Sunday, September 20, 2009

Black bird in a black shadow?

Getting a good background for the subject is something that all beginning photographers struggle with. A combination of letting the camera take too much control, and not noticing what else is in the frame usually leads to something sticking out of the head of the subject. (You can see a tutorial I made on how to get rid of the problem.)

And yet, not all of the issue is getting a blurred background like the one in this photo. I went and saw a show of Georgia O'keefe paintings along side Ansel Adams photographs. They spent some time in the United States Southwest, and created some fantastic images. I highly recommend this exhibit if it comes around. Its run at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is over.

He co-founded the f/64 group, with Edward Weston and others. The goal was maximum depth of field. Some of the photos he made were amazing to see. (If you get a chance, go to the Weston Gallery in Carmel California, then go up Highway 1 a bit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.) But, not always what the photographer wants either.

I went through this issue and came out the other side with a basic set of rules:

Look at what is in the view finder.
Pre-visualize what you are shooting, and set the camera beforehand.
Whenever possible, take your time, and look at what you are photographing.

I still have to remind myself to follow these rules.

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