A Quick Thought

To my disgust, I am getting rather obsessed with photography, and trying to take mine to a higher level.  This higher level means better composition, more forethought before shooting (though it may not be possible at times), and better understanding of the post-processing program(s) I use.

Below is the original image of a guitarist in a crowd of people.

Singer for the Dead  - Original

The composition isn’t great, but I needed the entire length of my lens – the Nikon 24-120mm f4 – on my Df. The focal point is the guitarist. As you can see, there are a few people between me and him. While taking this picture, and many others at the Day of the Dead, I thought about composition, and layers – foreground, midground, background – while I shot. During the crops, I thought of the same, and tried, too, to incorporate leading lines and/or the rule of thirds. Post-processing included colors, black and white, and vignetting. I used Nik Silver Efex, LR, and Perfect Photo Suite 9, along with different crops.

Singer for the Dead BW

Singer for the Dead

El Dia de los Muertos 2014 (87 of 421)



3 thoughts on “A Quick Thought

  1. First I have to ask “What is the Subject?”. Concentrate on filling the frame with your subject. This will initially simplify your composition and only include other elements that tell something about your subject. Learn to use Depth of Field to isolate your subject from the background.

    In the case of this image ” Move” to get a clear view of the guitarist and fill the frame. Many people are fearful of getting up close and personal. Learn to overcome that fear!

    One last thing: When you have isolated the musician wait for the moment when his expression shows his emotional involvement with his music. Then use camera technique to bring that out.

    Good luck! Practice good habits leading to great composition. Make every shot count! You can become techniquely great and still shoot boring images!

  2. Hi Fred – thanks for your input in both posts. For this picture, there were so many people, this was the only way to get the shot. Couldn’t go barging in! I admit, I don’t tend to get really close to people because I really don’t like being what I perceive to be rude. Personal space is important, and I dislike paparazzi. However, I do believe in good composition, and filling the frame is important – here, cropping can really help. Cropping, too, makes me review my framing process. Photography is a very different art than painting – there, you have far more control as you are creating the world, rather than arriving in a world already created by outside circumstances.

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