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Composing Photos With Confidence

Composing Photos With Confidence
Composing Photos With Confidence
What do you think is necessary to take that perfect picture?  You know, the one that turns out even better than it looked in real life.  Have you often wondered how to make your photograph tell a story or capture an image in such a way that it moves people to view it?  There are a number of things each photographer must consider before pushing finger to button to capture a still image our real world which is in constant, perpetual motion.  Composition, of course, is extremely important. Composing a decent picture with your camera takes some knowledge, thought, and preparation. The following will be a collection of things to look for when composing your next photograph for your portfolio, album, or collage.

Shape in a photograph is an effective way to grab people's attention.  Try drawing attention to shape in a photograph by contrasting it against a simple background such as water or sky.  A picture's shapes are likely to be more emphasized when the composition of the photo is simpler.  Crop and compose carefully and you can use the shapes in your photo to work with the shape of your picture.

Texture often goes overlooked when someone is sizing up their subject for a photo.  This is an unfortunate circumstance as texture adds fullness and life to your photograph. Rough, smooth, fuzzy, shiny, or irregular, shape in a photograph helps us "see" what a surface is like and imagine what it would be like to touch it.  Texture is best displayed with proper lighting.  The light to use depends on the type of texture you wish to capture in your photo.  Diffused lighting from directional sources is suitable for rough, complex texures and harsh lighting works better for smoother surfaces.

Centering your subject seems like pretty simple advice.  It is, but it is also essential.  Unless you are trying to create an effect of distance or space, the subject of the photograph should always be front and center, so to speak. If there are other subjects or detail in the photograph, they need to be positioned carefully in your frame so as not to confuse the subject of the composition.  By thoughtfully determining what space your subject will take up in the frame of the photo, you can create images that make use of the whole picture area. 

Vary your camera height to change your viewpoint.  Always shooting from a standing position with the camera at eye level, for instance, will lend all of your pictures a particular similarity.  Vary height by crouching, laying down, or standing on a stable object.  You may be surprised at the results.  By changing the direction of your shots, you can also recieve dramatic results.  Walk around your subject to discover varying angles before shooting.  For instance, a waterfall will look dramatically different being photographed from the top and from the bottom.

All of these factors, and more, are important considerations when shooting photos.  Composing a photograph is like composing an essay.  It must have a body.  This is the "meat" of the image or composition.  The introduction, or set up, includes variables such as lighting, subject, background, considerations of texture, shape, and pattern. And hopefully, the conclusion, or finished result, will be worth a thousand words.

Canvas Printing

Printing on canvas is incredibly versatile and a great way to create a ready-to-hang image or artwork. Every canvas that we print  is protected with a UV coated acrylic finish to guard the print from dust, moisture and fading. Do you want your canvas stretched on bars or non-stretched? Framed or unframed? Customize the work to make it truly your own.

Art Prints – How are they made?

Photography by Laurie Barone-Shafer
Nowadays just about anyone can take a good quality photographs with a digital camera. Or take a few hundred pictures and the chances are few will be good, and even one or two outstanding.

Here are a few tips, tricks and techniques on how to make art print poster ready photographs and print ready digital files. Don’t get overwhelmed, there is a lot of information here, but a lot of it is just intuitive. Well, a bit of patience will always help.

First thing – Photo Size

If you taking a digital photo of you family or friend the largest size you would print is usually 5 by 7 inches, maybe 8 by 10 at the most. Even small size digital photographs (2MB or less) are ‘good enough’ to create a decent print. But if you want to create prints that are 16 by 20, 20 by 24 inches or larger you need more pixels (in pixels 20 by 24 inches photo is actually about 40 times larger than 3 by 4 inches photo assuming they have the same resolution).

Learning to Paint Watercolors

Watercolor is an easy, fun medium for creating art.  Color theory, composition and design can be explored freely with watercolor paint, paper, and brushes.  Several techniques may be used with watercolors for varying effects including painting wet on wet, wet on dry, layering washes, and more.

Watercolor paper comes in cold press, hot press, and rough.  Rough paper has the most texture, and its hills and valleys can result in interesting effects when paint is added.  Hot press is the smoothest and has the finest texture.  Cold press has a moderate amount of texture and is the paper most commonly chosen by watercolor artists.

Watercolor paper comes in several weights ranging from 90 lb. to 300 lb. based on the pounds per ream of paper.  Most artists prefer to use at least 140 lb. paper.  Papers vary somewhat between manufacturers, so sampling different papers is advisable.  Paper can be purchased in pads, in blocks or in large sheets.  The large sheets are usually the most economical and can be torn into whatever size is desired.

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