Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Process of Elimination

*Warning* These are not my most impressive photos ever, but they are perfect for illustrating my points and since I learn and remember what I learn best by writing out what I am learning, you are stuck with them.

Ever since I took 30 photos of Sunflower with a plant for hair, I've known of the need for conciously eliminating distracting elements in my photos (though I didn't know of fancy names for it!)
Sure I blamed it on my brother-in-law's landscaping and I took similar poses 3 weeks later (really, I did!).  Now I can convert the photo to black and white and make you think that my baby just has some spectacularly spiky hair, but...
that doesn't fix the other problems.  Now two years later, I am actually "into" photography and with three kids, a ton of toys, and baskets of unfolded laundry, I am often scooting around and zooming in close to eliminate the ugly distractions.  Maybe that is why I LOVE close-ups!  But other times I am still finding myself with a sneaky basket or yellow slide in the background of an otherwise adorable picture.  That is why I am so thankful for Kat's willingness to freely share the different things that go into enhancing a photo or bring more interest to it's composition.  Each exploring the camera topic has been eye opening and I know will ultimately improve my photography.

Here is one example of what she taught us last week that I practiced at the beach on Saturday--actively thinking about what she had said.

The first shot:
A shot of my family playing in the sand, but look at all those extra people!  So I got a little closer and a little lower.
Good enough for a family snapshot which is the main purpose of my photos currently, but I thought lets get rid of just a little more.
Too bad Sunflower was trying to eliminate herself from the picture while I squatted down further.  Though I do love this photo (even if her arms are a little overexposed); it just is completely different now!

So since I did want the more cohesive group sand shot, even though Sunflower is still the only one really in focus, I took Kat's second advice for eliminating things~crop the photo~and I cropped the second photo.
I don't really see the point of cloning or healing out any part of this photo (though I might need to work on exposure some if I plan to print this :)), but I promise you I have to clone way too often because I don't think about my framing as carefully as I should.  Thank you, Kat, for the reminder!

So there you have it, one person's process of elimination and how that can change the whole look of a photo, for good or for bad!


Photobucket

17 comments:

elizabeth said...

Don't you just love learning more...I do too, except I find myself wanting more too, better lenses, etc. Anyway, your photos are lovely. Thanks for your kind comment at my place.

Leanne said...

Great job. I like your final shot- with Sunflower in the foreground and your family busy in the sand behind. Lovely & natural.

Marty's Fiber Musings said...

Yes,this has been a joyful week eliminating....I'm still thanking Kat too. Fun family memories on the beach. Great!

Cheryl said...

Your last shot is my favorite...I like the DOF...the family is there but your focus on Sunflower is perfect. You captured a moment in time...love it.

Kat Sloma said...

Cedar, these are fantastic examples. It feels a bit like sharing the dirty laundry to show the intermediate shots, doesn't it? At least that's how I felt when I wrote my post, but it really helps everyone learn more to see the principles in action. You did a fabulous job of eliminating the busy background and creating a great family portrait of the day at the beach. And the spiky baby hair - love it! I've so been there! Thanks so much for linking these in to Exploring with a Camera.

Susan said...

Great job. Love the plant hair! :-) I really liked the feel of the second to the last one (where Sunflower is running off the picture) As far as exposure and grouping, I’d have to go with the last one. Looks like a fun course!

Stasha said...

Love these. Hey, you got the beach all to yourself ;)

Jennifer said...

Call me crazy, but I find that I truly do love the look of the chopped off top of the head.
I am not exhibiting sarcasm here...I have decided it is just part of the way I "see" things, so of course that second to last appeals to me!!!
Nice lesson learned.

Chic Homeschool Mama said...

I love these shots from the beach!! Thanks for the reminder that I need to go check out the topic on her blog so I can start preparing for Sunday.

Leckeres für Mensch und Katze - Goodies for a pleasant life said...

Beautiful photos :)

Deborah L. Tisch said...

Cedar,
I really enjoyed your examples here and how you worked to get the image you wanted. The last one is such a great family photo, and I hope you do print and frame it someday!

Michelle Renee said...

Cedar, thanks for sharing this post. It's a good reminder to think about creating the kinds of images we want instead of just clicking away. I love the second photo from the bottom where she's running out of the frame.

Terri Morse said...

I love the photos of Sunflower's adorable "bad hair day"! Sometimes those unfortunate accidents are sweet. Hugs, Terri

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

You did a great job zeroing in and eliminating those pesky background people! Looks like you had a great day at the beach.

Terrie said...

What an excellent series of shots showing your thought process for framing the shot. Working with moving kids makes it even harder, but I really like your end result. It's hard to remember everything, isn't it?

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