Friday, November 12, 2010

Shooting for School

Here is one of my assignment attempts. Same Warning: if you aren't looking for a photo study at the moment skip on to another blog - but be sure to check back. I will try to get some more birdy subject matter in the days to come. After rereading the instructions I saw that they described recomposing the image of the subject to break the rules - much less conducive to wildlife photography than capturing images of rules being followed and broken, but oh well. Last night I captured this image as a rules broken/rules followed example.

The trees are placed in the upper-right intersection, and the field largely composes the lower two-thirds of the image. However, the field lines lead the eye to the distant hill, through the field cluttered with random weeds. There are also no dark tones in the foreground to balance the trees. At the time I had no tripod, way too little light, and no idea that I needed three images of the same subject, so it currently stands alone. If I have a chance before next Tuesday I will try to return and complement this image with two others in different light. For now though on to one set that I have gathered, it is not my ideal but I want to get something that I can build from if better opportunities allow.

These cherries, or dwarf crab apples, or whatever they are, were a bright spot on my walk this afternoon. I thought they were a good way to illustrate the passing of the seasons as they remained hanging on the bare limbs. In the image above the fruit is placed in an image that breaks all the rules. The main clump is centered, but not well defined from others. There are distracting foreground leaves, and the branch above vies for the eye's attention. While some of the branch lines pull the eye to the focal subject, others lead away - creating conflict. Also the leafy branch is placed to far above the subject to serve as a strengthening frame element.

In the image below I recompose the image to follow several rules while continuing to break others.

Here I have tightened in on the branch with the red fruit, simplifying the subject. The fruit hangs from a diagonal branch that connects clumps located at opposite intersections. However the background is still cluttered, and full of branch lines that pull the eye out to the borders without any return curves. That image does convey to the viewer that the berries are hanging on while the rest of the tree has gone bare.

Finally, I recomposed by aiming the camera at an overhead branch and switching to vertical. The branch now creates a strong leading line drawing the eye towards the fruit. The few smaller offshoots show that the leaves have indeed fallen from the tree, leaving the unpicked fruit behind. By shooting up the background clutter has been removed, allowing the light to show more depth between those that remain.


  1. This is a great post - I know nothing about photography (& wish that I did), so it was very interesting.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. I still have lots to learn myself and was in the same boat just a couple of years ago.