Friday, January 22, 2010

Photography Assignment. Not mine.

Says who we can't do photography assignments without a dSLR camera huh? Even with a pns camera or even the phone camera also still can shoot shoot okay!

It was actually Julian's homework for his photography class and since i so love this art, i decided to tag along. We are both pns camera users by the way.

Some of you may think that i take great pictures, as if it came directly from an SLR. But that doesn't proof me to be a genius in photography. I too am still learning and it was a great opportunity to be able to explore more in this field through this homework.

Like most photography assignments, one is required to get snapshots based on a theme or a subject. In this case, we were to experiment with the types of pictures we are to produce. And oh, just a little note here; the following explanations will be done according to my own understanding on the subject. Please correct me if there is any mistakes ya!

1. Fill the frame.

It's quite obvious right. Just fill your camera frame with your object and in order to do that, shoot a close up picture.

I like the fact that when the objects are taken from a closer view, the picture turns out to sort of look like an abstract picture. It's not easy to create the abstract feel. And it's all about the object that you choose. For instance, if you shoot a close up picture on a flower, you wouldn't get an abstract.

Unless maybe you could do some zooming in and cropping in the editing zone. Plus some saturation and a mix in the colors. That would definitely give you abstract art. Not to mention that if it turns out like shit, you can still claim it to be abstract.

Still objects are always the easiest to shoot with and in my opinion, i find that the best place to start practicing your close ups, angles, macro, etc. Why? Cause they'll model for you so professionally that you sometimes wonder, why do they not substitute gorgeous models with 'em mannequins.

Snapping Julian's pet cat was no easy job. One, i had to use flash which i suck so badly in and i had no choice since it was indoors - not enough light lah. Two, thought miao miao was quite still, the flash would cause him to blink. So imagine how many attempts were made in order to get the perfect one!

2. Leading line.

You must create/capture some sort of an illusion-like line in your pictures. Maybe your object could be the railway track or your computer keyboard, anything that is aligned neatly that creates some sort of an invisible line. Okay, i made it sound so complicated.

Saw these photo frames in a restaurant while having breakfast with Julian's family. Or was it lunch? Anyway, notice the 'lines'? Or seeing it at another perspective, the frames themselves is the line.

You really gotta play with the angles in this lah. It's not just about your arms but also your wrist. Make them flexible. If possible, make use of your fingers as well. Don't just shift your camera left and right, up and down - you gotta know how to rotate it as well. Yes, rotate is the word that I'm looking for!

Usually we choose still objects to create this line lah. I mean, how can you find such straight lines in moving things right? To one can stand that straight lah!

3. Angle - low and high.

Somehow i think this is like the most important in every subject. Without angles i think pictures would have looked so boring. I also think this is the simple most task in the assignment. Basically you just need know the two basic types of angle; high angle and low angle. High angle pictures are taken from a high view, making the subject's head look big and smaller towards the feet. While the low angle shot works the other way round.

You don't really have to go to the top most floor of a high building to finish this task. A standing position is enough. As for the low angle shot, just squat lah.

Easy right? Anyone with common sense can do it!

4. Patterns.

A picture of patterns is of a repeated subject. Like a picture with flowers of the same design scattered around the frame neatly is called patterns. You can find these on present wrappers, vintage fabrics, tiles, and so on.

It may seem easy at first, but after taking that shop from the same restaurant we found the photo frames and going outdoors, you can rarely find anything obvious for that subject.

5. Rule of thirds.

I notice many people tend to place their objects at the center of the frame, especially shots of people. It will be more interesting if the focused object is shifted slightly to the side of the frame. If your camera can provide grids on display, it will be easier.

Picture taken from here and here. Forgot to make such visuals in my draft so gotta borrow.

Just place your object on one of the intersection and you'll see the difference compared to the normal object-at-center picture. But if you don't have such display on your camera then you'll have to just roughly imagine it in your mind.

I like this coconut tree shot. The white thing that is supposed to be the focus of the picture seem like a spark, or a firework.

Oh by the way, it is also quite important that your object stands out. No point having your object seem like it's hidden in the picture right? Unless if you're a really good then yes, such pictures will turn out good.

Like the dry flower picture, i had to use the green leaves as the background to make it stand out. Otherwise it would have drowned in the dark background. Wasn't easy taking a picture of that cause one, it was small, and two, i was using the manual macro mode. So my hands had to be really still man!

6. Depth.

Depth relates with angle also, in a way. Pictures with no depth are flat, like 2D cartoons or close up pictures. You can simply take any angled picture, no matter high or low angled ones, there is always depth in it. It can be quite confusing at times but i guess browsing through google image would help a lot. Just type 'depth' in the search engine under the image tab and press search. If not, click here.

I didn't really catch it at first, so from my understandings on this, depth pictures either have a focus place on the front, center or the back. Like the picture of my phone above, the focus is placed on one part of the keypad and the other areas blurs out. So i guess the focus plays a role in this subject too.

7. Control of your background.

I've mentioned a little bit of this earlier, about playing around with your background in order to focus your subject.

I haven't got an uncontrolled background here but I'll try to describe one. From the picture above, the background is controlled since the green fills the frame. There is no distraction. Say if i tilt my angle a bit, having the buildings and other wild grass and pots to be in the picture while still maintaining my focus on the flower, what I'll get is an overloaded background. To many things in the background which causes much distractions is considered as an uncontrolled background.

8. Natural framing

Instead of using an actually picture frame and place it in front of your object, natural framing is the use of the things around you to frame your object. Like maybe your attempt in taking a picture of a chair in an empty room. Maybe you can try placing the chair opposite the room's door and take a shot of it from the keyhole on the outside of the room. The chair will be framed by the keyhole. Get it?

This picture doesn't exactly nail it lah but it is roughly like that; the leaves framing the mini waterfall.

I think whether or not you know the theory is not important. But what's important is to practice. The theory only serves as an introduction. To really store it into your memory and understand it, you really need to do some experiment.

We went to Julian's cousin's apartment to complete the tasks and boy, it was much fun! You know what, this could be a real fun group activity! You can make it like a treasure-pic-hunt quest or something.

And if the prize happens to be a dSLR, yo tag me along!!! Haha.

If there is really such contest, winning would be so easy for almost everyone. Just look around and you'll get your winning picture.

Unless if you're joining competitions like the ones in the Digital Camera Magazine, then that would require a little more creativity and skill. Not to mention, a lot of knowledge on the manual settings also (especially pns camera users)!

* * *

Actually the current header that I'm working on is almost done. Only maybe 30% more til completion. But i just realised that Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day is coming! Which means if i put that up now I'll have to take it down again and make a new one for the romanticCNY theme. Waste lah like that.

You know i don't like to reuse my old headers. Plus from the votes i receive from my poll, there wasn't anyone who agreed with using the old headers.

Anyway, i was thinking of having my upcoming header with the 'silhouette' theme.

But so far, no solid draft on it yet. So what do you think? Any suggestions??

P.s. : No, I'm not going to reveal my minimabel header until after CNY. Oopps... spilled some beans there. HAHA.

P.p.s. :By the way, i have almost fully recover already (:


Cath J said...

very nice photo mabel... ^_^

vialentino said...

nice pics and explanation...yeah, i does follow the rule of third...sometimes u tend to be creative and follow ur own rules...

HenRy LeE ® said...

nice one there from master mabel... haha... well i think u are ready to own a DSLR... get married soon ya! lol...

anyway, i think u can do better for the low and high angle and be assure to do some post processing on the images, esp the on the contrast and colours...

can't wait to see more from u

btw, i think i'll stick to photobucket.. haha

SJB said...


Senghoo said...

You know, even without a DSLR you take stimulating pictures; if and when you do get your own DSLR you're going to be one of the most greatest photographers. Yes, I have a DSLR but I suck at picture-taking. HAHA! ;D you're gonna be the next smashpop!

Jerine said...

photography is never about what camera you use, but the POV. and you have a pair of trained eys. keep it up. i love your work.

Superman said...

Very nice photos. great tutorials. You are really talented.

aaron said...

It's a waste you dont get a DSLR.

Jeff King said...

Nice blog, and nice work...

keep it up.


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