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snaarman
22nd November 2016, 09:24 AM
Oo-er

I've been asked to talk to our newly formed church Photo Group about "Composition". The group is quite mixed with cameras that range from smartphones to great big Canons.

There's a lot to cover, when you think about it. I have given myself 50 example images and I'm going to attack the subject like this:

Content: You know what's in the picture (the subject) but what should not be in the picture? (the clutter)

Context: What else should be in the picture (the background gives the context)

Composition: The form of the picture. Landscape / portrait / rule of thirds / diagonals / contrasts / leading lines

Finally,

Other tricks: Breaking the rules. Converting to monochrome and sepia. Depth of field. Wide vs Telephoto. How to take pictures of people.

I wanted to skim the whole thing lightly, rather than stop half way through with rule of thirds and leave the rest of the subject untouched :-)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/622/1103221642010071.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/91233)

Hope it goes across OK

Pete

Bikie John
22nd November 2016, 09:28 AM
Sounds like a good way to cover it. I'm almost tempted to come along!

John

Zuiko
22nd November 2016, 09:57 AM
I think you will do a great job, wish I lived nearer so I could attend!

Phill D
22nd November 2016, 10:57 AM
Ditto from me, but a bit too far to get. Hey what about a podcast! whatever that is :D

OM USer
22nd November 2016, 11:03 AM
Sounds great. 50 example images may be a lot to cover though.

snaarman
22nd November 2016, 11:17 AM
Sounds great. 50 example images may be a lot to cover though.

Hmm. I hope it goes well. Fortunately I am among friends, and it will be a small turn out.

I'm reminded of a "slide show" my Dad took me to in Plymouth, 1966 or so. I think it was done by Tom Molland who ran the proper camera shop in town. The darkened hall was full of wannabe photographers. After the spoken intro, he set about showing slides using two Kodak carousel projectors with cross fade*

No commentary, just some music. The slides were on screen for less than 15 seconds before the next fade. Just long enough to be wowed, and take in the amazing image, then move to the next one.

That's the way to do it :-)

I don't plan to dwell on most of the images for long, just enough to point out the principle, or the mistake...

P

*Hmm. Maybe he had two pairs of projectors so the next pair could be loaded with the next set of slides. I do remember they were some of the best images I had seen at the time.

sapper
22nd November 2016, 11:29 AM
Hope it goes well for you Pete.

snaarman
22nd November 2016, 11:46 AM
Here's my bullet list for the talk. Maybe I have missed something, what do you think?

(As you see from the photo above)

1 Content. What is supposed to be in the picture? What shouldn't be there? Apart from the usual trees growing out of heads, check round the viewfinder edges for unwanted intrusions and distractions.

2 Context. The background can tell you something about the subject. A picture of a cat on a pavement is very different from a picture of a cat on a pavement with the Eiffel Tower in the background!

3 Composition. The rule of thirds of course. But also using diagonals and leading lines to draw the viewer in to the picture. (Or drive them round the bend perhaps :).
People in motion are best shown walking in to the picture not out of it.
What is it with selfies? Here's me not looking at the Taj Mahal, here's me not looking at the Grand Canyon... (grrr)
Use contrasting brightness or colour to create punch, so put your rose against a black background if possible, put that red poppy against a green grassy background.
Try framing that view using overhanging branches at the edge of the frame (despite rule 1 above)
Is there something in the foreground? If not, should there be?
Can you make the sky a valuable part of the picture?

4 Other more advanced tricks
How about images that contrast smooth with rough?
Using shallow depth of field to pull the subject forward from the background.
Use deep DoF for those big landscape wide shots.
Long exposures when they are needed for water etc.
Learn to use exposure compensation.
Turn the flash off at night. Turn it on in sunlight :-)

benvendetta
22nd November 2016, 12:56 PM
Hmm. I hope it goes well. Fortunately I am among friends, and it will be a small turn out.

I'm reminded of a "slide show" my Dad took me to in Plymouth, 1966 or so. I think it was done by Tom Molland who ran the proper camera shop in town. The darkened hall was full of wannabe photographers. After the spoken intro, he set about showing slides using two Kodak carousel projectors with cross fade*

No commentary, just some music. The slides were on screen for less than 15 seconds before the next fade. Just long enough to be wowed, and take in the amazing image, then move to the next one.

That's the way to do it :-)

I don't plan to dwell on most of the images for long, just enough to point out the principle, or the mistake...

P

*Hmm. Maybe he had two pairs of projectors so the next pair could be loaded with the next set of slides. I do remember they were some of the best images I had seen at the time.

Pictures 2 Exe is the modern equivalent of a 'slide' show. Much better in fact!

Ricoh
22nd November 2016, 01:15 PM
Check out Eric Kim for all relevant info, including tips for composition.
Turn up, give a quick overview, then send them packing with a reading list.
One week later test 'em.

tomphotofx
22nd November 2016, 03:22 PM
Best of luck Pete, I think 50 images is too many I'd be inclined to cut it down to 15-20 and then show the before and after images illustrating the point and most importantly don't forget to show how light and shade can make an ordinary photo into a wow photo. I know its more work in the preparation but I'm sure the audience would appreciate it.

Tom

iso
22nd November 2016, 06:56 PM
We all have a ‘view’ about how we view things through the viewfinder – your Notes look very good to me. As you suggested in earlier parts of the Post, have to keep the pace going and, everything is in the voice delivery. Don’t get too technical and do take the Micky out of yourself, I think that puts audiences at their ease – less of a lecture, more ‘fun to go and try’. Ignore the Canikons, unless they are +60% of those there – in which case just zap them with how good Olympus MFT is and how they are dinosaurs.

snaarman
25th November 2016, 09:02 AM
Well:

Some lessons from last night's talk...

Ten of us there, and a much higher percentage of experienced camera users than last month, so I had to tweak my presentation on the fly.

The first part of the evening over-ran somewhat leaving me with less time than I felt I needed (ha! the cry of after dinner speakers everywhere I bet).

Worst of all, the projector gave pictures a very slight cold green tint which took the edge off things. It was only obvious to me because I could see the lovely warm image on the laptop screen but the projected images were all a bit disappointing.

Anyway, I galloped through my 50 images and made my points in about 30 minutes. No one threw any rotten fruit, there wasn't a fight and nothing caught fire, so I count that as a success...

The projector thing needs looking at though.

Pete

DerekW
25th November 2016, 11:31 AM
The projector colour calibration should be able to be handled in the SW of your computer just as you can for the regular screen calibration process. If you are going to do a lot of projector aided talks it might be worthwhile getting a calibration sensor for projectors or always have a standard image that you know how it should appear and use that to adjust the colour calibration for the projector.