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    Basic Photography Principles

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    Basic Photography Rules

    Rules are meant to be broken!

    If you intend to break a rule you should always

    learn it first to make sure your breaking of it isall the more effective!

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    Discussion points

    Rule of thirds

    Active Space Angles

    Background

    Contrast Fill your frame

    Framing

    Lines (SOLTAX) Number of objects

    Additional elements

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    The Rule of Thirds

    Divide into nine equal parts by

    two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines

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    The Rule of Thirds

    Place points of interest in the intersections or along thelines

    Peoples eyes usually go to one of the intersection pointsmost naturally rather than the centre of the shot

    Aligning a subject with the intersection points createsmore tension, energy and interest in the compositionthan simply centering the subject would

    What are the points of interest in the shot?

    Where am I intentionally placing them?

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    In this image the head of the subject is placed on one of the

    intersecting points - especially his eyes which are a natural

    point of focus for a portrait. His tie and flower also take up asecondary point of interest.

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    Active / Dead Space

    If the object is centered in the photograph, theres no balance forthe viewer.

    Create active space the area in which the subject is moving into

    A person facing left should be placed on the right allowing the

    person to look into the photo.

    If your subject (be it a person, dog, elephant, whatever) is facing acertain direction, the space should be given to that side

    Using the dead space behind your subject will capture the entirescene.

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    Angles

    Think outside the box and explore different angles

    If you were to get down onto the ground and angle yourcamera up and towards the subject, the result of thatphoto would portray superiority (youre looking up to it

    and emphasis the size of the object)

    If you angle down and towards the object, the end resultwill be that object is looking up to you (inferior).

    Try to use different angles in landscape photos.

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    Background

    A background can either make or break the overall resultof a photograph

    The wrong background can pull a viewers attention awayfrom the point of interest, distracting them and taking allthe flavour from the photograph

    Photographs present us with images in 2D, rather than3D.

    Before taking your photo, check your background to besure there are no people that shouldnt be there, coloursthat clash with your point of interest which will pull theeye from your subject or any other object that just

    doesnt belong.

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    Background

    If your background doesnt compliment your point ofinterest, consider:

    Moving your subject into a more appropriate position

    Waiting for the background to become more suitable(people getting out of the way, for example)

    Changing your position and shoot from an alternativeangle

    Filling your frame with the subject, eliminating thebackground completely

    Fade out your background by playing with your F-stops

    Photo-editing afterwards (Photoshop)

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    Contrast

    Creating contrast to enhance an image

    High contrast will create a vibrant, solid andloud image that will steal the attention of theviewer. Using blacks and whites with very little or no use

    of greys.

    Use opposite colours

    Low contrast will produce a warm and softimage, creating a soothing or mellow image. Use similar shades, very little difference from the

    darkest part of the photo to the lightest.

    Colours which are close to each other on thecolour wheel will create a low-contrast photo.

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    Contrasts

    Less is more. Bringing additional colours into the image willdecrease the level of contrast. The viewers attention will tend toshift away from your focal points when other colours are present.

    Ratio Impact. Having more of one contrasting colour will help

    your focal point stand out, as opposed to having equal amounts ofboth contrasting colours.

    A single red poppy set against a field of green will have greatercontrast and impact than a photograph of a poppy set against a

    sea of other poppies.

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    Fill f

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    Fill your frame

    Filling your frame with your point of interest will not onlyeliminate background distractions, it will also have a

    more intimate and significant impact on the overallresults of your photograph.

    Your photographs perspective holds a lot more strength

    if you physically move in closer to your subject.

    Features will become considerably more detailed andremarkable.

    Ask yourself what youre trying to illustrate and focus onthat.

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    F i

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    Framing

    A frame should correlate with the point of interest

    Depth of field should be considered when framing a subject. Wouldyour photograph look better with the frame or subject in focus, ormaybe both?

    Alternatively, a photograph may benefit by having the foreground

    (the frame) out of focus, while the subject is in focus.

    A frame doesnt necessarily need to completely surround thesubject, nor does it need to be in the foreground

    When deciding on a frame, think about using other compositiontechniques to further enhance your photo, such as contrast, textureand shape

    Using a frame that is darker than the subject will draw moreattention to the subject.

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    Forms and Lines

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    Forms and Lines

    SOLTAX

    Using lines and forms lead the eye to the point of interestand prevent the eye from wandering.

    More impressive outcome and stronger composition ifyour leading line begins at the corner of your photograph.

    Present diagonal lines from the bottom left of the photo tothe top right, this is because our eyes naturally scan fromleft to right. To prevent the photo from looking split, trypositioning your diagonal lines to begin slightly above or

    below the corner of the photo.

    Forms and Lines

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    Forms and Lines

    Keep vertical lines parallel with the sides of yourphotograph as much as possible

    Horizontal lines should be kept as horizontal aspossible, especially with water (sea, lake, etc.)

    S curves dont necessarily need to be S-shaped;any form of a winding line can be used. Some

    examples include rivers, streams, paths and eventhe human body.

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    Additional elements

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    Additional elements

    Primary numbers are stronger. Use 1 rather than 2,

    3 rather than 2 or 4, etc.

    Keep the corners and edges clean. Example: Treebranches should not touch the edge of the photo

    Eliminate distracting