Monday, October 18, 2010

Don't go and snap Pictures Instead Create them

I'd like to share my experiences and thoughts that I have when taking a photograph. Alright let me start by discussing on what elements would make a good photograph? Well I think there are 3 important elements in creating a good photograph. The three elements are composition, lighting, and lastly capturing the moment (or setting the mood).
Now, about composition, what makes a good composition, well there unlimited rules out there ( rule of thirds, leading lines rules, having a focal point, whether to shoot sfrom above, down below, which lens to use at which mm). If you are not familiar with these, then "google" them or if you cannot find them send me a message and I'll try to send you links of some of them. Next in my list, is lighting, a great scene with bad lighting would make the photograph look mediocre. How to light then would be the question. Well if you consider lighting a person then you could either light the person using artificial lighting (flash) or using the available light (ambient) but if you have a natural landscape photographer, then you would need to have the sun to light it up for you. That is why landscape photographers, like to take their photos at sunrise or sunset when the light from the sun is soft. If you want to know on how to light people using flashes, then "" would be a good place to start. The third element is all about capturing the moment, don't try to fiddle around with the camera settings while the moment is passing by in front of you. Always try to think of what you want to tell your viewer.
Learn from others :
Now to get inspirations, always try to join photo groups to get inspirations for your work and see what others has done. When you see a WOW image from others, I usually like to decompose the image into those three elements that I have mentioned above. What composition did this person use, what kind of lighting did he/she used, what key moment in time did he/she captured.
As for examples I'd like to go through of some of the photographs that I took :
Sidney Mohede 1
Ok, here is the first one, a photo of Sidney Mohede (a well known Indonesian singer). A little thought about the shot to share with you guys:
Flash guns were prohibited, well then it leaves me with ambient light to work with.
Composition :
So the idea was to have spot lights in the background because I thought it was pretty cool to include them in the composition. The hardest part about the shot was adjusting the white balance as the spot lights changes it's color once every few seconds so you just would not know on what to expect next (issue is to get the white balance properly adjusted). Getting the right expression while not being obstructed by the audience was the other challenge (as the stage was somewhat really2 close to the audience and I had to shoot from whatever angle I could get). Luckily (well I suppose it was the lighting guy's experteese) where he mixes green and red spot light when I shot the singer.
Lighting : Shot under ambient - setting the camera as to have the singer's face properly exposed.
Moment : Getting the right expression of the singer as though he was enjoying the songs was somewhat difficult to plan ahead so basically what I did was "SHOOT first and THINK later".
A second example is a completely different perspective that is a landscape shooter perspective :
Centennial Park sunset
I was initially shooting swans and ducks at Centennial park (a large park in Sydney), after the sun about to set, I searched for a good place to capture the sunset scene then I selected this spot for my sunset scene. The thoughts on it :As from the compositional perspective, I tried to have these water plants as a leading line from the foreground to the background. Furthermore, I had the sunset as my background interest. As for the lighting bit, I had this scene back-lit as it creates an extra dimension to the scene and as for capturing the moment, I walked around before the sunset trying to find the composition that I liked, setting up the camera and all the other gear. Capturing this scene at the right moment is critical as if you did it too early the color of the sky is to dull as it will all be blue-ish and if you are too late then it will all be black.


  1. Really wonderful tips and beautiful pictures.

  2. Thank's Tommy for your compliments, I visited your blog and found it very2 interesting and useful.