Sunday, February 22, 2009

More on perspective

Shooting from different angles can give you very different looks. In these two shots, the bottom one Joe Camel and Friends is a typical vacation picture. Someone stands with a camera and shoots upwards at the subject with the dual purposes of showing the person(s) of interest and enough of the scene to give context for someone looking at the picture to know where its taken. In this shot, further interest is added by including (on the right), the shadows of the subjects of the photo and the photographer. The top photo, Caravan, is more interesting and artistic, taken by the person on the camel pointing forward at another camel (and the camel driver). It's more fun, presents a different perspective, but doesn't show the folks back home who is actually on the camel.
Both of these shots were taken on the Erg Chebbi Dunes on the Sahara in Morocco.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Toledo Textures
Sometimes, rather than photographing a building from a traditional perspective, it is interesting to get low and shoot upwards as in this photo, Toledo Textures or shoot from high above downwards. This shot is of the train station in Toledo, Spain. The building was interesting, but it was difficult to get far enough away to get the whole building in the picture, but this one is more interesting.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Night Photography

Night photography can be difficult because of the long shutter speeds required to capture the light. It is almost impossible to do this without a tripod, and even then, if the image is moving it may be blurred (or at least without the sharpness that you would see with normal daylight photography). To maximize your photo: 1) Use a tripod 2) Set the ISO* up to the highest that your camera will allow without resulting in a grainy image 3) For moving objects, shoot them as they are coming towards you rather than as they go by because then the motion will be minimized and 4) Use the largest aperture and longest shutter speed that will still give you the desired effect. Shorter shutter speeds will capture action, diminish movement, but may not be possible in low lighting. The settings for this photo, Spectramagic, a parade of lit floats at Disney World in Orlando Florida were: Shutter: 0.013 sec(1/80), Aperture: f/4.8, ISO Speed: 3200

*ISO (also called ASA) is the setting that sets light sensitivity (and is a holdover from film photography). ISO with film referred to how sensitive the film was to light and could be adjusted in the process of making the film. With a digital camera, ISO sensitivity refers to how much light the sensor will collect. If you turn it up too high, it will collect your image, but also a lot of light "noise" leading to a grainy image. Generally, in good light, shoot at 100 ISO for the best saturation and the least amount of noise.