Lesson 6 Assignment

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    I made this photo while shooting the local Memorial Day parade. What caught my eye is the line in the street that leads the viewer to the almost symmetrical triangle shape of the marching legs of the Marine soldiers.
    As always, thanks for your feedback.


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    Duncan Rawlinson

    Hi John,

    Thanks for sending in another assignment.

    First things first, let’s take a look at the exif data on the image.


    Date Time Original: 2014:05:24 10:23:27
    Exposure Time: 1/500
    F Number: f / 2.80
    Exposure Program: Shutter priority
    ISO Speed Ratings: 320
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
    Focal Length: 80mm
    White Balance: Manual white balance
    Make: Canon
    Model: Canon EOS 6D
    LensInfo: 70/1 200/1 0/0 0/0
    LensModel: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
    LensSerialNumber: 0000000000
    Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
    Exif Version:
    Color Space: 1
    Date Time Digitized: 2014:05:24 10:23:27
    Subsec Time Original: 00
    Subsec Time Digitized: 00
    Shutter Speed Value: 8.97
    Aperture Value: 2.97
    Max Aperture Value: 3
    Focal Plane X Resolution: 1520
    Focal Plane Y Resolution: 1520
    Focal Plane Resolution Unit: 3
    Custom Rendered: Normal process
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    Saturation: Normal
    ExifIFDPointer: 234
    X Resolution: 240
    Y Resolution: 240
    Resolution Unit: 2
    Date Time: 2014:05:26 21:37:20
    Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.4 (Windows)
    Artist: John Boccanfuso
    DateCreated: 2014-05-24T10:23:27.00

    You’ve done a nice job here of simplifying your scene and turning something seemingly chaotic into something simple. So that part of the assignment you’ve done really well. However, there are a few things you could do to improve the composition of the image and content of the image

    For one thing if you are going to shoot something that is symmetrical go all the way and make it symmetrical. Break the rule of thirds if you feel it’s appropriate. Another option here would be to compose your image in such a way as to give more lead room. I have cropped a couple examples of other ways to shoot this exact same thing.

    As always remember the fundamentals of getting nice and tight on things. Always get closer than you think.

    One more little note would be when there is very strong horizontal lines you need to make sure you’re level. (notice the difference in the images I attached)

    A final note would be to remember that in photography it’s almost always a good idea to show people’s faces. In this case you might have been able to get away with shooting in portrait and including their entire bodies.

    I like what you are trying to do here and your idea is good. Sometimes it’s just a matter of working the scene. In fact I recommend you watch a video by Scott Kelby on this very topic:

    Nice work here, see you on the next assignment.

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    Thanks, Duncan. Thanks for the video link as well, very helpful.
    It was very chaotic shooting the parade. I was running up and down the length of it to get shots from different view points, so I wouldn’t have the same background in every shot. Here is another that I took of the Marines, which shows their faces. Looking back, I should have not cut the top of the flags off, but will be more aware of that in the future.

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    Duncan Rawlinson

    Ah yes, the chaos of the event!

    It’s always easy to get caught up in the excitement of whatever you are shooting. Your senses are overloaded with information and there is often just too much going on.

    One little trick that I’ve found useful in this scenario is just take a deep breath and ask myself a simple question:

    What is genuinely unique and interesting about this particular situation?

    The subtext being, what shoot I shoot here that has either never been shot before or will never be replicated again? Often that’s simple enough to make you laser focus on what’s really the good stuff. In almost every environment there is something unique or special.

    Do you see how your image with the faces is superior as a photograph. There is a emotion and a a sense of pride on their faces. In your image with just the legs there are some neat shapes and simple lines going on but a soldier’s emotive face is much more interesting…

    What’s more, I actually don’t mind the cropping of the flags. I would rather you be tight on a subject and crop something that the viewers brain can just fill in.

    Don’t forget to add some lead room if there is a general sense of direction to an image.

    Also think about your backgrounds where possible. This is another weird trick or mental tool I use when shooting. I always think about how in the movies the action hero is trying to shoot the bad guys and hes like “I can’t get a clear shot”

    I don’t mean to suggest to mentally visualize that you are “shooting” people, but for some reason thinking about “shooting bad guys” makes me always remember to clean up my backgrounds. It’s weird but it works for me!

    A final note here would be to take note of the red colors in this photos. Often digital cameras blow out the reds and sometimes you have to underexpose a little so they don’t appear oversaturated.

    Alternatively in Lightoom you can use the HSL / Color / B & W section of the develop module and bring things down a little. If you click the little circle in the top left of that section of the tool you can then click and drag right on the image on the color you need to adjust. This is a tool that can be very overused so use this with a light touch.

    Play around in there and watch what it does in the luminance section as well.

    Keep up the good work!

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