Composition - The Soul of the Photo
Composition is the spirit of the photo. Composition contributes to the work of art that starts from inspiration. Inspiration begins when you disconnect with the domestic struggles of everyday life and free the spirit to experience the universe around you. Actually being in the moment and experiencing nature links you with all around you.
It might sound like meditation, but awareness of your surroundings without interference of external thoughts clears the mind and sharpening your perceptions. Pictures appear where you didn't see them. The elements start to art and align appears.
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Joseph Cornell in his novel 'Listening to Nature How to Deepen Your Awareness of Nature' had this exercise. Walk into a place which you'd like to photograph. Rather than shooting and setting up the camera. Sit down. Wait. Relax. Be still and feel the minute. Very quietly become conscious of nature. The Native Americans called this 'silent hunting'. Nature will speak to you, but you must be quiet. Nature speaks gently. Nature will reveal herself to you in the event that you are patient. And unbelievable images will appear.
There are lots of times that I've entered the woods with camera in hand and not found anything that I wanted to photograph. It might be that I wasn't ready or nature didn't want to show herself. That day, maybe she did not feel photogenic. Scenes appear as if by magic. If you can not find anything to shoot on any specified day, so do not be disappointed. Utilize that time to scout the area for future chances and revel in the fact that you have an opportunity to be outside.
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Choose this as the opportunity to plan for future shots. At these times believe, what if the light was coming from another way. A better image may be produced by coming back in the early morning or late day. The landscape changes. Perhaps shooting in the fall, together with the leaf in brilliant colors, or winter with a fresh layer of snow would create the photo that you would like.
When seeking that image, don't rush yourself. Time with nature is a delight all by its self. In the event you don't find anything to shoot, the sheer enjoyment of being one with the outside is worth the experience.
Depth of field is one of the oldest tricks in photography. This is a techniques used by photographers to bring everything in the frame right from the item that is closest to the farthest object in clear focus. What this means is that both the foreground and background are in clear focus. This technique is used most commonly in landscape photography and it can result in stunning pictures. This informative article will delve into the intricacies of this technique.
The depth of field or DOF depends on three basic elements:
1.A The focal length
2.A The aperture size
3.A The object on which you focus in your composition
Let's discuss each of this in detail.
As a general rule, broader the angle of focus, greater is the depth of field. So it's suitable to utilize a wide angle lens if you have one. Otherwise set the zoom lens to its widest variety. The ideal focal length to get the right DOF is around 24 mm. This amount was arrived at after bunch of experimentation with the 35 millimeter format. This would mean you will require a lens that has a focal length of 18 at its broadest variety. This is because the DSLR's (unless you're employing the entire format DSLR's) has a sensor size smaller that the 35mm film format. This alters the relationship between the camera along with the lens. A standard DSLR like the Canon EOS 400 or Nikon D70 has a sensor surface area of around 22 sqmm. Therefore the focal length of the lens will need to be multiplied by about 1.5 to get the concordant focal length of a 35mm format. For eg, an 18 mm lens in the DSLR will translate into a 27mm lens in 35mm format.
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Since many people use the normal DLSR's the 18- 55mm kit lens that accompanies most cameras will do. Should you have a 10-22mm lens it is better.
However, should you be employing a digital point and shoot then there's a problem. The range of focal length provided by the majority of point and shoot is in the range of 34-114mm. This focal length is a little narrow angle to get an excellent DOF. Therefore you'll need a wide angle adapter for point and shoot cameras. Most cameras have a wide angle adaptor which may be used to remedy this problem. So regardless of what camera you use, remember this amount of 24 mm. This really is the ideal focal length required for the DOF encounter.
As a rule of thumb, larger the aperture lesser is the depth of field. So as a corollary in case you would like a greater DOF you should place your camera's aperture to the smallest possible value. I personally prefer to use whatever is the lowest aperture that the lens would permit. Usually an f stop of f/22 will be allowed by most cameras. There are just two methods of doing this. You can either utilize the aperture priority or manual mode. In aperture priority mode, you set the aperture and the camera automatically picks the shutter speed depending on the light states. I personally prefer to use the manual mode as this gives a greater control over the camera to me. In the manual mode, you've got the choice to set both shutter speed and the aperture and consequently I would rather use this mode.
The shutter speed will need to be slow, since the aperture is definitely going to be small. Generally speaking if the f stop is f/22 then you'll need to keep the shutter speed at 1/8 or even less. It is therefore prudent to make use of a tripod to prevent camera shake.
This really is the last and most important aspect of getting greater DOF. Turn off the autofocus and place the focus manually. Now focus on an area that is one third the distance between the foreground and background. For eg, if you were shooting a photo of a flower with a mountain in the backdrop, focus on a point which is one third the distance between the mountain and the bloom. Should you not have an object to focus on it could possibly be challenging, but mainly you ought to have the ability to locate something to focus on. Some serious photographer will proceed to the extent of taking many props for this specific effect; some even carry indigenous plants for this particular specific purpose.
Nevertheless when you look through the view finder, both the foreground and background will look out of focus. It is because only when you release the shutter, the aperture is wide open and closes to the smaller value. Thus most DSLR's come equipped with a DOF preview button. The aperture becomes small when you press this button and you'll locate both background and the foreground to be in focus. Mind you that when you press the DOF preview button, the image will become dimmer, because less light is entering the lens.
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You must be able to get the perfect landscape shots by applying the above mentioned three processes.