Friday, March 7, 2008

Lesson #7 - Get out there and Shoot!

We've covered a lot on how the camera works and what all the different aperture, shutterspeed, and ISO choices are about.

But the TRUTH is that if you don't PRACTICE what you learn then you won't get any better.

In this lesson I'm going to try to motivate you to get out and shoot some photos. I'm going to give you some quick tips and show you some examples. Along the way perhaps I'll hit on a topic that interests you and then you will run out and use all your new technical knowledge to feed your creativity.

So come along with me and let's shoot some photographs!

Children: We love them and we CAN SHOOT THEM!

Get down on their level. Become a part of their world. Capture them being.....themselves. Big goofy smiles are great but having a photo of a little kid engaged in his world can be priceless.

Annoying Teenagers: They NEED to be SHOT!

I often shoot candid shots of teens just hanging out. Their laughter and expressions can be great but when they start mugging for the camera.... well, it's still okay! Here are three to help motivate you:

When I shoot teenagers, I like to use the longest lens I've got. That helps me peek into their world without getting into their space.

Scenic Landscapes: My all-time favorite subject!

My best tip here is to convince you that the best time of day to shoot is at sunrise and sunset. The quality of the light during those times is so much better than during the harsh direct overhead sunshiny part of the day.

Check these out...

More Landscapes:

Use the rule-of-thirds. That means don't place the dominant elements of the photograph in the center. Move them over or up to the one-third points in the frame. Look for diagonal lines that help draw the eye into the frame.

Flowers and Veggies: Spring is coming and the Botanic Garden could become your favorite place!

Don't just shoot down. Get down on their level. Use what you know about aperture to blur the backgrounds and selective focus on one flower. Remember the rule-of-thirds.

Animals: Shoot the family dog - especially if he barks all night. Capture shots of your kids interacting with their pets. Focus on the animal's eyes - that's where we are drawn when we look at the photo. If you like wild animals, do your homework. Learn what times they are most active. Get into their world.... but be careful. Travel to a National Park or State Park; wild animals are a little less wild there.

I hope you've enjoyed these photos as much as I have. Start a collection of personal favorites. It's great to show them off and it's great to look back and see how your creativity and talent have progressed.

Happy Shooting!

- James

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