How Focus Makes A Photo.
Lest my title give the false impression that I’m an expert when it comes to photography, let’s be sure to clear the air.
I am an amateur photographer at best.
And if there are levels of amateur, then I am near the bottom.
I do love photography.
And I am learning.
Even if it sometimes feels like I’m learning at a snail’s pace while I give my primary focus to raising teenagers. 🙂
I’ve participated in the weekly photo challenge every week this year so I can broaden my creative skills. When it comes to lighting, I still have a LONG way to go in understanding how to set the camera to capture the scene exactly as I see it.
And while I’m sure my composition doesn’t always follow the “rules”, I do tend to think about it a lot when composing a shot. The challenge theme this week is “focus”. Last week, I shared some photos of Doors of Edinburgh that I thought captured a detailed focus.
When I think about focus, I think about where I want to draw the eye.
Sometimes I follow the rule of thirds (the imaginary grid where you align the subject at intersecting points of a photo divided vertically and horizontally into thirds).
And sometimes I don’t.
There is a lot happening in the photo above.
Perhaps your eye begins at the ferris wheel, travels past the Eiffel Tower, then past the Luxor Obelisk, moves toward the foreground to the statue and lands on the girlie taking a photo of the Eiffel Tower at sunset. And of course, the colors of the sky and the setting sun appearing to light up the lampposts add to the ambiance for me.
Or perhaps it starts with the foreground with the girlie and the light from the phone and the lamppost and travel from right to left?
Tell me, which is it for you?
The shot above was also taken in Place de la Concorde. I used the wall to the Jardin des Tuileries and the lampposts to lead your eye down the journey that the girlie was contemplating.
While many of my flower shots tend to show my preference for a shallow depth of field, (which I think sets off the subject) given the events of yesterday, I decided to share some of my thoughts around my personal composition using only photos from my trip to Paris this past April.
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Never trust your fears. They don't know your strength. -Athena Singh . .I came back from the store today to hear the news about Paris. We were just there in April, staying less than 1/2 mile from the Champs Elysses when the shooting of that police officer happened. My first time overseas…and traveling with my children. This scene with my hubby pointing out sights to us as we crossed a bridge over the Seine. And then I was in Scotland when the terror occurred in London. I shared in a moment of silence with the country while sitting at a library in Airdrie doing genealogical research. And then there is today. I am beginning to hear people say they don't want to travel. I find myself wondering if I should listen to fear. But then I find strength. There is a magnificent world to see… in my back yard and beyond. . . . .#visitparis #passportready #optoutside #roamtheplanet #sheisnotlost #stayandwander #wearetravelgirls #doyoutravel #theglobewanderer #theoutdoorfolk #livefolk #liveauthentic #lifeofadventure #exploringtheglobe #exploretocreate #travelblogger #lifestyleblogger #modernoutdoors #pocket_allnature #rsa_outdoors #darlingescapes #fromwhereistand #thehappynow #loveparis #neverstopexploring #ipulledoverforthis #naturehippys #amazingtravelbeauty #water_captures
Even in the photo above, I like this shot because even though I’m not centered on the canal, there is something in the foreground (a hand in this case), leading your eye down the river.
If you’ve been following my blog for some time or even on Instagram, then you know that I have a love for framing a photo with something in the foreground. For me, it adds dimension to the photo. Since most of my photos are outdoors and I love nature, that tends to be what I use to frame the shot.
Here I took a photo of the Musée d’Orsay, which is located on the left bank of the Seine. We were walking to Notre Dame when I saw the building through a break in the trees and liked the way that it appeared.
Another reason that I often compose my shot with framing is that I’m trying to create a scene that is perhaps slightly different than the millions of photographers who have captured the same spectacular attraction.
A building is quite different than the sunsets I like to capture. The sunsets are fleeting and rapidly changing and it’s less likely that somebody will have a photo that looks just like mine.
In the photo above, I chose to frame Sacré Couer between the trees and the carousel that were located much closer to street level than the basilica itself.
Depth of Field.
I’m still playing quite a bit with depth of field and learning how I prefer my images to look.
This was taken the night after the shooting that took place while I was in Paris in April. We decided that we would not let fear hold us in our place. I had planned all along to visit Ladurée on the Champs-Élysées for their world famous macarons. So the hubby and I walked there, bought some, and returned to our hotel.
I decided to try my hand at a little creative photography.
A tripod would have been wise since I was shooting with only one hand…and my non-dominate one at that! 😉
Do you have a preference for a certain photography style?
Are you drawn to crisp mountain scenes?
The tranquility of long exposure waterfalls?
Bokeh (google this if you don’t know what it is… I had to not so long ago… it’s quite stunning and I typically only achieve it by accident at this stage in the process) in every photo?
Do you like a macro shot or a spanning vista?
Do you prefer architecture?
How about people?
Maybe, just maybe you are like me and love it all!
Also, something I quite often love about photography is that it says so much without saying a word.
Let your light shine!