Amateur Photography

I was reading tons of pages from fantastic photographers around the world who were sharing tips on photography. If I wasn’t writing so much, or  making bears, or obedience training puppies, or etc, etc, etc, I would be really learning how to take pictures well. But when I start to read blog posts like that, I feel guilty because I know I’m not getting my word count or other business done.

But I do want to learn.

Yesterday, I took an interesting couple of pictures of Lake Waco.  As you can see, I captured the sign in one shot and the lake in my side view mirror also, which I thought was really cool. I wasn’t sure if it would, but it’s cool that I did.

Lake Waco

Lake Waco

I was reading about “framing” the shot with obstacles or in some other manner and I thought this was a really unique way to frame the shot. I was driving. I don’t normally do things like this when I’m driving. There’s no place to get a shot of the lake like this that’s from up above it unless you have a home on the hill near there.

Lake Waco

Lake Waco

By this time, I was nearly beyond being able to view the lake, but got one more shot.

The other thing I was reading about, and have read about several times, but don’t think about it when I’m taking a shot, but will now try to think about it when I do, is breaking up the view into thirds and not centering the shot. Well, I didn’t have control over these shots, and they ended up being in the right frame to make them more interesting, so it worked!

Same thing about cropping. I often will have a lot more of a picture than just the object of my fascination. I need to make sure I keep the original version, and make a copy I crop from so I can see what a difference it will make to include or not include more of the picture. Yesterday, before I read the article, I had cropped “noise” out of a picture–stuff that detracted from the point of the photo, and it really does make a difference.

Another article mentioned taking a series of shots. I do that a lot already as you can see with my puppies and tell a story.

In this, yes, Tanner is smack dab in the center of the picture. But there’s so much clutter around him that it was the only way I could take the picture without him moving from that adorable pose.  So I experimented. Here are 3 cropped photos.

Life of a puppy

Life of a puppy

Tanner with more of the chair in the picture

Tanner with more of the chair in the picture

Tanner Snoozing on His Back

Tanner Snoozing on His Back with the Printer Cabinet in the Picture

By the rule of thirds, the 2nd two are better.  And though I was trying to keep the jogging board out of the picture, it really tells more of a story. You see, after he jogged, he fell into a tired heap and is sleeping off all that workout.

Or I could frame him with the desk on one side and the chair on the other, but then he’s in the center again.

Tanner framed (640x240)

Tanner centered between the printer and the chair

Which appeals more to you?

Okay, enough with playing around with photos. And back to my writing!

Have a super great Tuesday! It’s really hot here and I was thinking how really good the lake looked! 🙂


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

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4 thoughts on “Amateur Photography

  1. I think just the chair contributes more to your picture than any other so I like the second one. Photography is the hobby that so frustrates me because even though I am really, really interested I just have never been able to move it farther up the bucket list. I was slow to come into the digital world of pictures because I had some nice film cameras and resisted the notion that they were becoming obsolete. I still like to use them occasionally but have to admit that I have learned a lot from digital simply because it is so easy and cheap to experiment. My wee brain learns faster from trial and error than from reading. lol

    • Thanks, Tom! My dad was a photographer, developed his own pictures, and worked for the base newspaper when he wasn’t fighting wars. He had the best equipment of the time. But he was of the notion that you centered your subject. And reducing clutter was important to a picture. I can see that sometimes the clutter is what’s important to tell the story. And offsetting the primary object leads the eye to it and to the surroundings.

      Some things seem to come naturally, like seeing unusual things: the ancient Chaco ruins and the doorways leading into doorways into doorways. Or the view out a castle window, using the window to frame the shot. 🙂 And reflections. I love them and I love shadows.

      So he talked to me about some things, though he was also an artist,so was my mom, so they talked about perspective and issues like that. I’ve never had a good film camera so I was excited to start taking pictures of places and objects with a digital camera. Then I learned how a DSLR was even better. Then I saw what my friend could do with her new phone, and so I updated. I actually use so much less time on my phone than I was paying for that they changed my service to a lower rate and in less than a year, I’ll have the price of the phone upgrade in savings on my bill.

      I love to be able to upload the pictures and play with them, something I couldn’t do with regular film. And it was so costly and I’d have so many bad photos. On other trips I took with my mom, I so wished I’d had a good camera–for when we went to Greece and Grand Cayman Island. And tons of other places I visited with her.

      I’ll be going to Galveston one of these days, to Omaha again and the wildlife reserves that have wolves and the zoo, and to Scotland. So I have a new camera and need to learn how to use it before then. But I’m like you. I have to do things repetitively to learn how to do this so that it becomes just natural instinct. And the only way to do that is to practice. What I like about the articles is they show pictures of what works and what doesn’t. Some are just unbelievably gorgeous.

      This has page after page of fun articles. I have a time just reading, unless I can see vibrant pictures too to show me proof that it’s the way to go. 🙂

      But I really do need to learn to use some of the drier stuff to get those good shots–the difference in ISO and such. 🙂

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