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Thread: Photo Assignment: Weekend 9/22/07

  1. #1
    SNC1923
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    Photo Assignment: Weekend 9/22/07

    Yikes! People are heading out of town and need an assignment. Sorry to keep you all waiting. Last week's assignment had a good turnout, thanks to those willing to share their work and give all of us an opportunity to learn a thing or two (myself included). Thanks to boxergrrlie for helping with commentary.

    Here's the rules:

    --Photos have to be shot this weekend, Fri, Sat, or Sun.
    --You must provide the EXIF information if asked (we'll help you, if you'd like to know how to get it)
    --No photoshop alteration (we're looking to improve your skills with your camera, not software)
    --Your photograph must adhere to the theme, which will be described below.
    --Post your photos in this thread only. DO NOT start a thread in reply to this assignment.
    --Post only one photo per post, so that commentary can be easily provided for that photo.
    --And, the most important rule - Have Fun! We're looking to spread the joy that many of us derive from taking pictures, particularly ones that tell a story of some kind.


    This week's theme: "Balance."

    This could be an item, a composition, a stage in life, a color study, what you want. . . . Or many other interpretations. We were thinking it might be nice to make some of our "Photo Challenges" instructive for those trying to improve their picture taking. So this week, we invite you to work on composition (this is optional). Try to consider the "rule of thirds" or the "golden mean" when taking the picture for this week's assignment. Commentators will focus on this consideration when providing feedback on the photos.

    For more information about RuleX3 or the Golden Mean, see Photo Composition Articles.

    Here are two brief explanations from the Navy Training Manual, of all places (Hi, Paul!).



    "Sometimes good composition is obtained by placing the center of interest in the geometrical center of the picture; it is generally not a good idea to place it there. Too frequently it divides the picture into equal halves and makes the picture uninteresting and difficult to balance. By dividing the picture area into thirds, both vertically and horizontally, and locating the center of interest at one of the intersections of the imaginary lines, you can usually create a feeling of balance to the composition."



    "In photographic composition there are two general guides for determining the best location for the center of interest. The first is the principle of thirds. The other is dynamic symmetry. In the principle of thirds, the intersection of lines that divide the picture area into thirds are marked by O’s. These intersections are good locations for the center of interest in most photographs. Notice we said THE center of interest. Remember, have only one center of interest to a picture-keep it simple. The principle of dynamic symmetry is a similar idea. A good location for the center of interest is found by drawing or imagining a diagonal line from one corner to an opposite corner. Then, draw a second line perpendicular to the first from a third corner (fig. 5-6). The intersections of the lines are the location for the center of interest."

    Below are two humble examples from my own photos.



    The Golden Mean: This is a shot of my friend Brad riding Hwy 12 in Utah. This composition conforms pretty well to the idea of the "golden mean." The subject is in a sweet spot, allowing for an interesting, eye-leading background.



    The Rule of Thirds: This is a shot of my wife's big casino win. It seems to conform well to the idea of the rule of thirds (though you can see my lines are not perfectly divided into thirds; it's a good, rough estimate). Her face is the subject (or is it the money?), again allowing me to do something interesting with the background, in this case, telling the story of where the money came from.

    As BeerTeam mentioned already this week, this isn't a competition as much as a showcase and an opportunity to receive feedback and reflect on your shooting style and technique. If you'd like to try something with composition, go for it. If not, post a picture anyway. You never know what you might find. Some of my best pictures are accidents.

    As before, photography ends Sunday at Midnight. Please post your photos no later than Wednesday, midnight--try for earlier.

    Good luck, have fun, and happy shooting!
    Last edited by SNC1923; 09-22-2007 at 05:02 AM. Reason: add composition basics

  2. #2
    REBECCAV
    Guest
    Count me in! Thanks for keeping this going Tom.

  3. #3
    RandallIsland
    Guest
    Finally replacing the throttle cable tomorrow morning, then, I'm in too.

    I had a freaky-deeky throttle stickage issue, on the test run, this night up the hill.
    Whew!

    But tomorrow, wherever I end up, I'll get some more balance...

  4. #4
    belquar
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by RandallIsland View Post
    Finally replacing the throttle cable tomorrow morning, then, I'm in too.

    I had a freaky-deeky throttle stickage issue, on the test run, this night up the hill.
    Whew!

    But tomorrow, wherever I end up, I'll get some more balance...
    Glad your back on the road man. That was a pretty long break.

  5. #5
    RandallIsland
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Belquar View Post
    Glad your back on the road man. That was a pretty long break.
    Thanks. And you damn skippy right!

  6. #6
    SNC1923
    Guest
    Added some info on composition basics for anyone interested. Others on the board knowledgeable about such things, please feel free to chime in.

  7. #7
    It's also important to frame the subject. While the first photo is composed well, there is some competition between the rider and the road: which is the subject? The shot conforms well to the rule of thirds by having an element (the rider) at one of the points of focus and the shot is somewhat balanced: half-rider, half-road. There's a concept shooters call "A piece represents the whole" that addresses situations like this. Here's the shot cropped to really show the rider, yet the viewer still has a sense of the road's importance, though only a small piece of it is shown. The road also becomes a leading line that flows to the subject of the rider. Generally the tighter the crop, the better unless there is some reason to show a sense of isolation (vastness, prominent landmark, etc.) As pointed out earlier, these are aesthetic starting points. This shot could have been shot dragging the shutter to create motion blur (of the bike) to show a sense of speed, etc. As with all images, some will like the first shot better than the second and vice versa.

    I'll try to get something shot this weekend to play along. I didn't get a chance last weekend. But this is a great series of posts. I love looking at everyone's pics!





    (Sorry for borrowing your shot and jumping in unsolicited with my comments. )
    Ben Ricci

    Rides & Drives: '07 BMW F800ST Low, '07 Porsche Cayman, '06 VW Jetta TDI & '05 BMW R1200ST

  8. #8
    SNC1923
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by bricciphoto View Post
    [SNIP]It's also important to frame the subject. While the first photo is composed well, there is some competition between the rider and the road: which is the subject? (Sorry for borrowing your shot and jumping in unsolicited with my comments. )[/SNIP]
    If you ever touch one of my photos again, I'll have my lawyer on you so fast. . . .

    Just kidding. You actually make an excellent and instructive point. That's precisely what this thread is for. The more voices, the better. Thanks, Bricciphoto!

  9. #9
    Registered User Rapid_Roy's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Waukesha, WI
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    I am having a hard time with this. I have lost my balance.
    19 BMWMOA Nationals under my belt, and I have no idea what I am doing.

  10. #10
    SNC1923
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapid_Roy View Post
    I am having a hard time with this. I have lost my balance.
    It's an inner-ear thing. You'll be fine after you

  11. #11
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    I haven't tried to enter one of these yet so I assume you post your entry here. ??
    Some background: Yesterday there was a ride to Sulphur, OK for a hamburger cook out lunch at Chickasaw National Recreation Area. ( Thanks Veg for slaving in the hot smoke to cook us all hamburgers. Kind of gives new meaning to a Veggie burger ) Groups from all over headed here, however the organizers recommended a stop at this famous fried pie store in Turner Falls, OK. The owners have been making these at this location for over 20 years in this locations. All homemade dough and fillings including custard. ( Try the coconut ! ) Here's a shot from the inside. Kind of in thirds.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    RandallIsland
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by RTRandy View Post
    The owners have been making these at this location for over 20 years in this locations.
    All homemade dough and fillings including custard. ( Try the coconut ! )
    Here's a shot from the inside. Kind of in thirds.
    That's right!
    Notice the hat and good food go together!

    Go Yankees!

  13. #13
    grossjohann
    Guest
    OK... Had a great time this weekend.

    Needed to get lightbulbs from Lowes, so took a little ride...

    ...I left my Nikon D70 at home and tucked my Sony Cyber-Shot into my pocket.


  14. #14
    grossjohann
    Guest

  15. #15
    grossjohann
    Guest


    "Maybe I should get a beemer?!?!"

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