An Ari Kreisler 'How To' Raise the Bar on Your Spring Photos - Photoblog #2

May 14, 2012  •  1 Comment

With Spring in full swing, our surroundings are becoming particularly attractive and we can’t help but to yearn for our cameras.

 

Unfortunately, the images we capture on film (or image sensors) aren’t always as awe-inspiring as what we see with our eyes.

 

Why?

 

Our eyes and our brains are in perfect collaboration with one another. Our eyes can focus and apply contrast in lighting situations our camera couldn’t dream of obtaining. So even the notion of attaining a photo worthy of inspiration is a monumental task. And trying to manipulate your camera by tweaking the exposure isn’t something you are going to learn from a photo-blog. However, if you keep the following five tips in mind, your odds of getting a great shot will be dramatically increased…

 

  1. Change Your Perspective                                                                

Pointing the camera in an angle that the human eye doesn’t usually see is a great way to get your shot second looks. Those 'double takes' will give the viewer’s brain enough time to take-in more information and hopefully see the beauty that you saw before pressing the shutter button.

 

This lone poppy plant was lying in the middle of a field and if I had just shot it from above, the best I could hope to accomplish would have been:

 

But when we lie-down and change our perspective:

  1. We capture an angle most people don’t see with their eyes.
  2. We point the camera into the sun which is something our eyes can’t do. The results are:
  • A bluer sky (unless you are shooting around sunrise and sunset, the horizon is not normally this shade of blue).
  • Solar flares (they help add composition and interest).
  • Back-lit flower pedals.

 

 

 

 

  1.   The Birds and the Bees 

Spring is happening everywhere. Go for a long walk, or go to the park, or even a near-by botanical garden. You don’t need to go to some exquisite destination in order to find Spring. And you don’t need to be in some protected natural habitat. Maybe your neighbor’s bougainvillea is overgrown and calling to your camera. Maybe the park has a pond and if it has ducks, there are almost certainly ducklings this time of year.

 

 

Keep looking. And keep listening. Nature is really busy right now. Spend a few seconds to find a nice dark and empty background (no signs or clutter). Last week I was shooting these cherry blossoms and pretty soon it was more about the Birds and the Bees than the flowers.. 

 

 

 

 

  1. Shoot People Interacting With Nature

Taking a picture of your children (or someone else’s children) standing next to something pretty is good. But it’s not great. Because visually it creates three problems:

  1. Too much posing
  2. It makes it almost impossible to create good composition
  3. It creates two main subject matters (our brains don’t usually like two main subject matters).

 

Suggestions:

  • Get a picture of the kids feeding the ducks. Get down on their levels and capture their expressions. If you get a sharp focus on their eyes, the rest will happen for you.
  • Get a picture of your wife smelling a rose. Try and capture what she is feeling.
  • Get a picture of a child blowing on a dandelion.

 

 

 

 

** If anyone wants help or tips on shooting people, send me an email and I will be happy to provide some guidance.

 

  1. Raise the Bar, Not Your Expectations

 

Don’t get frustrated and give-up. Photography takes practice. Take tons of pictures. Don’t delete them on your camera - those mistakes are your training. Go back over them and learn why they aren’t worthy. If you aren’t getting the results, find pictures online that you love and ask yourself what that photographer did differently. And when you get home, don't bury your camera somewhere safe; rather, leave it out so that it is accesible.

 

  1. Spring Doesn't Just Have To Be About the Color

 

 

It also looks cool in black and white...

 

 


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