cartier-Bresson used film camera, same lens, no flash, same shutter speed – he didn’t need the newest digital equipment to take great photos.

We all have access to some subjects that no one else has access to – look at your friends’ hobbies, the workplaces of friends and family, and any place you have access to to find a vision that comes uniquely from your access. Many people would dream of having the same access you have, and you might not have considered how valuable your access is.

7. “ If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up. – Garry Winogrand

How often have you seen a photo that is missing something, thinking, “This is a good photo but I’d make it different somehow.”? Sometimes small things make a big difference. Don’t be afraid to shake things up.

8. “ I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good. – Anonymous

Sometimes it is interesting to hear the story behind the photo and you see the photo in a new light. But in most cases a photo shouldn’t need a story to back it up. It has to speak for itself.

9. “ Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop. – Ansel Adams

Even one of the masters in photography, Ansel Adams, didn’t expect to get more than 12 great photographs each year.

How can anyone expect more?

Take a look at your last year in photos – do you really see 12 photos that stand out from the rest?

10. “It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get. – Timothy Allen - On editing photos

Editing photos can often be the most difficult but also the most satisfying part. Sometimes taking a quick look at all the photos and then going away for a while before taking a closer look lends a fresh eye to your viewing. You may see things you did not notice previously. Stepping away from the mass of photos can make certain images stand out in your mind’s eye, leaving a memorable impression that can characterize a good photo.

What photography quotes do you think everyone should know?

Check out more of Hákon’s work at PhotoQuotes.com and www.Imageree.com.

Post from: Digital Photography School - Photography Tips.

How to work wide

Posted: 20 Jul 2009 07:01 AM PDT

Today Joe Decker shares some tips on wide angle photography.

One of the first lens purchases aspiring landscape photographers typically made is a wide or super-wide lens, anything (in full-frame 35mm terms) from 24mm on down, and with good reason, wides offer photographers the ability to capture the sweeping vistas of the natural landscape. But they can also be a challenge to use effectively, it’s all to easy to end up with a wide-angle shot that lacks the power and grandeur we felt when we were shooting. In this article, I’ll explain why that’s so often the case, and provide a few tips for working around those challenges, showing you how to use wide-angle lenses to create dramatic, effective images.

1. Get Close!
Because wide-angle lenses take in a bigger angle-of-view than other lenses, using a wide-angle lens at the same distance from your subject will render that subject smaller than it would otherwise. To compensate for this, you’ll have to move closer to your subject. Don’t be bashful about getting close, particularly with super-wides&mash;it’s almost impossible to get “too close” to your subject with a 14mm lens. This emphasis in size that wide-angle lenses give nearby objects means that …

2. It’s All about the Foreground
Contrary to what you might expect, this means that the most important element of your wide-angle landscapes is the foreground. While wide-angle lenses do capture the wider landscape, they also (almost inevitably, because of their wide field-of-view) capture quite a bit of foreground as well, and this foreground is emphasized by the wide-angle perspective. As a result, if your foreground isn’t interesting, your photograph won’t be interesting. This leads us naturally to the Josef Muench idea of the near-far composition, an image which uses a wide-angle lens to not only show a broad vista, but also to show one detail of that landscape in an up-close, intimate way. When you’re photographing wide, be sure to spend some time looking for the most interesting foreground available to combine with your grand vista. (If there isn’t an interesting foreground, you might want to consider using a longer lens to leave out that less interesting foreground.)

3. Watch those Verticals!
Wide-angle lenses tend to bend and distort verticals, as you can see in the tree trunks near the top of Fallen Redwoods. Now, you might decide you like that effect, or that you hate it, but it’s important to be aware of it and to make a conscious decision about it. For some images it’s fun to embrace, but more often I find myself having to work to avoid it or correct it later. Avoiding it can be as simple a matter as composing so that there’s only a single obvious vertical (and that that’s vertical), alternatively, using shift movements with a tilt-shift lens can correct some of this distortion in-camera. Post-exposure, Photoshop’s “Lens Distort” filter can also save the day.

4. Leading Lines
Compositionally, lines (such as streams or railway tracks) leading from the bottom corners of an image towards the center often have a particular magic for guiding the viewers eye through the picture, making for strong images, and this is particularly the case for wide-angle images. Hot Stream is a great example of this, the viewers eye tends to wander from the corner back through the image along the stream. As the stream moves back into the image, the stream gets smaller (in terms of inches on the printed page) quickly due the wide perspective. This quick fade (in width) into the distance creates a real sense of depth in the image.

5. Filter Woes
Shooting wide creates two problems for those of us who use filters. Polarizers are a specific problem, the effect of a polarizer on a blue sky varies across the sky so greatly that wide-angle images including the sky are left horribly unnatural, so leave off the polarizer unless you know there’s no blue sky in your scene. Screw-in filters are a separate problem, it’s all too easy for the filter edges, particularly if you’re stacking more than one filter on the same lens. Filter systems, such Cokin’s P-series filters (with the wide-angle filter holder), can help you avoid these problems if you must use filters.

6. Focusing
One of the things I enjoy most about working with wide-angle lenses is the ease of focusing them. As you move to wider and wider focal lengths, the depth-of-field at a particular aperture gets deeper and deeper. This allows you to make great use of the concept of hyperfocal distance, that is, the nearest distance you can focus a particular lens at a particular aperture and get “good focus”. At 24mm, by focusing about six feet out from the camera you’ll capture everything from about three feet to infinity in focus—even at f/11. At 17mm, focusing at the right point at f/11 will get you everything from infinity down to 17 inches away. Find (using a web site like this or any of a number of other sites, software tools or printed tables) and write down the hyperfocal distance for a couple of your widest lenses at a couple of your favorite apertures, and you’ll have an easy way of bringing the entire scene of near-far compositions into critical focus.

Using wide-angle lenses can certainly be tricky, but I love them all the same. Used well they can allow the photographer to create images that immerse us in a world with both small, intimate details and bold, dramatic vistas.

Joe Decker is a professional nature photographer and writer for Photocrati’s Photography Blog He also offers nature photography workshops and coaching around the western United States.

Post from: Digital Photography School - Photography Tips.

6 Winning Ways to Work Wide