Lesson #6: Basic Photography Composition

Photography Classes Online – Icon Photography School Forums Photography Lessons Lesson 6 Lesson #6: Basic Photography Composition

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    For this assignment I captured my sister-in-law trying to cross a busy street in Palo Alto, CA.



    Duncan Rawlinson

    Wonderful work.

    The objective of this assignment was for you to showcase your ability to simplify a photograph that wasn’t a macro or close up shot. The idea was to use limited color spectrums, limited objects, isolation, depth and space to help create and organized flowing photograph. You’ve accomplished that very well with this shot.

    That being said, there are a few small areas I want to draw your attention to. For starters, exposure is a big issue in photography. In small mistakes cause big problems. While the general exposure of your photograph is great, there is one small area that I find really distracting due to harsh lighting.

    Your subject’s forehead has a small area that is “burnt out” (also called “blown out”). This happens due to overexposure. The problem is that the digital information in that area is lost. It can’t be recovered in post production. It’s a common problem with digital cameras since they have a hard time with dynamic range. We’ve written an entire article about dynamic range and a digital cameras ability to capture latitude here. Please read this blog post. It’s incredibly valuable.


    My second concern is with the right wall of the photograph. You’ve just slightly amputated the back of the subject’s head and back with the right wall of the photograph. I think it would have been beneficial to bring in the entire subject rather than cutting off just a sliver of her back with the frame. I don’t find the head as much of a problem as I do the subject’s arm. The arm is cut off just slightly and therefore it looks unintentional. The head is fine, but still I would consider bringing in the entire body / head of the subject .

    Other than that, great photograph. I love the limited color palette, the use of lines and the shallow depth of field that helps you isolate your foreground while still using the background to provide context.

    Great work.

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