It may not be obvious at first but a photograph’s border is a critical element of a successful composition. All too often we get so focused on the subject that the borders get ignored. Because it’s so important I’m writing a second post on the subject. To read the first post you can click on this link – Mastering Composition – Border Patrol.
For this post take a look at this photograph.
The photograph is of the famous tunnel at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, California. In wintertime, as you can see, not only do the waves come crashing through but the setting sun turns the water to liquid gold. It’s easy to get so absorbed by the spectacle that important elements of the composition get ignored. Can you see what I missed here?
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Tags: Big Sur, blue, border patrol, California, color palette, composition, contrasting colors, crop, dark tonality, golden light, light tonality, Pfeiffer beach, rule of thirds, tonality, visual center of gravity, yellow
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“When I compose an image I spend more time getting the borders right than I spend on the subject.” You think this is a surprising statement? There are a lot of photographers that I really admire for whom this statement is true. I know when I first started out I had no idea what was happening on the borders. I paid no attention to them. Until it was pointed out to me that my borders were very sloppy. And from that point on composition got a whole lot harder because getting clean borders is not a trivial task. But over time it became second nature to me. Now I always check the borders and make appropriate adjustments before I press the shutter.
Well, almost always. Take a look….
Continue reading “Mastering Composition – Border Patrol” »
Tags: border patrol, bright, composition, fog, foliage, god rays, green, lady bird Johnson grove, light, northern California, prairie creek state park, redwoods
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I’ve been giving a lot of thought recently to what goes in to making a great landscape photograph. It turns out there are four things, four pillars if you will. Four, that’s a good number. There are the four legs of a table or the four wheels of a car. And not to forget the four sacred directions of the Native Americans.
In landscape photography the four pillars are evenly divided between the aesthetics and the technical. So what are they? The two aesthetic pillars are Fantastic Light and Strong Composition. No surprise there. The two technical pillars are Appropriate Sharpness and Optimum Exposure. No surprise there either. If just one of those pillars is missing, well, the table collapses, the image suffers.
Let’s look at them one by one….
(click on the images to enlarge them)
Joshua Tree Spring Sunrise (2011)
Continue reading “Making a Photograph – The Four Pillars” »
Tags: Aperture, balance, border patrol, cloudy, color, composition, constrast, cool, f/stop, fine art, focal distance, focal length, focus, golden hour, grad nd filter, graduated neutral density filter, HDR, High Dynamic Range, histogram, hyperfocal distance, light, luminance, mid-day, midday, open shade, overcast, photography, rule of thirds, shadows, sharpness, tonality, twilight, unity, visual tensioin, warm
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