- Use Depth of Field to Make Your Photo Subject the Star
- Adorable Video of Photographer Being Cuddled by African Meerkats (Video)
- Interesting Photo of the Day: Moonset Over Big Bend
- Interview with a Russian Daredevil Skywalking Photographer (Video)
Posted: 23 Apr 2014 12:14 AM PDT
We’ve discussed showing less skin and using long sleeves on our models to avoid the viewer’s eye being pulled out of the frame. Why? We want all of the viewer’s attention to be focused on our subject. We want the subject to be the undisputed star of our photo.
Your background can also be a contributing–or detrimental factor. If we have a background that is too loud or busy, it can (and does) pull the eye away from the subject. The viewer’s eye is bouncing all over the place and rarely settles on our star. In fact, our star often becomes the background.
I frequently see this in senior portraits. The photographer is trying to make the senior look cool (Does anyone use the word cool anymore? I’m really dating myself.) and thinks that a wild backdrop will do the trick.
It doesn’t do the trick–and those are the photographers who are never able to capture the imagination of the senior–or more specifically the bill paying parents. And they are soon out of business.
While you DO want to have personal elements in a photo, they should all be there to support the image, not draw the eye away.
Often we will be shooting a large family grouping and with so many people AND a busy background, the individuals simply get lost. Use a plain, unfocused wash of color in the background to put the emphasis back on the group. People are going to look at the finished photo and say, “WOW, You did that?”
So for today, I’m recommending you use a less cluttered look in your photos. It will take the attention away from your background and put it onto your stars where it belongs.
Don’t forget the foreground – if it is cluttered, change it.
What if we are at a park and can’t change the background?
What is depth of field?
That’s when we start to consider depth of field. Here a simple and admittedly basic explanation of depth of field:
A lens can only sharply focus on one place at a time. This will give you a photo with perfect focus on one spot and acceptable focus for a little way in front and a little way behind. This area of acceptable focus is called the depth of field. The zone of sharpness varies by lens, focal distances and so on, but as a rule of thumb, you can think of the zone as being about 1/3 in front of the subject and 2/3 behind. That’s measured from the distance between the lens and the focal point.
Depth of field is how you get those gorgeous photos with the subject being shown sharp as a tack, yet the background is nothing but a total wash of unfocused color. It DOES force the viewer’s eye directly to our star.
Depending on your lenses and shooting distances, depth of field can vary widely. I’ve seen the depth of field go all the way to the horizon in landscapes–and I’ve seen a photo of a fly’s eye that was out of focus in both the front part and rear part of the eye.
Get out there today and experiment with your various lenses and shooting distances so you can master depth of field. It will be one of the most used concepts in your photo arsenal.
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Go to full article: Use Depth of Field to Make Your Photo Subject the Star
Posted: 22 Apr 2014 06:26 PM PDT
Meerkats might be the only animal on the planet to actually be as cute as their name sounds. Wildlife photographer Burrard Lucas recently spent a few days in Botswana, in southern Africa, shooting portraits of baby meerkats and their scurrying parents. It’s hard to believe someone’s lucky enough to get paid to do it:
There isn’t much to be said about the video that isn’t self-explanatory. The critters are cute, curious, and friendly, and Lucas’s shots, mostly from modestly low angles, make them look remarkably heroic.
Go to full article: Adorable Video of Photographer Being Cuddled by African Meerkats (Video)
Posted: 22 Apr 2014 05:34 PM PDT
When Andrew Takano drove all the way from Austin to Big Bend National Park, he was expecting to spend five full days there, taking photos around the remote and little-visited desert. Instead, he arrived the first morning at 6 a.m., and his car began to break down. He spent most of the day fixing it and wound up staying only a single night before heading home with just one shot he was most proud of—this crystal-clear moonset (like a sunset, but, you know, with a moon) over the rocky Texan mountains:
Takano shot it with a Canon 6D with a 2.8 aperture, ISO 1600, and a 20-second exposure to maximize the light and color. The timing is great, because he couldn’t see very well in the darkness and the framing, following the traditional rule of thirds, is spot-on.
Go to full article: Interesting Photo of the Day: Moonset Over Big Bend
Posted: 22 Apr 2014 11:02 AM PDT
How far would you go for a unique cityscape shot? Would you dangle from the tallest building in Europe with only one hand? Because Russian photographer Kirill Oreshkin would—and has, several times. If you’ve ever wanted to watch him in action whilst holding your breath and wiping your own palms free of sweat, watch this video:
This is a very bizarre Russian trend. (And, appreciating the differences between Russia and Ukraine, also a Ukrainian one.) We’re reminded of the Russian photographers who illegally climbed the tallest building in Shanghai a while back, and also the Russian “skywalking trend” from last year.
Oreshkin is known as “Russia’s Spiderman” for his preternaturally magnetic ability to not fall to his bloody death every time he does something like this:
We’ll say this much: it’s more than what most photographers would do for a good shot.
Go to full article: Interview with a Russian Daredevil Skywalking Photographer (Video)
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