Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

There’s a direct relationship to how much depth of field is created in a photo to the focal length of the lens, the aperture at which the photo is made, how close the subject is to the background, how far away the subject is from the camera, and how much the subject is magnified.

Focal Length – the more telephoto the lens, the less potential for near to far depth of field. The wider the lens, the greater the potential. For instance, an image made with a 28mm lens will inherently display more depth of field than a 100mm lens. So if you want to create shallow depth of field and you’re using a wide lens, it may not be possible. If you’re using a telephoto lens and you want to a subject close to the lens and a distant object to both be in focus, it may not be possible.

The Aperture – the wider open the lens, the less depth of field. The more it’s stopped down, the greater the depth of field. In other words, f4 will net shallower depth of field than f22 based on a given focal length. It’s important to realize the connection to focal length as explained above. If you’re using a telephoto lens, even though you set it to f22, you still may not be able to achieve near/far depth of field. Understanding how focal length and aperture go hand in hand is key!

Proximity to the Background – The farther away the subject is from the background, the more the background can be thrown out of focus. If the subject is very close to the background, it’s not possible to make the background go very soft even if you use a super telephoto lens and set the aperture to f4.

Distance From The Camera – If the subject is very close to the camera and the focus point is placed on the subject, there’s more potential to create shallow depth of field than if the subject is 25 or more feet away. Again, there’s a relationship to the focal length of the lens, the aperture at which it’s set and how far the background is from the subject.

Subject Magnification – The more macro the subject, the less depth of field. This area of depth of field is more specialized and it really is a subject unto itself but I just wanted to bring it up to let you know it’s a variable.

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Horse etched wineglass back-lighted on black background.

Photographing glass objects can be quite challenging, but there are some basic techniques that can be used to achieve fantastic results and with limited effort. Photographing glass doesn’t require expensive equipment for backdrops or even cameras themselves; it simply takes a basic understanding of how light disperses through glass and the best techniques for capturing that light in the most flattering way possible.

Graduated Background


A continuous tone background, also known as a graduated background, is a method for photographing glass objects that is popular with many industry professionals. A close examination of  any trade magazine or other publications will reveal how effective and simple this technique is. The continuous tone background allows the photographer to create an illusion of light fading into darkness as it moves away from the glass art piece. These backgrounds can be created or used independently, but they are most effective when used in conjunction with an art photography cube. The glass object is placed within the cube among the background that is curved outward and upward to create the deeper illusion of surrounding the glass object itself. These photographic cubes are relatively inexpensive and make the process of photographing glass art much more effective.

Under-lighting for Special Effects


Using a light panel beneath the glass art will have a dramatic and lasting impact on the images that are created of the glass object. This technique is ideal for clear glass objects that allow light to penetrate and travel up and through the glass to illuminate the artwork evenly. A panel light can be used independently of a cube, but is recommended that the two be used harmoniously. Under-lighting will create a natural graduated background that will bring out the natural tone and texture of the clear and transparent glass object.

Back-lighting with a Black Background


If the glass object that you have is clear, then a strong back-lighting with a black background (see photo of the Horse Etched Wineglass) will highlight the sensitive textures, cuts, and lines of the glass-work. Again, a photographer’s cube is the best solution for bringing this technique to its highest measure and achievement. Place a small black background strip in the center of the cube and add a strong lighting source behind it. Within the cube, the light will capture the best essence of the glass art. These are just a few of the techniques for photographing glass objects that I’ve tried.

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English: A portable folding reflector position...

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Today we’re gonna talk about space in photography, Rules of Space. Everybody needs space, so does the subject in your photos. This is a rule in photography more commonly known as the rule of space. This rule states that if the subject is not looking directly to the camera, or looks out of the frame, there should be enough space for the subject to look into. This technique creates intrigue in the minds of the viewers. Studies show that people viewing this kind of image will naturally look at the area where the subject is looking at.

If you are taking pictures of moving objects like bicycles, cars, running animals and people, the image should present the moving object with more active space and less dead space. The active space is the area where the object is facing and the dead space is the area behind the subject. This strategy builds impact, shows the expression that the object is actually moving and has a destination. This also enables viewers to instinctively look to where the object is heading, thus, building excitement within the image and sets its mood. Not only does it add dramatic accents in your photos, but it also creates a flow to naturally drag the attention of viewers to the direction of the subject.

Animated image based on Image:Rivertree_1_md.j...

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Many people comment on certain photographers having an eye for taking great photos. In part, that is skill and experience you are seeing. Another part is the expression of art with an understanding of some basic rules. Of course, like any artist, you can take some great shots that ‘break’ all the rules, however, it is safe to say that taking into consideration the following items will help improve the quality of your photos and create more interesting images.

Keep It Simple
Think to yourself, “What am I taking a picture of?” and keep that in mind. Identifying the subject matter of interest and avoiding distracting backgrounds will help to keep the picture clear. Zoom in to clear out irrelevant parts of the scene and capture just what you’re looking for, avoiding objects like signs, buildings or people that take the viewer’s eye away from the point of focus.

Rule of Thirds
Picture a tic tac toe board: two horizontal lines intersected by two vertical lines. This creates an easy formula – line up the horizon of the shot with either of the two horizontal lines, and line up the subject (either a person, building or the focus of your picture) with either of the vertical lines, ideally where the lines intersect. When viewing a scene, try to overlay this map into the viewfinder – with only a little adjustment, you can quickly create more visually interesting images by simply adjusting (or cropping after the fact) what you see to line up with these invisible markers. When dealing with a moving subject or a person, it’s often preferable to have them looking or moving ‘into’ the picture from one of the two sides.

Lines and Shapes
We all remember our geometry classes, dominated by circles, triangles, and snake-like curves. Applying these simple shapes to your subject matter can help to simplify complex scenes and add visual interest. Consider trying to capture an image of a person walking down a long, straight street. Instead of shooting straight down the line, move yourself five or ten feet to the side and shoot that road at an angle – having that line crossing through the intersecting lines of the imaginary tic tac toe board from the rule of thirds can create the illusion of movement as they lead the eye through the picture. S-curves are even more dynamic, while repetitive lines can also create movement of the eye through the picture, like repeating waves of sand on a beach or parallel row houses along the side of a road.

Vantage Point
Most images taken by amateur photographers are taken at eye level – this means most of these pictures are taken from the narrow range of 5 to 6 feet in height. Taking a picture from a lower vantage point (for example crouching or even lying on the ground) can add splendor and significance to the subject, while getting more height (from climbing up a tree, fence or steps) will reduce the significance of the subject in your scene.

Balance
When considering what you’re capturing, look through the lens and pick out the dominant subjects, like people, buildings, trees or mountains and arrange them so that they compliment each other. This can mean either symmetrical balancing, where objects of equal size are positioned on either side of the picture’s center or asymmetrical balancing, where objects of different sizes are used on either side of the picture’s center. Asymmetrical pictures are often more interesting and visually stimulating as the viewer’s eye moves from object to object.

Framing
Framing, as it sounds, is a way of drawing attention to the subject in the picture by blocking off or framing parts of the scene using natural or artificial barriers, and however accomplished can add prominence to the subject, and will help add a sense of depth to the photo.

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Lens types are classified as “Prime” which comes with fixed focal length and “Zoom” which has variable focal length.

English: A Nikon D300s with Zoom-Nikkor 18-135...

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  • Prime includes sub group of Standard (35- 80mm), Wide-Angle (15-28mm), Macro (50-100mm), Telephoto (80-300mm) and Super Telephoto lenses (200-400mm).
  • Zoom comes with variations like: Wide-Angle to Telephoto or Standard to Telephoto coverage. Even the point and shoot type of digital camera  comes with a Standard 35-80mm lens. A Standard lens is also known as “normal-lens” the term “normal” is used for this type because it captures a scene just as the human eye sees it. A Standard lens is great for everyday shots, such as flowers, people, or pets.

Wide-angle gives a broader view of a scene than a standard lens does. Because this lens captures a wide area it is used for photographing groups of people and landscapes.

Telephoto is used to enlarge pictures or for bringing distant subjects closer. A common telephoto comes with 75-300 mm coverage. When you begin to move from the 35mm into something larger it is best to either use a tripod or a stabilizer. A stabilizer will help you hold the camera steady for clear shots even if your hand moves a little bit.

Super telephoto comes with 200-400mm lens. It is mostly used for capturing wild life or birds.

A Macro lens is designed to capture a tiny subject as a bigger image. Macro photography is a type of shooting that magnifies
the size of a subject. As it name implies it is great for close up shots, such as flowers, spider webs, insects and other small objects.

Digital zoom simply crops the image to a smaller size, and then enlarges the cropped portion to fill the frame.

Optical zoom works just like a digital zoom. The lens changes focal length and increase magnification as it is zoomed.

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