Tag Archives: Practice

31 ways to use composition in your photography

A peregrine falcon swooping - Use composition to help your images look more appealing.

A peregrine falcon swooping - an image using the power of the Rule of Thirds. Use composition to place the eye on one of the intersections. This helps draw the eye into the shot.
Click to see large.

Use composition for a more successful image.

When we make a photograph what we like guides our capture. If you use Composition in your photograph it helps bring out the best of the subject. Getting the composition right is the way we grab the viewers attention. So it’s worth while knowing what composition is about.

I am sometimes asked “what is composition?”. That’s simple. Composition is the arrangement of the elements of the picture through conscious planning or framing of the shot.

On the “composition resources page” we have a whole range of links dedicated to composition (also look under “Subject/Articles” in the menu above). Each article will help you use composition to make great photographs.

Tips for Composition by Joe McNally

The video below gets the view of Joe McNally. He is an acclaimed photographer with over 30 years experience. He tells us some of his ideas about composition. He brings out some wonderful stuff.

Putting it into practice

Understanding what ‘composition’ means is not the same as actually being able to do it. To help you out I have designed a 31 day programme. Each day one subject is provided for you to photograph. Each of these subjects can draw out a composition to attract the eye. There is no right or wrong way to do it. But, it should be easy for you to work with each subject to use composition in a deliberate way.

The Photokonnexion 31 Day Photography Challenge

Day 1. Deep red
Day 2. An item of clothing
Day 3. Something with special meaning
Day 4. Night lights
Day 5. Pet eyes
Day 6. Love is…
Day 7. Candles
Day 8. Circles
Day 9. Many people
Day 10. Tree
Day 11. Light at dawn
Day 12. Silhouette
Day 13. Black and white
Day 14. Power
Day 15. High-tech
Day 16. Long shadows
Day 17. Strong blue
Day 18. Roads
Day 19. Your favourite room
Day 20. A good thing
Day 21. A bad thing
Day 22. Humour
Day 23. Jewellery
Day 24. Self portrait
Day 25. Fame
Day 26. Bird
Day 27. Change
Day 28. Distance
Day 29. Wooden
Day 30. Your love
Day 31. Open space

Have fun with your challenge. Use composition with each one to bring out the subject of your picture.

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Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is editor of Photokonnexion. He has professional experience in photography, writing, image libraries, and computing. He is an experienced, webmaster and a trained teacher. Damon runs regular training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’
By Damon Guy :: Profile on Google+.

World class motivational quotes for photographers

Sir Steve Redgrave giving a speech at a regatta

Sir Steve Redgrave giving a speech at a regatta.

Sir Steve Redgrave is an inspirational athlete.

Five times an Olympic Gold Medallist, he has plenty of experience to pass on to people who aspire to great things. He went on to get his fifth medal despite saying he was going to retire. In an article about another great sportsman Redgrave said…

Self-belief is probably the most crucial factor in sporting success. The bodies are roughly equal, the training is similar, the techniques can be copied, what separates the achievers is nothing as tangible as split times or kilograms. It is the iron in the mind, not the supplements, that wins medals.
Sir Steve Redgrave: Winning is all in the mind,
Daily Telegraph: 7:00AM BST 10 Oct 2009

World-class quotes to motivate photographers

“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”

    Henry Ford
• Stop talking about it – go take a photograph!

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

    Albert Einstein
• Imagine greater images! Technique will follow.

My secret is practice.

    David Beckham
• Practice, practice, practice, then do more! Your photography will improve!

Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.

    Oprah Winfrey
• Negative people will hold you back. Supporters will maximise your potential.

You miss 100% of the shots you never take.

    Wayne Gretzky
• Always carry a camera! ‘Nuff said!

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.

    Lauren Bacall
• Using your imagination to pursue great images will yield the greatest satisfaction and deepest meaning.

I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy.

    Marie Curie
• Learning photography, like anything else, requires time and effort.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

• Do it well and repeat it… you’ll soon become a quality photographer.

The reason why so little is done, is generally because so little is attempted.

    Samuel Smiles
• If you don’t try it, you won’t learn it.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

    Father James Keller
• Teach kids, friends, mother, aunt, enemy… everyone, about photography.

If you don’t have any critics, you probably don’t have any success either.

    Johan Bruynell
• Self assurance will get you past criticism – then move on to success.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.

• Dust off and get going again!

Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up.

• You have to start somewhere. Work on it and you’ll get there.

Life is like a camera, focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.

• That says it all!

A year from now you may wish you had started today.

    Karen Lamb
• Get your camera out. Do it now!

Five tips you must know to start photography

Essentials are simple…

The simple things make the biggest improvements. Concentrate on taking some simple steps and your photography will quickly improve. These tips will get you ahead when you start photography.

Tip 1. Solid base: The best ways to hold a camera for a sharp shot…

You can use the hand-held method for a lot of things. Using auto settings most simple shots come out right. There are many things you cannot do that way. A tripod helps. Most beginners disregard the tripod as an annoyance. They cannot be bothered with it. Actually, if you take time and get the shot right you will get the best results. The tripod is the best friend of results. No self respecting professional photog would be without one. If you are not using one then you are ignoring the simplest method to get sharp shots.

Tip 2. Daily use: In any sport, skill or hobby, improvement comes with practice, practice, practice. So, do some photography every day. Take at least one photograph every day. Sometimes many more. There is no better way to start photography. It helps to have somewhere to show off the results. Especially if you can get supportive and helpful comments back. There are some great places to post your shots on the web. Many of these places you can get helpful comments from other users too. Get your relatives to comment, even your kids. Do some photography every day and you will soon find friends, online or offline.

Tip 3. Always have your camera with you: I have a number of cameras. I always go out with at least one. If you have your camera with you, there is no excuse for ignoring it. If you use it you are practising. Simple!. Start photography the way you mean to go on… do a lot of it.

Art and interest in everything

Tip 4. There is art and interest in everything: Go for a walk, search your house, see a friend… these and more are scene creating events. I have friends who only ever take photographs in their home and local neighbourhood. They take great shots and have great fun. Look for interest in everything near where you are now. You will find something, probably lots of things. Have your camera with you and your eyes will be opened to a new world. If you see something you don’t have time to shoot, make a note of it. That’s one for another day!

• Lemon Juicer! • There is art and interest in everything. Even your everyday house-hold equipment. Start photography the way you mean to go on.

• Lemon Juicer! •
There is art and interest in everything. Even your everyday house-hold equipment.
Start photography as you mean to go on – do a lot of it.

Tip 5. Camera settings. Getting to know your camera will put you ahead of many other photographers. You might be surprised to learn that most DSLR owners never use anything but the ‘auto-mode’. If this is you too, then by learning more about your camera you can quickly learn to take pro-shots. Study the manual. Be objective. Try out one setting many times in many situations. Then, move on to another setting. Mastering your camera is the first step to becoming a master of the art of photography. It costs nothing to take a shot but learning the settings will repay your effort many times over. Experiment, have fun!

OK… 6 tips to start photography!

Tip 6. Ha! I slipped in an extra tip for free… In number 1. above I mentioned a proper stance. Well, if you practice every day with the proper stance (Simple tips for a good stance), you will find your shots get sharper. The act of repetitively holding the camera in the same position a few times every day when you start photography will build up muscles. You will quickly learn to get precise control using that position. Practice gives you body control, as well as improving your skill. The muscle memory you develop will help you react quickly and precisely in situations where you want to take shots. Particularly with disabled people or people with weak muscles, some really big improvements can be made by using the camera a few times every day. Your body responds well to all forms of exercise. Some of today’s cameras are not a trivial weight. If you expect to hold it properly and steady you must practice with your camera from the moment you start photography.

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photographer and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training courses to help you start photography.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.