Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: October 27, 2014

Five Ways to Improve Your Eye for Composition

Here is another post to get you seeing and shooting better. There is no doubt the best thing you can do is to practise your photography, that doesn’t mean practising taking great pictures it means learning by repeating techniques so that when you really need them you know them by heart. Imagine you were learning the piano you wouldn’t just sit and play pieces you would practise well do the same with your photography.

This article on Digital Photography School By: Andrew S. Gibson should help you by giving you some specifics to concentrate on

An eye for composition is one of the things that elevates the work of the best photographers above the rest. One of the best ways to learn about composition is focus on applying one idea at a time. You can treat it as an exercise that will help you improve your composition skills, the same way that piano players practice scales. Here are five ideas to get you started.

#1 Use a single lens

Lenses have an enormous influence on the look of a photo, and the best way to learn exactly what effect they have is to spend some time using just one lens. Ideally it would be a prime lens, but if you have a zoom you can use a piece of tape to fix the lens to one focal length (some lenses have a locking switch you can use instead).

If you use a single focal length you will become intimately acquainted with its characteristics.

While it is useful to own multiple lenses, the ability to switch from one to another may mean that you don’t get to know any of them very well. This exercise helps overcome that tendency.

Improving Composition

Improving Composition

 #2 Work in black and white

Improving Composition

My favourite recommendation for learning more about composition is to work in black and white.

Colour is such a powerful element that it dominates most photos. It becomes more difficult to see and appreciate the underlying building blocks of composition liketexture, line, pattern and tonal contrast. Take colour away and all these things become easier to see; once you are aware of them, you can start using them to improve the composition of your photos.

For example, in the black and white photo above, did you notice the shapes in the photo? I’m referring to the white rectangle of the cinema screen (yes, that’s what it is), the shapes of the Chinese letters and the diamond pattern in the stones on the ground. All these things are easier to see in black and white.

Do you want to see the next three ideas…..go here

Fine art photography: what you need to shoot amazing photo projects at home

From the vaults of Digital Camera World

I am not sure fine art photography can be shoehorned into such a simplistic idea as shown here but I do think these are examples of what you can do, and how to do it when the opportunity to explore the world with your camera is limited

Why shoot fine art photography? Easy. It’s the sheer pleasure you get from creating, shooting and post-producing fine art photos at home, especially as the weather gets colder and the nights draw in.

In this fine art photography tutorial we’ll show you how to find, set up and shoot amazing still life photography subjects at home at no cost.

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Images by Ben Birchall

A loose definition of fine art photography is any image that’s taken for the pure purpose of viewing pleasure. Not for commercial or editorial use and not for illustration.

Fine art is total voyeuristic photography and the end product, whether you use it on your website or get it printed and hung in your living room, will be a powerful statement of your own original interpretation of photographic art.

The best way to approach fine art photography and the main difference from most other disciplines is that there’s no brief to fulfil. You’re in control of the shooting environment and it really does inspire completely original creativity.

The easiest place to start looking for ideas is the garden shed or kitchen. There you’ll find unusual objects and props that will inspire creative thought.

Why not spend a morning at a charity shops or garage/car-boot sale, looking for inspiration? Even rusty nails can become fine art using the camera tips and photo composition techniques you’ll see here. Try basing your composition, lighting and even your post production around your props – and you’ll find the process is really much more fun!

What makes a great fine art image

Interesting subject matter is vital, along with careful attention to clean and balanced composition. Visual puns can raise the fine art bar, such as the ‘nutcracker’ shot at the top of this page, along with artistic, textured layers and mono work in the digital darkroom.

 

Want more, then go here….