March Photo Tips_ Breaking Rules

March 01, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I always say you need to know the rules before you break them! But when you do, here are some exceptions:

1. Taking pictures in the Golden Hour around sunrise and sunset.  Requires more stamina and early to wake and late to dinner, but the light is gorgeous and an accepted rule for professional nature photographers.  Mid day is a challenge but the shadows create magical contrast and quiet more intimate scenes. There are lots of ways to counter the harsh light, but that is for another blog posting.  This is also a great time to shoot with an infrared converted camera. Always have your camera at hand, any time of day.Mid day arabian horseArabian Horse 2. Rule of Thirds.  This is a good start but not the only guideline for composition. It is essential however to not place the horizon line in mid image.  That is a snapshot, not a photograph. Avoid fly by shooting, where thought is not required. Slow down. Move and reposition. Back lite whalesBacklite Whales These Orca whales divide the scene but the dramatic back lighting and reflections overcome that restraint. These tomatoes are another example.tomatoesTomatoes at the market

3. Trust your TTL (Through the Lens) camera metering. Metering is set to put mid gray in the middle of the tonal range. Therefore, if your image is mainly white, this will be metered as mid gray. Thus, the resultant image will be midtoned and the snow, grey and not white.  For a largely white scene such as a snow scape or fog scene, when shooting in aperture priority, add +1 or more exposure comp. snowed in boat_-2 winter evergreen seedlingsWinter shaddows

4. All photos should have a bell shaped histogram and thus average.  Wrong. Every image should have its own shaped histogram depending on the tones in the image. A purely black and white zebra, will only have tones at both ends of the scales.  An image with dark to mid tones, like this cabbage and pepper abstract, will have a left shifted curve. There is NO NORMAL.cabbage and pepper abstractRed Cabbage 2 histogramHistogram

5. Always shoot with the sun to your back.  Most of the above images prove that wrong and boring. Nothing is as magical as back light and as revealing of texture as side light. Move and explore the potential of light.lion, backlight, in sunset, as silhoette The Lion Queen


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