The Tuesday Composition: Communicating Immensity

Cerro Torre
Cerro Torre, Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

If you like this article, you can now get the book! Joe has expanded the “Tuesday Composition” series into an inspiring new ebook on composition, especially for nature photography. Check it out: The Tuesday Composition.

One of the most common challenges in landscape photography communicating the scale of large objects. Photographs seem to resist conveying the sense of scale we often feel in a landscape. When we take the photograph, we have the opportunity to move around in the landscape, to hike a half-mile and notice that our view of the mountain hasn’t changed much. Our brains unconsciously integrate that information into our perceptions of the world around us. Viewers of our still photographs see things much differently.

Small prints and web images are particularly challenging. Our minds seem to resist  perceiving  a mountain that stretches a mile into the air within a photograph that fits inside a lunch box. Even large prints sometimes seem to lack any real ability to communicate the size of the landscape they portray.  As a result, rather than relying on making large prints, we have to understand how our brains perceive scale in still images, and take advantage of the cues our brains use in that process. (more…)

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Perfect Photo…

From your iPhone?   Well maybe not perfect, but certainly better than what you’re able to do with the stock camera.   Last week I reviewed the Best Camera app and one of my complaints about the preset filters was the fact that the user can not edit those filters. The Perfect Photo app does allow more fine tuned control over the image.

Like most camera based apps you can either shoot a new picture right from the app or load one from your saved images. From there you’ve got the ability to edit several aspects of the image.

You can…

  • rotate/flip
  • crop
  • adjust alignment (i.e. fix crooked images)
  • adjust brightness/contrast
  • adjust gamma
  • adjust exposure
  • increase shadow detail
  • increase highlight detail
  • adjust levels
  • adjust hue, saturation and lightness
  • adjust color balance
  • adjust color temperature
  • sharpen
  • remove noise

There are also several preset effects: (more…)

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What I look for in an assistant

One of the tried and true methods of learning about the photography industry is to spend time as an assistant. Even with a formal education in photography, time spent as an assistant is critical to learning the industry and business, as well as learning a bit about yourself. Sure the hours are long, the pay is bad, and you may very well spend the day picking up turkey poop or standing in triple digit heat for eight hours (both of which I did while assisting) but you’ll also get to see things and do things that make most normal people jealous. (more…)

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Raising Prices

I understand that things are tough right now for a lot of creative professionals like us. I know several photographers who are really struggling to make ends meet, a couple who have gotten out of the business completely, and a couple who have branched out into completely different fields to stay afloat. I also know several who are so busy they’re turning away work. Regardless of your particular situation a periodic review of your pricing structure is part of doing business. Many times that review will lead you to the conclusion that you need to raise prices. But knowing your pricing is too low and implementing a price change are two distinct steps.


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Copyright part 3, Protect thyself

Anyone who’s been in this business long enough has a story about being ripped off. Whether it’s about unpaid invoices, clients who make unreasonable demands, or outright fraud, my experience has been there are two types of professional photographers. Those who have been cheated, and those who will. We’ll talk about invoicing, unreasonable clients and fraud later. Right now – stolen images. (more…)

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