Sunday, January 6, 2008

Composition Assignment

Okay, Stacy said I couldn't get off easy just using the other tutorial's shots as my examples for the composition post, so here we go. I went up to the capitol for the first day of its new opening. On the way up through the avenues to get my panoramic shots from above I saw some deer in a little lot between a couple of houses, they were content to stay when they saw that I wasn't getting out of my car. Too bad I couldn't, because I really could have used a tripod, rather than balancing my camera on the window. It wasn't too bad though, once I turned the car off so I didn't get the vibrations from the engine. The rest of the shots are taken at the capitol building, mostly outside the capitol, I didn't really see many things inside I wanted to shoot, maybe I can go back when it is less crowded and get a cool panorama of the inside. Anyway, I wasn't really thinking of this assignment when I shot these, so some of them might be a stretch, but I think from my shots you should see some bad and good examples of all the points we talked about in the tutorials, thanks for looking, and leave some critique on the shots. I have found the best way to learn about what I do and don't like composition wise is from looking at other peoples' shots. Don't worry you won't offend me, just tell me what you really think. Once you can start looking at pictures and seeing what is good and what is bad, and you can be specific about what makes you hate or love a shot, will make your compositions much better.


Hey, who is the subject here? There are too many deer and there isn't anything, balance, lines, etc., to help us know who we are supposed to be looking at. Not to mention those trees overhead, there are some other shots I got of these guys that you can't tell the trees from their antlers, this shot is just screaming for some simplicity. The second shot I just got a tighter shot of the one eating the bush. The busy tree is gone and we just have a nice simple background, and a very clear subject. Simplicity can really be powerful sometimes, in this case less was definitely more.

Rule of Thirds

I had a hard time finding a shot to use to illustrate this one. Most of my shots use the rule of thirds, just because it is almost always a good idea. In fact even trying to make this one look bad something kept fitting into a third somewhere. If I was shooting to get a bad one on purpose I probably could have come up with a better example, but this is what you are getting. I don't necessarily think the first one is too bad, but I will try to make it fit here anyway. In the first one we have a line between the white snow and the rest of the shot right down the middle. The deer is also pretty much in the center of the frame, not off to the right or left. In the second one I pulled out a little bit and pushed him just a tad off center. Now the snow is taking up the lower third and the deer has the top two thirds to work with, also note that I didn't put him so low that the action has nowhere to go, he has plenty of frame to look/eat through. Although he probably wouldn't eat any further cause its just snow. Sorry you had to go through this one, I told you it was kind of a stretch. Just watch for all the rule of thirds in the other shots to see how it can help with the picture, like I said it comes up in almost every shot.


It is hard to come up with a bad example of lines, usually lines are good, and if you don't have lines then usually there are other elements to make it a good shot. You usually don't look at a picture and say, man that shot is horrible there are no lines, so I'll just give you a couple of different types of lines. The first shot is a C-curve. I talked about S-curves before, S-curves can really help out a shot, but C-curves are pretty good too, the path way just curves right around and then leads us up to the building. The second shot is a good example of diagonal lines, those close enough to be diagonal, right? I really like this shot, I spent quite a bit of time playing by this fountain, I never even knew it was there before.


Blah, how boring can you get, lets just shoot straight down the middle of the arch. The first shot is too symmetrical, this is usually a bad sign, asymmetry is usually more appealing. In the second you can see how I changed my vantage point and took the shot at an angle so it isn't so symmetrical, and hey, here are those darn lines again, the different railings on the floors lead us right down the main hallway. I threw in a bonus shot here for you, the balance of the different heights in the building will help lead your viewer to the subject as well. Those tall buildings just lead us right to the capitol building.


I have to admit, I didn't really think much about framing when taking my shots, so these aren't the best examples in the world, in fact I don't like either of these shots, but the framed shot does look a little better than the non-framed shot. The first one, no framing, just a boring old building, the second has the lamp and the other building to frame the capitol building for us. Not to mention the different levels on the building to the right have leading lines, as well as the pole going up, that direct us to the capitol.


Okay, here are my merger shots. If you notice in the first picture something is coming out of the deer's head, I moved to shift my view and now the deer looks less distracting. Although I like the top one better if you are looking at it from a rule of thirds standpoint, in both the deer is in the top third, but in the first he is also off to the right rather than right in the middle.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

POTD: Pictures of words October 15th - October 21st

October 17

Here is a sign on the side of a building close to where I work. I thought it looked cool, I really like the red brick against the white. HHCC welcome and wanted.

1/750 f/1.4 ISO 200
50mm FA 50mm 1.4

Monday, October 8, 2007

POTD: Something that gives you the feeling of warmth or cold October 8th - October 14th

October 9

Fire is something that obviously makes me think of warmth. These were taken over the summer during some campouts, so this is kind of cheating, but oh well. The last picture I don't really like, but I wanted to post it to get some ideas. How do you get a good shot of people around a campfire? HHCC welcome and wanted.

.5" f/11 ISO 200 35mm
DA 18-55mm 3.5-5.6

15" f/4 ISO 200 18mm
DA 18-55mm 3.5-5.6

Monday, October 1, 2007

POTD: Nighttime October 1st - October 7th

October 7

I decided to go downtown to take a picture of the temple here in Salt Lake and hopefully be able to get some of the fall leaves to come through as well. I was there until after it got dark, so I figured I'd post one more time for the nighttime theme. The first one is the entrance to one of the malls downtown, the rest are of the Salt Lake Temple. HHCC welcome and wanted.

30" f/22 ISO 200 50mm
FA 50mm 1.4

10" f/22 ISO 200 31mm
DA 18-55mm 3.5-5.6

10" f/22 ISO 200 50mm
FA 50mm 1.4

15" f/22 ISO 200 50mm
FA 50mm 1.4

October 5

So we have had too many clouds to get any shots of the stars, so I figured I would shoot something, here are a couple of pictures from my backyard, and yes these were shot at night, I took them around 11. Its amazing how much light you can get if you keep your shutter open long enough. Of course these were shot on a tripod. HHCC wanted and welcome.

20" f/16 ISO 200 50mm
FA 50mm 1.4

20" f/16 ISO 200 50mm
FA 50mm 1.4

October 2

Okay, so you probably know that it is pretty much impossible to get this shot, if not please tell me how, without double exposing, but since double exposure isn't possible on my camera I had to improvise with photoshop. I'm just a beginner with photoshop and I really wanted to find a way to get the clouds to stay out in front of the moon, but I couldn't get it to look very natural, any suggestions? Also any idea on any other things I could have done when combining the two images to make this look better?

2" f/13 ISO 200 300mm
70-300mm 4-5.6

1/60 f/13 ISO 200 300mm
70-300mm 4-5.6

I think nighttime pictures can be a lot of fun. Some day I hope to get good at taking pictures during the night. Hopefully I will get a night without cloud coverage and some good stars before the week is over, but that doesn't happen often in the valley here in Salt Lake. Maybe I can find a night to go up into the mountains, we will see. HHCC welcome and wanted.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

POTD: SOOC...from that to this(before and afters) September 10th - September 16th

September 10

Alright, I decided that I did this challenge thing to get better, so I can't just use my wife's pictures, so I decided to take a really bad shot, bad composition, horrible lighting and white balance and see what I could do to it. I am just a beginner in photoshop and those of you that know a lot about photoshop I could really use some helpful hints on how to do things better.

Okay, for this week I am cheating a little bit, because I didn't take these pictures or touch them up, my wife did. But she has had fun playing with her fairy brushes so I just thought I had to post these pictures. Since she tried to make our daughter look like a fairy there are some drastic differences between the finished product and the original picture. HHCC wanted and appreciated.

1/180 f/11 ISO 200 50mm
FA 50mm 1.4
AF540GZ flash

Monday, September 3, 2007

POTD: Family and Friends September 3rd - September 9th

September 3

New Best Friends
Last Tuesday, August 28, we had a new addition to our family. Little Regan was born late that night and the next day she met her new best friend, her big sister Paisley. I guess this is good timing for this weeks challenge, because who can be better friends than two sisters? If you want to see more pictures and information about Regan check out my wife's blog. HHCC wanted and appreciated.

Paisley & Regan
1/60 f/11 ISO 200 50mm
FA 50mm 1.4
AF540GZ Flash

1/60 f/11 ISO 200 50mm
FA 50mm 1.4
AF540GZ Flash

1/60 f/11 ISO 200 50mm
FA 50mm 1.4
AF540GZ Flash