21

The key to using prime lenses effectively is to use them enough that their field of view becomes instinctive to you, so that you can stand somewhere and know what the resulting image will look like, without even looking at the viewfinder. Then, rather than watching your camera, you watch the world, and when you see a photograph, you take it. With a zoom ...


16

Any flatbed scanner, such as that in a $75 all-in-one printer, will do a better job photographing DVD cases than a D5 or a Hasselblad.


14

The reason you see conflicting information when researching is because these rules are slippery. None of them have a strong backing in science, and their history in aesthetics is less important than in popular myth. There's no evidence whatsoever that anyone used the golden ratio in art before the 20th century, but people have heard the story so many times ...


12

To avoid the flash obscuring the text on the case, I would take the photo at a angle to the surface on which the DVD rests. Sounds like you're probably using the built-in flash on your camera. A better solution would be to take the photo straight on, and arrange the illumination so that the subject is lit from an angle. That might mean using an off-camera ...


8

The composition in this image is all about leading lines and how they guide the viewer's eyes around the frame. The lines outlined in yellow all lead to the cat. The posture and head position of the cat leads us to look along the red line to see what the cat is looking at. That line leads us to the intersection of the green lines which is the intersection ...


8

Very first basics, a good starting point: The portrait lighting is the thing of course. There are a few lighting options, in fact, any idiotic plan you can dream up probably already has a name. :) But in the general case, the most satisfactory and useful sure-fire variation is with a main light high and wide (maybe 30-45 degrees higher than nose, and 45 ...


6

First of all, I agree with everything that mattdm says, and have already up-voted his answer. Great stuff. I can only aspire to his clarity and insight. Aside from all of the technical yadda-yadda, the greatest strength of prime lenses is consistency. When photos are shown together – portfolios, slideshows, travelogues – working with fewer and distinct ...


5

How do I compose photos with prime lenses? Ultimately you compose photos with prime lenses the same way you compose any photo. You apply the same principles and techniques to composition regardless of whether you are using a prime lens or a zoom lens. Unless you are using a specialized technique know as zoom blur, a zoom lens only has a single focal length ...


5

There are plenty of iPhone and Android apps collecting photo tips, including composition. I think they're all pretty lame so I'm not going to link to any of them. I don't think there's anything right now that actively analyzes a scene and gives advice, as if Scott Kelby were standing right next to you reading from the appropriate pages of one of his ...


4

It depends on the type of photo you want to take. For example if you want to shoot a subject in motion then the main priority is to set shutter speed so you need to set it first. If you want the subject to have a shallow depth of field (for blurred background) or deep depth of field then you need to set aperture first. In most of the cases shutter speed ...


4

This is an extremely subjective area - there is much that can be learned but there are so many overlapping opinions and shades of interpretation that skimming through a very wide range of material and then reading in depth those that seem to be of value to you is liable to be more useful than a few explanations here, no matter how good. The internet has a ...


4

Let's not over-interpret this image. In my opinion, there are no compositional elements present. It looks like someone passing saw the cat and just fired off a shot without even thinking about composition. Edit: OK - misunderstood the question. Of course there are lots of compositional elements present. They just haven't been used effectively.


4

When doing close-up work, you need to keep the camera square with the subject. This is because the range of sharp focus, near-to-far, is super shallow. We are talking about depth-of-field. This is what we call the range of acceptable focus. Your approach is wrong! Instead of angling the work to avoid glare from reflections from the flash, you should change ...


4

An "equiangular spiral" is another name for a logarithmic spiral. A spiral grid can be made by drawing squares enclosing arcs of this spiral. I expect that in photography, the particular equiangular spiral you've heard about is a golden spiral — a logarithmic spiral where the growth factor is equal to the golden ratio. It looks like this, with subdivided ...


3

imho, the composition "rules" are not really "rules" but more rough guidelines, and it's not always necessary to adhere to these guidelines to get a good shot. In this case it's hard to tell if the author was following the "rules", with a more or less conscious effort, but from an "a posteriori" point of view, I'd say that we could see a use of negative ...


3

Compose early. You tend to get better light and less people early in the morning. I also keep a tripod and wireless remote with me. When there are a lot of people I will throw my camera on my full extended tripod, bring all of the legs together and then hold the camera a lot higher in the air by holding the lower part of the legs. Sometimes the extra 6' I ...


3

I find this information interesting but I need to share in my words information I gained from Axel Bruchs book on composition. In brief he said that on a blank or mono coloured frame the golden ratio aplies in the macro format of the frame, however as soon as a picture element enters the frame it infleunces the composition as well as peoples preference of ...


3

That is what I usually do. I try taking different angles, try to be "artsy" when shooting with a prime lens. On recent vacations, I've been multiple times to Europe (mostly the capitals) and stopped shooting monuments and other more tourist-ish sceneries and concentrate on details and street views. In the cities, shooting with a wide lens (19mm in your ...


3

Those rules (and many more like them) are not actually rules, they are are more of an OK starting point. That is, if you don't have any unique composition that works well with your current scene than placing the subject at about 1/3 of the way (or on the golden ratio line, a diagonal, triangle, etc.) in will create a more interesting image than if it's at ...


3

Aperture gives you control of depth of field, shutter gives you control of impact of movement in scene or camera movement. If you are shooting a still scene on a tripod you can set aperture to what is best, not worrying about the shutter. If subjects are moving or you are hand holding, then you need to think about shutter speed more. ISO setting of course ...


2

Aperture or Shutter Speed? Which will have greater impact on the image you want to produce is an artistic decision. Sometimes it is also a practical decision forced onto the photographer by the limits of the scene and the ability of the equipment to capture it. The Aperture Value (Av) you select will affect the Depth of Field (DoF) of your image. DoF is ...


2

There are many books on portraiture, but you say you don't have the time to read through one of them. I'll try to give you some starting points, but I would suggest at least skimming a basic portraiture book or web 'howto' (here's one from B&H)... Subject... You have kids on tap. They should be trained to sit still and take direction. Environment... ...


2

I don't have any magic formula to remove distracting elements, but what distracts me most in the first picture you show is not that there are people and cars, but the fact that people and cars are crossing the border of the picture. If you can't remove these element from your picture, try to actually incorporate them in your composition. OK, you can't make ...


2

You can try using your lens on 55 mm and f9 or f8 aperture. This should give you enough depth of field for your shots. If it is not enough, try not to take the photo at an angle but rather parallel. You won't be able to use the built in flash as you will get reflections but try using natural light(for example shoot in front of a window).


1

I think you are mistaking compositional elements and the guidelines for composition as something you think about extensively before one takes picture. IMO, these 'guidelines' are merely very rough explanations of how people see a photo and why they enjoy it. Whereas a really good image is a well coordinated structure with anything that adds to the photo, ...


1

Everyone has to start somewhere. Considering you have a landscape background I guess you know your way around a camera which is always a good starting point and you mention understanding of light which is brilliant. But landscapes and portraits are very different. Firstly, with portraits there are many different styles, such as fashion, editorial, boudoir, ...


1

The most important factor in capturing a great cityscape, is to familiarise yourself with the subject. When does the sun create shadows that darken people, cars, lamp posts and unwanted items and highlight your main subject? From where does the sun rise and set? and at what times? What effect does this have on your image? When do the roads become busy?...


1

They are less rules and more guidelines. If you are inexperience with composition then following the guidelines and looking at how others followed or broke the rules will aid you in becoming a better photographer. Depending on the shot it may be better to not follow the rules, but until one is more experienced both shooting and having critically evaluated ...


1

The best way to know how, and when, to break the rule is to consume photography - eat up other people's works and develop your taste, find what you like and who you like. Soon, you'll develop your eye to the point where you know how to compose a scene to best do that subject the way you wanted it. The other suggestions are good, for giving you a general ...


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