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How to take a photograph

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Michael Niemi

on 27 August 2010

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Transcript of How to take a photograph

How to take a GOOD Photograph wiki: Photography is the process, activity, or art of creating still or moving pictures. “To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”- Elliott Erwitt Evoke some sort of Feeling or Emotion. Just like any good piece of artwork, a photograph should
evoke some sort of feeling or emotion from the viewer. Because a photograph is a snapshot in time for the subject, it becomes the responsibility of the viewer to search themselves as to how it makes them feel. Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) Alfred Stieglitz, one of the most instrumental
photographers of his time in helping to make
photography a respected art form, said it like
this, "I merely go out into the world, I want to
make a photograph, I come across something
that excites me, I see the picture in my MINDS
EYE, and I make the photograph. Then I give it
to you as the equivalent of what I SAW and FELT."

Visualization Visualization is what Stieglitz was referring to when he
talked about the "mind's eye". It is creating what the
image should look like before any action is made to create
the image. Photographer, Ansel Adams, created works
through this process and it showed as he is one of the most
well known landscape photographers ever.
Opposite the "Mind's Eye" If the goal is to use the "Mind's Eye" to "Visualize" a
scene, we must first anazlyze how we currently
capture an image. Technology has made it very
easy for anyone to take thousands of photographs
in a short amount of time. Most of the time, if we take
a photograph of people, the objects are centered on
the page. If we take a picture of a landscape, we try
to fit as much information within the viewfinder as
possible. And let's not forget the WORLD RENOWNED
facebook photos.... here are some examples: What is the problem? The problem with these photographs, when it comes
to creating good, quality, photography, is that they we,
as the photographer, rarely think about the how or why
of the picture. We fail to properly visualize the best way
to capture that moment. This is what Stieglitz referred
to as the "Mind's Eye". If our goal is to take thousands of
"pretty" pictures without taking into consideration the
captured moment, then okay. But if what we desire is to
"capture the moment" and "use our minds eye" then
following some very basic compositional rules will help
us create the type of photography that allows us not to
"change what we see, but how we see it".
Rule #1 Keep in mind your elements and principles:
All artist keep these characteristics of good
artwork in the back of their mind when visualizing
their work. Having a good understanding what
each of these elements and principles are, being
able to see them in the "every day", and practicing
their uses will only help you enhance the quality
of the photographs you produce. Example: If you
would like to enhance the principle of BALANCE
in your photograph, place the subject to the far
right or far left of the page. This will give the
photograph an "Asymmetrical" balance and create
more interest in your work. Rule #2 Keep in mind the "Rule of Thirds". This rules supports
the idea that the viewers eye is drawn naturally to a point
or points about 2/3 the way up the page. In landscapes, try
placing your horizon line at one of the two horozontal lines
that are found about 1/3 from the bottom or top. If your
horizon line is found 1/3 from the bottom, the sky will take
more interest. If the horizon is 1/3 from the top, the ground
will draw interest. Notice the following picture to see
this illustration: In this image, notice that the horozontal
and vertical lines divide the picture up into
nine equal parts. Also notice that the horizon
line matches up with the line about a 3rd from
the top of the page. This is a natually pleasing
placement of this landscape for viewers.
Which portion of the image gets the most
of your attention: the sky or the water?
This rule can also apply to the vertical lines on
either side as well. Rule #3 This rule we will call the diagonal rule. This rule
explains how images placed on a diagonal within
your viewfinder seem to play a more dramatic
role in your photographs and that the viewers eye
is again, natually drawn to these angles. See Below: If you divide your
photograph in half
from corner to
corner, then create
another diagonal
line on each side
about 1/4 of the way to the corner, you
will see the the
natural boundary
lines just mentioned.
An object contained
in this area will draw
much more attention
by the viewer. Now
see what the images
look like without the
guides. Are you more
drawn to the
diagonals or straight
lines? Rule # 4 Follow the leading lines. Use the concept of linear perspective, or just look for perceived lines created by objects: chains, ropes, cables, etc. in order to help you recognize visual lines in your photographs. These lines help to create a script for the viewer. The viewers eyes will natually follow these leading lines through your photograph ultimately creating a lasting image. See the photos below and notice how the leading lines create a natural "script" for your eyes to follow. Rule # 5 Adjust your viewpoint. The viewpoint in which you take your picture can greatly affect the outcome that the viewer sees. If you take an image of a person from a higher viewpoint, it will minimize their importance in the image. If the picture is taken from a lower angle, it will make them seem more grand. Look at the images below and as your are taking pictures keep in mind what viewpoint will best create the image your visualized. This does
not only apply to portraits! Rule # 6 Think about Cropping prior to taking the picture.
Rather than crop every image you take in a program,
think about how that image could be cropped to
increase interest and create drama prior to taking
the picture. When you take a picture, you do not
need to gather all the information possible in the
viewfinder. Sometimes, a little information will
intrigue your viewer to look deeper into your
photographs. This will ultimately give you a better
image. You will be surprised at how many good
images you can create if you would slow down the
rate at which you take pictures and crop. Rule # 7 NO MORE SMOOCHY
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