Photo Club

Lincoln Street School students are learning about photography. They put into practice all of the great techniques and skills they learned by using the community as their classroom; visiting sites throughout Tehama County and taking lots of pictures to practice what they’ve learned.

The students were given a handout explaining photography techniques and were able to practice each technique at local sites. Visiting sites such as the Cone Kimball Clock Tower also gave students an opportunity to learn about their community and the people and projects that make it so great.

Naming Photo

A naming photo is a photo that is going to represent you.  First think about the things that you find interesting and feel say something about you.  For example sports, friends, school, family, clothes.  Then look around and find objects, subjects or scenes that represent those things.  Your only challenge is to take pictures without faces.  Be creative if you choose yourself to represent you.  Use shadows, mirrors with flashes, hands, feet,

Adjective Photos

Adjective photos help us to take a look at our environment in a different way.  We can start to break objects up into shapes and textures.  Important to realize you do not have to take a picture of an entire object.  Sometimes interesting things appear in the details.

It fun to compare pictures with other people in your class.  Often the same subject will fall under different categories depending on how the picture is taken.  For example grass taken zoomed in can appear sharp – grass take standing back completely zoomed out can appear soft.

Dramatic Perspective

Dramatic perspective is a form of photographic distortion.  Pictures taken with a dramatic perspective or extreme angle often result in objects appearing larger or smaller than they are.  The more extreme the angle is the more distorted your subject will appear.

To illustrate the point, set an object down in the center of a room.  Now take a picture from each corner of that room.  You now have four unique perspectives of that object.  Now lay flat on your stomach and take a picture of the same object.  That is a dramatic or extreme perspective of that object.  You can also place a chair next to the object and take a picture of it straight down.  That is also a dramatic or extreme perspective of the same object.

Dramatic perspective is also know as the “Bird’s Eye View and Worm’s Eye View”.  Taking pictures of objects as a bird or a worm would see them.  Bird’s Eye – shooting a high angle down at the subject.  Worm’s Eye – shooting from a low angle up at a subject.

Remember if you set a surface of your camera directly on another surface you will get a sort of runway effect.  For example set the side of your camera flat against a fence or building.

Truncation

Trancation is a picture taken only a portion of a subject appears in the frame, but the object is so distinct or commonly known that the whole thing does not have to be in the frame for the viewer to recognize what it is.  It is a part of a subject representing the entire thing.  For example the tail light of a car, the handle of an umbrella, the kick stand of a bike.

Framing

A natural frame is used to eliminate unimportant surroundings so that you can focus your viewer’s attention on your subject.  You can either find a natural frame like landscaping, trees, bushes, fences, building, etc or set up your shot using other objects to focus your viewer’s attention.  For example a chair, cone, hands, rings, etc.  Also contrasting colors and lights and darks can result in a frame.

Remember a frame does not have to surround the entire subject, but you want to line up your frame as close to the edge of your viewer as you can.  It’s job is to focus attention and cover boring surroundings.

Object Isolation / Separation

Objects can naturally appear isolated in their environment.  It can be the only one of its kind, a different color, style, age, look, contrast.  You can also isolate an object by setting up your shot.  Move an object, use your dramatic perspective or extreme angle.  The important thing to remember is to use your negative space around an object.  Show your viewer that it is the only one there.  SELL your shot!  Environment is important.  In order to believe that it is one of a kind we need to see its surrounding area.  Don’t zoom in.  Some examples of negative space are the sky, grass, gravel, a texture which contrasts with your object, etc.

Color, Color, Color

Color is all around us, but what makes a image focused on color interesting?

  1. “The Yellow Man” – An abundance of one color.  For example if you where to see a man sitting in his yellow truck in front of a yellow building wearing a yellow jacket with a yellow dog in the back drinking from his yellow mug, that is interesting.  It is not something you see everyday.
  2. Now what if that man was drinking from a red cup.  That changes the entire look and focus of a picture.  An entire scene of one color except for one object.
  3. Colors that represent something or have an association with something.  For example Red, White, & Blue = patriotic or America, Red & Green = Christmas, Purple & Gold = The Lakers.
  4. Finally Fireworks, rainbows, carnivals.  What make them interesting?  Shots with an abundance of different colors.

Reflection

The surface of many materials don’t just reflect the color of the material itself  but also reflect the shapes from other objects.  Water is certainly the most common natural “mirror” that comes to mind but polished metal or glass work just fine as well.  Mirrored objects offer some interesting photographic opportunities.

Remember that in reflective surfaces you may not get an exact reflection, but even shadowed images and colors make for an interesting image.  Try taking each picture with the flash and without to see how that alters your shot.

C-Curves or S-Curves

You can often find natural curves in nature.  Look closely at tree branches, bushes, walkways, tree stumps, cracks in the cement.  We are looking for “S” & “C” shapes in our environment whether natural or man-made in landscaping.  Remember that there is a “C” in every circle.

Leading Lines

These are lines that lead our viewers attention to our subject.  These lines can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal.  These lines draw our gaze and focus on the subject.  Look for fence lines, walkways, tree lines.

Object Play or Trick Photography

A photographer can use different perspectives to have fun with objects.  A way to distort an entire scene.  For example holding a car over your head, climbing up the side of a flower pot, walking into a book.  It is important to remember the concept that the closer an object is to the camera, the larger it appears.

With goal is to set up your shot in a way that trick your viewer.  Environment is the key.  In order to trick the eyes into believing you must start with something they know is true.  For example a building is bigger than a candy wrapper or a car is to heavy to lift.

Now you can’t just zoom in on a pinecone and say in your picture that is a big pinecone.  You must put it in a frame with something we know is naturally bigger than the cone but using our perspectives make it appear smaller.  It is also important that the objects appear to be the same distance from the camera.  The easiest way to do that is by getting your camera low and angling is slightly upwards.

Rule of Thirds

The basic philosophy behind the Rule of Thirds is to avoid a symmetric composition which is usually pretty boring because the view is centered.

The “Rule of the Thirds” can follow two concepts:

First we can divide the image into two distinctive areas which cover 1:3 and 2:3 of the size of the picture.

Let’s assume that we have a landscape that is pretty charming but lacks a major feature or interesting geometric structure. The resulting image is a boring picture of an empty landscape. So what can we do here. Try to find an object which provides a contrast to the otherwise “monotonous” surrounding and place it at one of these crossing points. This object is an anchor for the first look and invites to a further observation of the scene.

Layers

Very often you have a major landscape feature like a spectacular mountain which will be the focus of the picture.  If you simply take the picture with the mountain in your frame than your viewer will simply take in this dominant feature and nothing else.  Now if you add some of the rolling hills, tree lines, etc. leading up to the dominant feature, it will add some additional interesting views to your shot.

Look at layers in your shot like layers of a cake.  Using changes in color and texture can add to your shot.  In a layered shot, none of the objects are particularly special and probably not worth a picture, but as a whole the scene is quite beautiful.

You will have a foreground, center or middle ground, and background.

In the above picture you have several layers.  In your foreground you have the green grass and then the longer dry weeds.  Behind that you have green grass again, the tree line, the mountain, and then the blue sky.