Learning Photographic Composition
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Author:  mojomadness [ Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Learning Photographic Composition

I'm not really new to photography as I've taken a few classes ages ago in high school, but what I'm finding now is that I'm losing a bit of compositional awareness in my photos. As a remedy for this, I thought I'd start a thread where every two weeks or so a new compositional task is provided. Throughout the two weeks members would share their interpretation of the task for constructive review (or no review and just sharing if that’s what you’d like). At the end of the two weeks a new set of tasks would be provided and we’d start over.

- A list of possible tasks can be created by everyone and chosen at random.
- We can start off by following the lessons listed on this webpage: http://morguefile.com/archive/classroom.php?lesson=1
- In the interest of my sanity it's probably prudent to keep the photos work safe. Anything borderline should be obviously labled as such.
- If this becomes popular, it’s likely that this one thread is going to become a total mess. If/When this becomes the case, a sub-forum of our own may help mitigate the organizational problems. A primary thread with a list of tasks, then other threads to post our results. You get the idea.
- We could provide multiple levels of tasks per bi-week period so that members of all proficiencies can participate. Learning shouldn’t be limited to people with DSLRs and a magic eye.
- Members who do not wish to receive feedback on their photos should state so when posting a photo or link to a photo.
- I’m thinking that to preserve forum bandwidth, links to photos should be provided instead of posting the photo itself.
- Although I'd like as many people to be able to participate as possible, camera phones or cameras that are significantly out of date should not be used.

My ultimate goal for this thread is that each participating member learns something in an enjoyable, supportive manor.

Author:  Hotpasta [ Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

I'm in. <3 I haven't had much time for photography lately, and have been missing it. This'll be a good excuse for me to carve out the time to do so.

Brilliant idea!

Author:  mojomadness [ Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:19 am ]
Post subject: 

Compositional Theme: Macro Simplicity
Time frame: 8/7 - 8/21

As mentioned in the first post, I thought that using some ideas gained from here would help get us started. So here we go.

The goal of this theme is take a photo of your subject in very close proximity with as little background distraction as possible.

- Macro photos are best taken with a high aperture (produces a soft blur around your subject). Aperture Priority Mode on DSLR's works well as does the Macro preset on P&S (Point and Shoot) cameras.
- If you don't have a Macro Function or a aperture priority mode then try zooming in as far as you can (without digital zooming). That should set your aperture higher to reduce depth of field.
- Flash fails in macro, use a tripod or other method to steady your camera or find another source of light.
- If you don't have a tripod or in an awkward situation, use the timer and get yourself nice and solid for when it takes the photo. Pressing the shutter button is a major source of movement.
- Subject focus is a primary factor in great macro shots. What IS in focus should be limited. Example Here That is an example of a shallow Depth of Field. Conversely, most landscape photography has a very deep Depth of Field where virtually everything is in focus.

Alternate Task (Difficult): Macro Simplicity using light to highlight your area of interest as well as the focus.

Author:  Hotpasta [ Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

rules questions:

1) do the pictures have to be taken during the time period
b) can editing (convert to grayscale, exposure/contrast/brightness) be done
iii) are there any equipment limitations? aka - do I need to take my macro with a standard lens or can i use the hawt sechs that is my macro lens?


Author:  Fujiko [ Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

While I'm not a photographer, I'd love to see what y'all come up with.

Good luck!

Author:  mojomadness [ Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:22 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hotpasta wrote:
rules questions:

1) do the pictures have to be taken during the time period
b) can editing (convert to grayscale, exposure/contrast/brightness) be done
iii) are there any equipment limitations? aka - do I need to take my macro with a standard lens or can i use the hawt sechs that is my macro lens?


1) yes
b) sure!
iii) all the better for us. since it's not a competition of any sorts it'll be nice to see what can be done with great equipment. :)

Author:  Hotpasta [ Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:07 am ]
Post subject: 

I look forward to playing with this. Depending on time constraints, I may try some with different cameras and lenses (although since some *&^#$*@&#$ stole my point and shoot, I have no "normal" camera to use). Expect some tomato macros :)

Author:  mojomadness [ Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:16 am ]
Post subject: 

To get the ball rolling here...um...some barcelona flower macros:



Author:  Hotpasta [ Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

Awesome stuff Matt.

While I try to find my damn card reader (damn moving!) so I can get my tomato pics off my card, please enjoy these old macros of mine.

http://flickr.com/photos/hotpasta/sets/ ... 860944322/


YAY! I found my transfer cable! All the new tomato pics added to the above set, the three best linked below.


Ok, so all the pretty tomato pics were taken with a nice DSLR with a dedicated macro lens. The tomato ones were all hand held with available light (combo of window & kitchen table light). The pepper used a bounce flash. It worked meh. The orange lily was taken w/ a standard lens, the fire with a telephoto while extremely drunk (go me!), and the small pink flower, bug, and licorice were all taken with a Sony mini-CD camera, which had limited zoom and was not an SLR.

Author:  TavernWench [ Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

I am not a photographer, but I would like to say great job you two! All the pics are great. Some favorites of mine.

Matt - I love that white flower with the red stamen (?). I swear it looks 3-D, like I can pluck those red things off my screen.

Gina - I love the 3/4 view of the yellow rose. you can see how delicate it is and the depth is quite interesting to me. I also like the water on the bug.

Again I have no experience, but like porn, I know what I like when I see it...or somesuch >.>

Author:  mojomadness [ Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:55 am ]
Post subject: 

Compositional Theme: Guiding Lines
Time frame: About two weeks....

This week I thought we'd simplify it a bit..... Since I'm having trouble putting an effective description together I thought I'd use more examples for you all.

Use lines to draw the viewers eyes towards the subject.

- Lines are everywhere
- In shots close to macro they bring an interesting focal dynamic to the shot


Author:  Lynnox [ Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:12 am ]
Post subject:  I totally posted.

Nothing special, but here are a few (admittedly 2 months old) shots, with lines taken into consideration as part of the composition. Yay!

Lines: the horizon, treeline, and fence all lead the eye from left to right, and back into the shot.

Lines:the roots lead the eye up to the vertical tree trunk, framed by horizontal branches that stay the eye.

Lines: cattail reeds serve as vertical lines to bring the eye equal to the white crane, with curved tree branches and the shoreline serving as a cap. Linear reflections of tree trunks and the crane also serve to add interest to the shot.

I plan on taking current shots, too... I swear. >.> But its Ohio. Clouds and stuff, you know? <.< Yes.

Author:  Ms_Pellar [ Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:59 am ]
Post subject: 

here are some lines mojo...

i took this with a 135mm lens yesterday...

i dont know how to do your fancy imbedding of the link...



Author:  Hotpasta [ Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ms_Pellar wrote:
here are some lines mojo...

You shouldn't encourage the boy to do lines ;)

In other news, LOVELY pic. Bridges are great!

Author:  Hotpasta [ Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

double post!!!

this wasn't exactly the lines the topic referred to, but here you go...


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