Crop or Retouch ?

December 22, 2010 | Leave a Comment |



As visual communicators, we’re responsible for everything that’s in the frame; we’re also responsible for everything that’s not in the frame. Deciding what’s in the frame and what’s out is a critical decision that can make or break an image. Here are two essential framing strategies.

1.?Use the frame to eliminate distracting information around a subject.

Take extra care with image information that touches the frame, as it will draw extra attention. Do this with significant compositional elements.

2.?Eliminate space around a subject to focus a viewer’s attention.

A lot of space between the subject and the frame can be used to call on psychological associations with space, such as freedom or isolation. Some space between the subject and the frame can give the appearance of the subject resting gracefully within the frame. Touching the subject with the frame strongly focuses the attention of the viewer and may seem claustrophobic. Cropping the subject with the frame can focus the attention of the viewer on specific aspects of the subject and/or give an image a tense quality, evoking evasion and incompleteness—this often seems accidental if less than half the subject is revealed.

There’s more than one way to apply these strategies. While cropping techniques are simple to practice, the reasons for their application and the choices made about how to apply them, as well as the final effects, may be exceptionally complex. You have two choices ..

1. Reposition the frame before exposure.

2. Contract the position of the borders of an image after exposure

If you plan to retouch, you’ll frame and crop differently …

Read more at Digital Photo Pro.

Find more digital photography techniques here.

Learn more in my digital photography worskhops.

Paul Tornaquindici described our helicopter ride during my Namibia workshop.

“Breathtaking! Strapped into a helicopter- doors removed and hanging out the side seeing the amazing dunes of Sossusvlei from above for the first time. The helicopter moved slowly over the dunes in the morning light as we photographed the remarkable beauty.”

See his images and read more here.

I recommend you seize every opportunity to photograph a location in the air.

When you go , take two cameras with different focal lengths. Use high shutter speeds (1000 plus). Ask your pilot to circle the most interesting areas and vary altitude. If possible, go doors off to reduce reflections. If it’s not, wear a black long sleeve shirt. Keep your lens/shade out of the wind. Shoot fast. As you fly, so will time.

Photographing the Sossusvlei dune fields by helicopter was a highlight for all of us during my recent workshop in Namibia. The views were simply divine. These images are all panoramic merges. We did a full 360 degree pano from the helicopter, just for fun.

Learn more in my digital photography workshops.

See Namibia By Air

July 7, 2010 | 1 Comment |

Enjoy a bird’s eye view whenever you can.

We’ve arranged extra time in the air for my upcoming Namibia workshop.

The views of the desert and coastline are truly extraordinary from the air.

Explore Namibia with Google Earth and you’ll quickly see how fantastic it is.

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sossusvlei_aerial2sossusvlei_aerial4SossusvleiAerial_5 2

Find out more about my Namibia workshop here.

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Guiding metaphors can transforms a commonplace perspective into an exceptional one. This enlivens the images you make. I relate to dunes as human bodies. This is sensed by the viewer, always on an subconscious level, sometimes on a conscious level. It helps me to know what my guiding metaphor is so I can intensify this interpretation while I’m on the spot. It makes the work stronger. So when choosing between these horizontal and vertical compositions, I’ll choose the composition that emphasizes that metaphor.

(By the way, it’s always a good idea to shoot both horizontal and vertical. Watch how it changes things. Long after, you may find you relate to the images differently than you do on the spot. But there’s often no going back, so get it while you can. Or should I say, get both while you can.)

Visit here tomorrow for more of my images from Namibia.

Find out about my 2010 Namibia workshop here.

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sosussvleipanoramas

Sossusvlei, Namibia has some of the most famous dunes in the world – 750 foot high coral dunes that close in towards one another as you move up the valley. When you think Namibia, you think Sossusvlei. Everyone who goes there has a similar version of my first shot. I took it too. Then I tried a different approach. I found the dunes made wonderful abstract panoramas.

Visit here tomorrow for more of my images from Namibia.

Find out about my 2010 Namibia workshop here.


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