OP – The Blog

Posts Tagged ‘composition’

August 6th, 2014

Getting Down to the Essentials

Posted By Michael Frye
Wildflower island and cascade, eastern Sierra; 100mm, 1/2 sec. at f/16, 100 ISO
It’s been an interesting summer in the Sierra. Last winter was one of the driest on record, but over the last month or so we’ve seen a steady flow of monsoonal moisture flowing up from the southeast, leading to frequent afternoon showers and thunderstorms over the higher elevations. We even heard about an epic deluge … 
June 17th, 2014

It’s Time for a Photography Tune-Up

Posted By Jay Goodrich
Rabbit Portrait Face Eyes Texas
A FREE ebook Download Has your camera been sitting all alone in a dark closet, in a remote location of your house? Neglected. Forgotten about. Allowed to become home to multiple species of arachnids? Did winter send you back into your den for a long, dark hibernation away from the joys of picture taking? A hibernation … 
April 3rd, 2014

Divided No More

Posted By Michael Frye
Half Dome and Yosemite Valley with fog, Yosemite NP, CA, USA
Not long ago, photographers were divided into two camps: color photographers, and black-and-white photographers. Sure, there were some people who did both, and even some who did both well, but they were rare. Most photographers specialized in one medium or the other – and I use that word deliberately, because it almost seemed like they were different mediums, not just different palettes. 
March 6th, 2014

5 Reasons to Reject an Image

Posted By Jay Goodrich
Horses Grazing Spring Backlit Summer by Jay Goodrich
With the age of digital photography now becoming a mainstream part of society, how do you decide what photos are good to keep and what ones should be thrown in the trash? While we need reasons to reject an image, we don’t necessarily want to form a hypothesis of rules. If you ever take a workshop … 
January 3rd, 2014

13 Favorite Images for 2013

Posted By Kevin Schafer
CD5366-02
Notice how I say “Favorites”, not necessarily the “Best.” Not only is it hard to honestly assess which are the best images in so short a time, but for me, my choice of favorites often has as much to do with the experience as the quality of the picture. 
November 26th, 2013

What’s the Least Interesting Part of This Photograph?

Posted By Michael Frye
Moon rising between El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks from Valley View, Yosemite NP, CA, USA
The best compositions are simple; they present only the essentials, and leave out extraneous clutter. The most common mistake in photography – by far – is including too much in the frame. Anything that’s not adding to the photograph’s message is detracting from it. To help simplify your compositions, ask yourself, before you press the … 
November 19th, 2013

Courting Luck, Part 2: Adapting Your Composition to the Conditions

Posted By Michael Frye
Half Dome and the Merced River, late afternoon, autumn, Yosemite NP, CA, USA
Is it better to be active or static? To change your location and composition to suit the light, or hope that the light changes to suit your composition? There’s this persistent myth that Ansel Adams would camp for days at one spot, waiting for the right light. Ironically, this myth is often repeated in relation … 
November 19th, 2013

Behind The Shot: ‘Contrast’ by Tad Bowman – Uncompahgre National Forest, Colorado

Posted By David Alexander Willis
Aspen trees against rock pinnacles Uncompahgre National Forest outside of Ridgway, Colorado composition
In October 2007, I was driving in the Uncompahgre National Forest outside of Ridgway, Colorado and spotted this scene. I saw three parts to this scene that really interested me. First, the aspen trunks extending up in unison. Second, the gold aspen trees were in peak condition radiating color from the sun. The tree tops … 
October 13th, 2013

A Landscape Transformed

Posted By Michael Frye
Autumn aspens, Conway Summit, Inyo NF, CA, USA
Here are two photographs I made last week near Conway Summit on the eastern side of the Sierra. The first one, above, is from Tuesday afternoon, with soft backlight filtering through thin clouds and making the leaves glow. The second image, below, was made Wednesday morning under overcast skies as the snow started to fall. I used a fast shutter speed (1/90th sec.) to freeze the motion of the snowflakes, which created a faint white dot pattern across the frame. 
August 6th, 2013

Light Against Dark, Dark Against Light

Posted By Michael Frye
Dogwood blossoms, Yosemite. These backlit flowers stand out cleanly against a dark, shaded background.
Many of the most effective photographs share a simple lighting concept: they either place a light subject against a dark background, or a dark subject against a light background. This first photograph of two dogwood blossoms is a perfect example of a light subject against a dark background. In fact the background isn’t just dark; it’s completely black, so there’s nothing to compete visually with the flowers. The contrast creates a simple and dramatic image.