Photography Basics at Work

Photography has not been a strong suit of mine, so I’m happy to be learning more about it. The basics I have studied this week have made me more aware of how I take pictures, but I still need to work on putting it into practice! All the professional photos in this post were found on Pixabay  – a public domain site that is free for public use and download with no attribution required. I have linked all the photos though, so you can find the designer if you wish.

Rule of Thirds

Stonehenge - Rule of Thirds
Stonehenge – Rule of Thirds
Stonehenge Rule of Thirds

I once got to see this landmark and wonder of the world in England on a dance company tour with Ricks College. It was not up close like this, but still amazing. I love the use of the horizon and the sky/clouds in this photo to demonstrate the rule of thirds. Stonehenge is balanced right in the center of the intersecting lines with the horizon as an anchor at the bottom and the cloud formation as an anchor at the top. I also like the rock in the ground in the left lower corner. It adds a bit of a break in the symmetry for the whole photo.

Running - Rule of Thirds
Running – Rule of Thirds
Running - Rule of Thirds
Running – Rule of Thirds

This is one of my favorite pictures of all time! My son made it to state as a freshman in high school in the 3200 meter run (2 miles). It was pouring rain and there were puddles on the track for his race. He loves to run in the rain though, so it was fun for him! The puddles came in handy in this photo because it caught his reflection as he ran past me. This photo is actually a great example of the rule of thirds because of where he falls in the picture. Rather than being in the center where I normally frame things, I caught him off to the left. I also love that the hurdles happen to be stacked on that side of the picture also. The track on the lower end of the photo and on the other side of the field lie right in line where the horizontal divisions are in the picture lie. This strengthens the shot according  to the rule of thirds.

Leading Lines

Train - Leading Lines
Train – Leading Lines
Train - Leading Lines
Train – Leading Lines

I can’t say I’ve ever been on a train, sadly, but I sure hope to someday. My kids have been really into Harry Potter lately and this train reminds me of the Hogwarts Express. The lines in this photo are a great example of how leading lines can show movement through a picture. The front of the train is in the foreground and the angle the shot is taken at leads you to the tail of the train that appears far off in the distance. I have no idea how long this train is, but the image gives the idea that it continues beyond what I can see. I also like the lines from the bridge that are almost parallel to the main tracks. They lend support to the image and also draw your eye up the to powerful locomotive and its journey along the tracks.

Temple - Leading Lines
Temple – Leading Lines
Temple - Leading Lines
Temple – Leading Lines

I love this photo from our vacation to Arizona. This is the new Phoenix, AZ temple and we got to visit the grounds for just a little bit while there with family. I like how the use of leading lines gives the image almost an unwritten caption of “All lines lead to the temple.” The lines of the pool lead straight to the front of the temple. I also notice the horizontal lines of the upper part of the temple. They help emphasize the symmetry in the picture and I think add to the focus of the temple as the central focus of the photo. (Even though the photo is a little off center! ha ha!)

Depth of Field

Lake - Depth of Field
Lake – Depth of Field
Lake - Depth of Field
Lake – Depth of Field

I see so many people take pictures like this while on vacation and I think we don’t realize what a good shot this type of shot really is! The shoes of the otherwise obscured person are the foreground and give an anchor to where the image begins. The trees leading down the hill to the lake give an idea of the space between the person in the shot and the lake itself. I love how you can see the steepness of the hill because of those trees. Way off on the other side of the lake are more trees that are also reflected in the lake. These trees appear much smaller and again give the idea of the space and size of the lake itself.

Pool - Depth of Field
Pool – Depth of Field
Pool - Depth of Field
Pool – Depth of Field

So, I tried the “feet on vacation” picture myself! This is in Arizona when I was steadfastly refusing to go work out with my husband and brother-in-law because I was on vacation! Sitting by the pool is so much nicer. My feet get to be the foreground of this picture, while the men and the bushes by the pool are the middle ground. The space in this photo is not as vast as the lake shot, but the pool is there in the background with the palm trees behind it. I am also the partially obscured person in the picture, so you see the scope of the backyard where I remained to lounge because of the viewpoint this photo was taken from.

Summary

All of my photos that are used for this post honestly happened to turn out to be good photos by a happy accident. Without even trying, sometimes I come up with good pictures! Now that I have learned more about the rules of good photography, I hope to create more good pictures on purpose. We have state track coming up and another vacation planned for the summer. I’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice!

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