We’re already five weeks into in-depth??

I am proud to say that since the last post three weeks ago I have made a lot of progress! I have updated my photography blog, learned about composition artistic techniques, and feel very confident in shutter speed, aperture, and exposure.

Firstly, I originally planned to post my pictures in Instagram to document my photography. However, I have decided that this will not work out. This is for a few reasons, the primary ones being that Instagram is more of a social networking site and I want a place where I can just post my photos without any extra baggage. The second major reason is you cannot post on Instagram from a computer, it has to be on a phone, which would make uploading and presenting my work very difficult and inconvenient. However, I still think it would be very beneficial to share my photography. Keeping the above points in mind, I decided to take an idea from James’ in-depth last year and post my photos on a photography Tumblr blog, which you can visit here: rachaeltakesphotos.tumblr.com.

During the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of experimenting. A lot. I’ve learned that the only way to get good at photography is to experiment, practice, and just take tons of photos. The surprise snow that came a while a go was a welcome photography opportunity, and you can see some of the photos I took on my blog! Any feedback or comments are appreciated.

On the flip side, I’ve also been doing a lot of research. Although in-depth is very skills based, one of my main goals for this project was to learn about the artistic side of photography, which does require some initial research. I did some reading on my own and also discussed what I learned with my mentor, and we talked about which methods are the best and that I should focus them. The main things I learned were techniques for composition.

One of the most important aspects of photography, yet often overlooked, is composition. Bad composition can make an amazing subject boring, while good composition can make everday ordinary scenes look interesting. A photographer who takes the time to take composition into account makes the difference between a compelling photograph and a thoughtless snapshot. Following composition techniques will help make your photographs more interesting, balanced, and able to lead the viewer’s eye through the image. The most important guidelines for good composition that me and my mentor talked about are the viewpoints, rule of thirds, a clear subject, and lines.

The viewpoint technique is not something I researched, but something my mentor personally taught me. She gave me a Photo 12 class resource and showed me all the different types of viewpoints and examples of each. The main types are extreme high, extreme low, perpendicular, and extreme close-up. The idea of viewpoints is to do something refreshing from the over-used eye-level photo, to show a new perspective of your subject, and to make your photograph more captivating. I especially worked on incorporating this technique into the photos I took over the last couple weeks, some of which you can see on my blog.

extreme close-up using depth of field


perpendicular viewpoint

The probably most well-known guideline is the rule of thirds. This is the technique my mentor and I talked the most about. The rule of thirds divides images by two horizontal and vertical lines, creating nine equal segments. It is based off that the human eye is drawn to images that are divided into thirds. The rule of thirds technique is to place the subject and most important elements of the scene along the lines or where they intersect. This technique takes advantage of natural points of interest, which will attract the viewer to your photo. Overall, it will make the image more balanced and interesting.

example demonstration of the rule of thirds


me using the rule of thirds to create a more interesting photo

The next thing my mentor stressed was important is that the photo’s subject must be clear. The worst thing can happen in a photo is the viewer is confused as to what they should be looking at. Know the subject of your photo and draw the viewer’s attention to it. Using aperture to focus the subject and blur the background is a prime technique to bring focus to the subject. Other techniques such as filling the frame with your subject and photographing it from a unique viewpoint will draw more interest to the important elements of the photo.

The final major guideline for good composition is using lines. My mentor suggested that I keep this technique in the back of my mind but that I should master the other two composition rules first.

When a viewer looks at a photograph, their eyes are naturally drawn to lines. Lines can bring the viewer’s eyes into the photo and guide them where you want. There are many different types of lines, and each can be used to enhance an aspect of the photo. Curvy lines bring the viewer on a journey around the frame, intersecting lines give a strong sense of perspective which draws the viewer into the image. Straight lines lead the eye across the photo to the subject. Horizontal lines create a calm atmosphere, while vertical build a sense of stability and power. Diagonal lines are very effective for creating a feeling of movement and drama. Overall, use lines to lead the viewer’s eye around the picture, create certain feelings and avoid stagnant photos.

In the future I will be delving into other artistic techniques that can help portray emotions and thematic elements.

Overall, I’ve been taking a lot of photos and learning more technical aspects too. Over the past couple weeks I’ve been trying my best to keep in mind the two composition techniques (the rule of thirds and subject) and apply them into every photo. I have found that the rule of thirds makes a huge difference in making your photograph captivating.

Looking forward to the experiences to come!

Photography Blog!