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Advanced "How to Take a Good Photograph"

copied then modified version of the How to Take a Good Photograph from Intro to Digital Graphics

Michael Niemi

on 22 August 2015

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Transcript of Advanced "How to Take a Good 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 is what Stieglitz was referring to when he talked about the "mind's eye".
VISUALIZATION IS... seeing what the image should look like before any action is made to create it.
Photographer, Ansel Adams, created works through this process and it showed as he is one of the most well known landscape photographers ever.
NOT the "Mind's Eye"
Technology has made it very easy for anyone to take thousands of photographs in a short amount of time...AKA "The Selfie".
When taking a picture of something other than a SELFIE, we center the suject on the page. If we take a picture of a landscape, we try to fit as much information within the viewfinder as possible.
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 don't properly visualize the best way
to capture that moment. If our goal is to take thousands of pictures without consciously taking into consideration the how and why of the scene, we are doing the outcome a disservice.
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
9 equal parts. Notice that the horizon
line matches up with the line about a 3rd from
the top of the page. This is a naturally 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
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 you 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
Rule # 8
Consider the background.
Ever taken a picture that you were sure was going to be
great, and it didn't turn out the way you had hoped it would? Make sure you take into account what is behind your subject. If the background is busy it will conflict with your subject. As a photographer, you need to consider how the subject and its background work together in all your photographs.
Rule #9
Consider framing.
The world is full of natural frames. When taking a photograph, think about how your subject could be framed. Being successful at this can help lead the viewers eye to your subject.
Rule #10
Understand that photography, like art, is subjective.
It is in the eye of the beholder. Viewers will perceive beauty based on prior knowledge or experience and will place value in your images based on that.
For each "Rule of Photography", you need to take one picture that, to you,
incorporates that rule best. Don't try to incorporate more than one rule
(even though more than one might be in your picture). Try thinking about
1 rule at a time and how you can create a beautiful image that 1 rule as a focus.
Here is a list of the rules again, in case you forgot:
-Rule of Thirds
-The Diagonal Rule
-Follow the leading lines
-Adjust your viewpoint
-Think about cropping
-Evoke some feeling or emotion
-Consider the background
"From Ordinary to Extraordinary" is the title for your assignment. Your objective is to re-create the A,B,C's out of every day, ordinary objects around your school, in an EXTRAORDINARY way. Utilize your rules of photography and your imagination to take objects that are missed and mundane, and turn them into something beautiful. Here are the requirements
-1 picture for each letter of the alphabet
-No pre-existing letters or numbers may be used (i.e. numbers from a clock, letters on a poster)
-Pictures must be arranged in Photoshop, in order, in an 'interesting way'
-Use the following copyright free, image sites for use for layering images or textures (at least 2) in your final composition.
-The text ,"Ordinary to Extraordinary" must be included in your composition
-Subject may not be manipulated to create a letter. It needs to be found in existing objects (i.e. no pencils laid out to make an "M")
-Pictures may be in black and white/ sepia/ or color, but should be consistent with the overall appearance of the composition
-You will be graded on these requirements, as well as, the overall appeal of the final composition, use of space, use of text as a design element, and quality and originality of pictures.
-1 week timeline.
-2 daily grades will also be taken as TIME ON TASK grades.....so.....WORK in class!
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