Tips for taking great pics, right? Where does one start? Well, two practical picture snapping workshops in early June have definitely pointed the Art Partners in the right direction.
The setting of the inviting Lyndendale Gallery in the Ferguson Valley was perfect for a Saturday morning workshop led by professional photographer Jill Harrison. Protégé Sam Everitt was in attendance and appreciated the comprehensive slide show that beautifully illustrated many of Jill’s suggestions for successful composition.
Late in the morning, and with some personalized coaching from Jill, Sam was able to put a few of her suggestions to the test.
First up though is a photo by Jill which illustrates the importance of body position. Pictured immediately below is Sam with feet positioned for good balance, with both arms braced against the body which provides a sturdy platform for the camera.
Top Tips From Around the Gallery
With these two photographs – which, by the way, feature ribbon-wrapped card sets by Roslyn Burns (for sale in the Lyndendale Gallery and Southern Picture Framers) – Sam illustrates the rule of odds. As is highlighted below, photographs with an odd number of objects on display are often more pleasing than those with an even number.
During her workshop, Jill spoke of the idea of leading lines. This photograph by Sam is a great example. Beginning in the bottom right of the photograph, the eye follows the line of the fence. A well-positioned leading line serves to draw a viewer into a photograph.
According to Jill, the rule of thirds is a key element of good composition. For a vertical subject, simply divide your frame vertically into thirds. Then, try to ensure your subject is positioned on one of the two vertical divides. Sam’s photograph of the magnificent trees at the front of the Lyndendale property is a super example of the rule of thirds.
Given the workshop’s setting in a gallery, owner Denise Gilles offered up this digital and screen print by Graeme Pages-Oliver (on exhibition at the Gallery until June 22) as an excellent example of both leading lines and the rule of thirds. Sam captured Week 10 (from My Inner Tree series) really well by taking advantage of the natural light in the Gallery.
Jill explained that a more technical aspect of good composition involves aperture priority. This manual setting controls the amount of light coming into the lens. This setting can be used to keep the foreground in focus while blurring the background. This photograph by Sam appears to make good use of his camera’s aperture priority.
Top Tips on Offer at New Club
Also in early June, a photography club for young people aged between 16 – 25 was launched at headspace Bunbury. Art Partners was there for the inaugural workshop led by Ruslan Kulski, the Producer for ABC Open South West.
The ultimate aim of the session was for participants to capture images for a current ABC Open project called Snapped. First up, however, was Ruslan’s presentation of top tips. He projected a series of black and white hints and tidbits which proved simple and easy to remember.
A sample of Ruslan’s rules of engagement included: ask first, shoot later (ask people if we can take their photo); get uncomfortable (get low, get down, get really close, get really far); zoom with your legs (this is much better, apparently, than the digital zoom); get comfortable with the rule of thirds (also a top tip from Jill Harrison); and, get support (prop your camera or mobile on something to help avoid those blurry images).
Armed with those handy suggestions, we were let loose and visited local businesses to capture pictures for Snapped with ‘At Work’ being the current theme. In keeping with the ABC Open’s non-commercial mandate, we won’t tell you which businesses we visited. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t guess.
Rule of Thirds Reigns
This photo of the Art Partners favourite picture framer (not quite at work) makes good use of the rule of thirds.
David Gaudion, who was participating in his first activity with Art Partners, took this snap of a barista at work in a local coffee shop. It also illustrates the effectiveness of the rule of thirds.
One thing that was most rewarding about the headspace Bunbury Photography Club workshop was the chance for participants to share their digital images with each other for immediate feedback.
Here is David on Victoria Street sharing images with another participant.
And, here’s Ruslan trying to decipher what’s on David’s mobile screen. We’re guessing that David had tried shooting from the hip which is a great way of ensuring unsuspecting composition.
Want to Make Your Photos Soar?
For information on the headspace Bunbury Photography Club: email headspace Bunbury or call 9729 6800
Other Top Tips?
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