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Learn about composition in photography through different examples.
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Shawn: Welcome back to part two, more of the BMX feature later. But now I’m joined by Steve Hart, he’s going to offer some pointers on these three images. Steve. Steve: Hi Shawn. Shawn: And so, what is important about the composition of the first image. Steve: Okay, what we want to bring attention to is to the girls face. So we’ve been creative about the use of depth to field here, the photographer has really brought in to sharp her eyes and her face but blurred out the rest of her body. And we can do that by adjusting the aperture of the lens, bring it wide open to give us a shallow depth to field and also by moving the lens closer to the subject that will also decrease the depth to field and blur out her body. Shawn: So now we think the girl’s about eleven years old, so how do you actually pose an eleven year old girl? Steve: Well Shawn, I’m sure you can remember when you’re an eleven and you don’t want to be the little girl. Shawn: No. Steve: You want to be seen as older and here we’ve got a slightly adult pose but is not overly feminine. It’s not that soft, we do have some strength in character and particularly I’m thinking about how her face is held on to her chin. Shawn: Yes. Steve: And having the hard knuckles there, we normally want to try and stop that with the feminine pose and soften it. But here we really have strength the character, but that also shows I think that moving over from a child to the adolescence. Shawn: So what about the lighting in this picture? Steve: Well I understand from the photographer, I spoke to him, that he did want slightly more modeling than he’s got in this picture. Looking at the catch lights in her eyes, it seems that we’ve got a light to camera left and we almost got a light to the camera right as well lighting her hair as well. Now to really add modeling we don’t need such a flat lighting, we want some shadow falling across her face. So perhaps we would light from camera right, maybe put a black baffle on our left to really soak up that light and particularly if you’re shooting in a white room, that light is gonna bounce around everywhere and give you this really flat lighting. So, we want something to soak up that lighting and give us some depth of shadow and model that face. But on here it’s given us this nice broad flat lighting, so it’s really clear, we can see her, see the subject. Shawn: Okay, that was great. So let’s have a look at our image number two. Steve: Well this is interesting, coz it follows on quite nicely moving to an older girls, so of all the teens, early 20’s. And again it’s more of a fashion image rather than a portrait given us some quite strong character there in terms of her pose. We have broken some of the rules, particularly on portrait sense. The way that her hands is moving towards the camera give us some foreshortening, so the proportions look little bit odd, round her hand into her arm. But here’s being use to create an effect. We’ve also got the point of view of the camera is quite low, so we’re actually looking slightly up at the model as well and really gives that bold strong stance looking down at the lens, which also close the eyes slightly. If you’re looking down, you’re just gonna bring your eyelids down, whereas with the younger girl have nice big bright eyes. Shawn: Yeah. Now this photo is also shot outdoor, so obviously this affects the lighting because it’s natural light well than studio lighting. Steve: Yeah, in the studio it’s fantastic and that it can control all the lighting. Here we’ve got the ambient light, the sun light, got some of them, we got some nice shadow there in the background. But it’s the wrong side of our subject t really light our subject, so we’ve used some field flash to really good effect here to light up the subject and balance that with the ambient light. Shawn: Now talking of outside images, let’s have a look at number three, which I personally think is a great picture, I love it. Steve: It’s a fantastic angle of view. We’ve got this child being held up against that blue sky, it looks fantastic. And we got some quite interesting creative effects going on here as well. Shawn: So can you go into any more detail about how you create this image? Steve: Well we’ve got shooting into the sun, we actually got the sun in the image, which is something we wouldn’t normally do. It’s gonna, if you just leave your camera in automatic mode, it will give you really silhouetted picture, you’re not gonna see your subject. So we’ve lit the subject and have the child lit by flash, which is fantastic, but we got this blue contrast sky behind as well. And so that we need, and this one it looks like probably about half a stop difference between the subject and the sky, so you have to be quite careful about what metering mode we choose and pump that flash shot to really light the subject and give us that difference. Shawn: And what are the technical aspects of this photo? Steve: Well we’ve also got some flare going on by having the sun in the picture and that is something that we normally look to avoid. But here it’s being use to assume good creative effect. So we got the flare going across, but do need to be careful when we’re shooting into the sun, because that flare would reduce contrast within the image. But here it’s been handled well and been used to really good effect. Shawn: Well thank you very much Steve, that was great.