2020 Photo Challenge #7

February’s theme / technique: Being Creative with Patterns

The six visual keys to a great photograph are:

    • Patterns
    • Texture
    • Lines
    • Light
    • Depth of field

This month we are going to look at Patterns. Patterns can be found everywhere, in nature or man-made constructions. For a photographer, using patterns is key to a good composition.

They are made up of repeated objects, geometric shapes or abstract patterns, or colours and they may be random or ordered. Visual patterns in nature are often loose and organic – think of spirals, waves, rock formations, sand.

    • Try using patterns as the main subject of your photo with the focal point on the patterns removing the context.
    • Or you can use the pattern as a backdrop to something else.
    • Try abstract imagery using close-up photography – peeling paint, rust stains for example
    • Break the pattern, for instance position one red apple in the midst of a pile of green ones. And of course remembering the rule of thirds, any break should be on an intersection.
    • Create your own patterns.
    • Combine patterns. Contrasting or complementary patterns work well.
This week's assignment is a bit more difficult – Break the pattern, disrupt the continuity in some way

Continue reading 2020 Photo Challenge #7

2020 Photo Challenge #6

February’s theme / technique: Being Creative with Patterns

The six visual keys to a great photograph are:

    • Patterns
    • Texture
    • Lines
    • Light
    • Depth of field
    • Space

This month we are going to look at Patterns. Patterns can be found everywhere, in nature or man-made constructions. For a photographer, using patterns is key to a good composition.

They are made up of repeated objects, geometric shapes or abstract patterns, or colours and they may be random or ordered. Visual patterns in nature are often loose and organic – think of spirals, waves, rock formations, sand.

    • Try using patterns as the main subject of your photo with the focal point on the patterns removing the context.
    • Or you can use the pattern as a backdrop to something else.
    • Try abstract imagery using close-up photography – peeling paint, rust stains for example
    • Break the pattern, for instance position one red apple in the midst of a pile of green ones. And of course remembering the rule of thirds, any break should be on an intersection.
    • Create your own patterns.
    • Combine patterns. Contrasting or complementary patterns work well.
This week's assignment – Shoot from a different perspective. Look up, look down or shoot from a distance.

Continue reading 2020 Photo Challenge #6

2020 Photo Challenge #5

February’s theme / technique: Being Creative with Patterns

If you want to see what this month’s assignments are in advance then please click here. All the assignments are available from the menu on the left under the 2020 Photo Challenge / Assignments.

The six visual keys to a great photograph are:

    • Patterns
    • Texture
    • Lines
    • Light
    • Depth of field
    • Space

This month we are going to look at Patterns. Patterns can be found everywhere, in nature or man-made constructions. For a photographer, using patterns is key to a good composition.

They are made up of repeated objects, geometric shapes or abstract patterns, or colours and they may be random or ordered. Visual patterns in nature are often loose and organic – think of spirals, waves, rock formations, sand.

    • Try using patterns as the main subject of your photo with the focal point on the patterns removing the context.
    • Or you can use the pattern as a backdrop to something else.
    • Try abstract imagery using close-up photography – peeling paint, rust stains for example
    • Break the pattern, for instance position one red apple in the midst of a pile of green ones. And of course remembering the rule of thirds, any break should be on an intersection.
    • Create your own patterns.
    • Combine patterns. Contrasting or complementary patterns work well.
This week's assignment – look for various types of patterns - squares, circles, triangles and so on.

When you find an interesting example take several shots, shifting your camera position slightly between each one. Examine your pictures carefully to see which one produces the best result. It may not be the one you expected.

Continue reading 2020 Photo Challenge #5

2020 Photo Challenge #4

January’s theme / technique: Composition and Framing

Composition and Framing is dictated by the camera and lens equipment as well as where you can and cannot stand whilst viewing the subject. Challenge yourself by using a prime lens or not using the zoom on your lens so you have to physically move to take the shot. Often the more creative images come about from taking the time to move around a subject. We’ll explore some of these techniques over the coming months, but for now consider these tips:

    1. Horizontal vs vertical – which looks better? Why?
    2. Missing parts of people or objects irritate the viewer and create an incomplete image. It distracts the eye. So watch the edges of your image.
    3. Rule of thirds
    4. Look for frames – These come in two types, natural or man-made. Natural would be an opening in trees or a rock formation with a hole in it. Man-made frames are doorways, windows or arches. All of these help contain the subject or scene in a form that is very pleasing to the eye.
    5. Watch your background. Make sure that there is nothing there that would detract from your subject. Things like chimneys or lamp-posts growing out of heads and other subjects diverting the eye from the main subject. You want balance by not going in too close but including enough of the environment of the subject or object to contextualise it.
This month's final assignment - Simplify your image. What is it that you want the viewer to focus on? 

Trying to include too much in an image often spoils it. An image that is cluttered causes the eye of the viewer to dart around the image trying to make sense of it.

    • Less is more as the old saying goes.
    • Eliminate anything that would distract the eye or is unnecessary to the memory you are attempting to create.
    • Sometimes a photo becomes great because of what we choose to leave out.

Continue reading 2020 Photo Challenge #4

2020 Photo Challenge #3

January’s theme / technique: Composition and Framing

Composition and Framing is dictated by the camera and lens equipment as well as where you can and cannot stand whilst viewing the subject. Challenge yourself by using a prime lens or not using the zoom on your lens so you have to physically move to take the shot. Often the more creative images come about from taking the time to move around a subject. We’ll explore some of these techniques over the coming months, but for now consider these tips:

    1. Horizontal vs vertical – which looks better? Why?
    2. Missing parts of people or objects irritate the viewer and create an incomplete image. It distracts the eye. So watch the edges of your image.
    3. Rule of thirds
    4. Look for frames – These come in two types, natural or man-made. Natural would be an opening in trees or a rock formation with a hole in it. Man-made frames are doorways, windows or arches. All of these help contain the subject or scene in a form that is very pleasing to the eye.
    5. Watch your background. Make sure that there is nothing there that would detract from your subject. Things like chimneys or lamp-posts growing out of heads and other subjects diverting the eye from the main subject. You want balance by not going in too close but including enough of the environment of the subject or object to contextualise it.
This week's assignment - Get in closer still. Decide whether to use the vertical or horizontal aspect ratio. Image orientation produces different emphases and can alter the whole dynamic of a shot.

Landscape-shaped images (horizontal orientation) tend to emphasise the relationship between subject elements in the right and left of the frame, while portrait-shaped pictures (vertical orientation) tend to relate to foreground and background subject elements. You can of course break the rules and use an unconventional orientation.

Continue reading 2020 Photo Challenge #3