Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to Take a Better Photo

I've been learning some wonderful things through a couple of workshops here at there...a little online, a little at the Canon workshops at the national parks, and I'm excited to apply some of these things towards digital scrapbooking.

Everybody who does photography talks about "composition", "telling a story" and getting meaning from your surroundings in your photos, or "context"...It's easier to remember this, for me, as "the three C's"...composition or context, characters, and close up--all of these things are mentioned in Elizabeth Dillow's Big Picture Workshop class--Photo Challenges. Being a former special ed teacher, it reminds me of the three R's--reading, writing, and 'rithmetic. I can remember context, closeup & characters easily this way. I see this mentioned all over the digital scrapbooking world. Debbie Hodge, of Get It Scrapped! is another great resource for these principles and more in scrapbooking, both digital and paper.

When I used to take photos, I just snapped away..I never thought about what was in my photo, other than people, I never thought about the message I wanted to see after I came back to the photo later, I never thought about focusing in tightly to something at the moment and then backing off to take another photo perspective. But things started to change when I started traveling. At that point, I hadn't had any exposure to photography classes. I just had my little point and shoot, I didn't have a fancy camera. But now, my focus seemed to change in my photos. I started paying attention to the little details, how the sun hits a leaf early in the morning...dew on a spider's web, kids playing in their own little world, an architectural detail and I started naturally paying closer attention to telling my story. It was only natural that starting a blog would follow.

And so, a little over two years ago, I started my travel blog, "Where's Eldo?", and just this past year, and this craft blog.  I knew I didn't want to have the typical landscape photo after photo after photo in the travel blog. I wanted more from my photos, not realizing that I was becoming a storyteller...And now, being introduced to the wonderful world of online classes, many free or inexpensive, I can develop my skills further, hopefully! 

Here's a photo of where I tried to show context in the large photo--we were at the beach, and I was looking through the little cabana tent are always great characters, and the closeup of the crazy orangy red flower umbrella makes it all come together! I just got lucky that the lime green in the little boy's outfit is repeated in the flower beach umbrella.
The collage was made through a free online website called Big Huge Labs. Fun place to do some fun things with your photos! 

I am really loving these experiences I'm having with online photography classes. It's perfect for a full time traveler to learn new things! I have to watch myself or I could be online all day learning about this stuff. As it is, I try to wait for a rainy day so I don't miss the great big beautiful outdoors!

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