Words & Pictures By Saifuddin Ismailji
So, what does it take in photography to bring a sense of order to chaos, or to find order in the ordinary!
In the vocabulary of photography it’s simply called: That Eye of a Photographer – the inner talent with an implied knowledge of basic rules in photography and applied classic design principles. And more presently, digital photography has given unlimited freedom in the form of graphic art to manipulate an image with available software applications such as Photoshop.
Photography is all about changing your perspective of looking at things and when necessary, breaking away from the basic rules only to applying these in an iconoclastic manner. Digital photography is the creativity that you can engage into binary coded graphic-photography.
It is essential that you know your Digital Camera and what is your need.
If you wish to really take up digital photography seriously, you ought to go for a DSLR instead of a point-to-shoot. A DSLR boot-up faster, has more accurate view finder to see through the lens and has the ability to switch from auto to manual focus with a better and sharper zoom capability. A larger aperture (F4) in a DSLR (while compact camera usually limited to 5.6.) achieves a better depth of field or narrow depth of field (when manipulating back ground). When you choose an SD card (or similar picture loader card) it is recommended that it is not more than 32GB that may increase the chances of data corruption. Also it is safer not to store data in the SD card to maximum limit.
Once you’ve got your image from the camera on your computer you can then enhance image with the application of Photoshop. With the knowledge and basic training in the applications of Photoshop, all kinds of effects can be achieved to make your shots look any number of ways. You can create a dull sky into a multi-colored sunset, sharpen the picture, adjust color, darken or lighten the density or even convert your color images (full or a selected part) into monochrome with a single click. Advanced application allows you to drag and paste say, fireworks from firework image to the main image or use creative filters to create a storm in a tea cup.
As in conventional photography, digital photography is however, at the mercy of basic and classical principles in the art of photography. Without applying these you will never achieve a winning image.
Classic Design Principles:
-Color: To create a mood. When you take a picture to give a feel of a misty morning, you will be looking for some sharp colors in the foreground throwing the background out of focus to attain a better misty effect. And when doing a portrait of a child, the bright colored apparel will set a mood of a cheerful picture.
-Lines: Lines can be horizontal, vertical, converging, diagonal, curved or implied and lines give sense of depth and distance. Taking a photo of a long road into infinity, you need to stand in the center of the rad to attain the converging line, thus giving the result of an infinite road. A lofty mountain or a tall building would fit well in a vertical line picture while panels of colorful beds of flower in a farm would appear more appealing in a horizontal line.
-Space: Allowing space around the main subject will have the main subject to appear bigger or smaller. Proper spacing also makes a good cover photo for writing in the space on the side and top of the picture.
-Shapes and Forms adds dimension into an image. Shapes can be two dimensional while form can be a single subject like a building. To give maximum depth and bringing out the shape of the building, your creative angle will do the trick and perfection and mastery will come after trial and error. Distortion can be
-Texture: Perhaps the most challenging aspect in photography is to capture the texture of a product. Texture is best achieved through enhanced light condition either strong day light or artificial light.
Our eyes love pattern as it suggests luminescence and tempo. These patterns are composed of design elements – all that appeals to the eyes just like harmony and rhythm in music appeals to our ears.
Scan through your eyes and you will find patterns everywhere in our natural or man-made environs. To be a master in using patterns in photography, you need to use different lenses and experiment with them.
Look out for strong visual elements that bear repetitive patterns either regular or irregular.
We see in our daily lives regular patterns, which can be in the forms of uniformed parade, a queue of duplex houses in varied colors or the weave of a cane chair. Than we perceive Irregular patterns, which are not necessarily geometric or precisely symmetrical like strips on a tiger, the spots on reticulated giraffe and even feathers on a bird.
We also see patterns in Even Colors when looking up the sky a fleet of Siberian ducks flying in the sky in a distinct order, or a particular flower in a nursery, or patterns on the skin of a crocodile. And if you cannot see the patterns as in the foregoing, you will have to change your angle and point of view over how you see things around you – creatively. In some instances when a pattern looks too flat or uninteresting like a farm of white roses, the particular pattern can be interrupted by simply introducing a prop, like a red rose at one of the “rule of thirds” intersections. This is called “breaking a pattern”. With your digital camera you can manipulate your image with the application of Photoshop, simply by changing the color of one of the similar object to break away a continuous pattern.
The Rule of Thirds is perhaps the foundation of photography. The rule requires your inner imagination to divide the view finder into 3 divisions each –vertically and horizontally. You have to then place the various elements of your subjects at the ‘correct” intersecting points. Where you place in order the various components of the subject at each of the intersecting point will make or break your photograph.
The other rules that help taking better images are:
– Framing: using objects in natural surrounding or placing a prop to frame the main picture to make it appear dramatic, for instance shooting a scene through branches of a tree.
– Composing: In principle, take the whole picture in your camera. What you miss out cannot be added back but later you can crop it to a pleasing composition.
– Bracketing (exposure): Although exposure of the picture is now easily done on Photoshop however at source, check your meter reading in the camera. Take a reading while looking at the bright light (+) in the scene and take another reading while pointing your camera towards the less brighter light (-). Average these and shoot to achieve accurate exposure.