creative composition

Good Exposure vs. Creative Exposure

With today's digital cameras, getting a good exposure is much easier than it was with film cameras. But getting a creative exposure still offers the same challenges - and rewards. That's one of the things I talk about in my brand new Kelby Training class, Light - the main element in every photograph.

Here are a few slides from the class that illustrate that concept.

Above: The picture on the top right is correctly exposed. The lighting, however, is not that creative. The picture on the bottom right is more creative, because the entire subject is not lit. Tip: for creative portraits, don't light the entire subject.

Above: the natural light picture on the right is correctly exposed, but you can't see the subject's eyes. The picture on the left is a daylight fill-in flash shot; we can see the subject's eyes. Adding some light made for a more creative exposure. Also, balancing the light from the flash to the ambient light created a natural-looking picture - one that does not look like a flash picture.

Above: The picture on the left is an HDR image. The mood of the scene is ruined, although as far as HDR images go, the entire dynamic range of the scene is recorded. The picture on the bottom right is more creative. It's a combination of natural light and added light . . . the light from our guide's Jeep. It's a more creative exposure. The point: HDR is not always the answer.

Above: These two pictures from South Beach also illustrate the difference between a good exposure and a creative exposure. Using a long shutter speed turned a snapshot (good exposure) into a cool shot (creative exposure).

Wherever you shoot, think about how you can turn a good exposure into a more creative exposure. I talk about shooting in a variety of locations in the class.

Explore the light,

P.S. If you like my Light class, I think you'll also enjoy my composition class, Composition - the strongest way of seeing.

Photographers Need to Be "Nearsighted" and "Farsighted"

© Rick Sammon
Composition is the strongest way of seeing.

When we see and compose our pictures, we need to be both "nearsighted" and "farsighted" – paying close attention to the foreground and background elements in a scene (and, of course, everything in between).

In the above photograph, the near element adds to the sense of depth of the image. In the photograph below, the far element adds an extra sense of interest to the photograph.

© Rick Sammon
Both photographs illustrate careful and creative composition.

For more on composition, see my Kelby Training class: Composition - the strongest way of seeing.

You'll also notice the great depth of field in both images, taken with my Canon 24-105nm IS lens on my Canon 5D Mark III.

For max depth of field:
- use a wide-angle lens
- set a small aperture
- focus 1/3 into the scene.

I teach creative composition on all my workshops. I hope you can join the creative fun.

I also teach how to see the light - which I discuss in several of my apps.

Explore the light,

I created these black and white images in Nik Silver Efex Pro - one of the creative plug-ins I use.