Thirds And Symmetry

The First Rule.

Know it.

Frozen Climb

One of the first “Rules” of photography that most people learn when first starting out is the Rule Of Thirds. 

When composing a photograph, visualize a grid across the scene, dividing it into thirds vertically and horizontally. Just like in a game of tic-tac-toe. For a more dynamic composition you should place your main subject at one of the intersections of these imaginary lines or along one of the lines themselves.

You should avoid placing your subject dead center in the frame. In the case of landscape photos you should also avoid placing the horizon through the center of the frame, placing it instead on or near one of the imaginary horizontal lines either 1/3 up from the bottom or 1/3 down from the top.

Pretty simple, right?

Then break it.

Cherry Pond Blue Hour Reflections

Photography rules were made to be broken.

In this case, due to the Symmetry of the reflection, placing the horizon line perfectly centered in the frame works quite well.

What other instances can you think of where you can break the Rule Of Thirds and still make a good photograph? What about using symmetry in your compositions?

Big, But How Big?

Just how grand is that landscape anyway?

Franconia Ridge From Mt. FlumeAre those mountains in the distance some of New Hampshire’s tallest, or just a few small hills? Without anything in the photo to provide a reference of scale it’s really hard to say for sure.

So what’s a photographer to do?

Simple, by incorporating something of a known size, like a person or a building into your photos you’re more easily able to give viewers a sense of scale in your image.

Fly Fishing At Sunset, Stonehouse Pond.

The fly fisherman standing in his canoe helps to give an idea of just how tall the granite cliffs along the shore of Stonehouse Pond are. (Can’t see him? Click on the image to see a larger version and look for the fisherman along the far shore towards the right side of the image).  

A lone hiker rests on his way to the summit of Mount Washington

Mt. Washington is the tallest peak in the northeast. Having my friend Glen, seen here taking a break on our way to the summit last July, gives an idea of just how big the mountain is. And how much farther we have to go before we reach the summit.

Washington And The Ravines Above Joe Dodge Lodge

Here’s another shot of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, (the peak in the center of the frame), shown with the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Joe Dodge Lodge in the lower foreground. The lodge, the cars in the parking lot, as well as the roadway all provide scale to the mountains looming over them.

People and buildings aren’t the only thing to use to give a sense of scale. Anything of a commonly known size will work.

For more interpretations of this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge, click HERE.

Depth, Creating The Illusion.

The Problem With Landscape Photography.Lead The Way

We see the world around us in three dimensions, unfortunately our camera does not. Trying to convey the depth and dimension our eyes see with the two dimensional medium of photography can often leave the final image looking flat, without depth.

Fortunately, by using a few simple tricks when composing your photos you can effectively create the illusion of depth in your landscape images.

Converging Lines.

Falls In The Forest.

I like to use converging lines, both subtle and obvious, to create perceived depth in my compositions. In the photo above I used a rather winding interpretation of converging lines to help create the illusion of depth.

The waterfall and granite stream bank, very wide and taking up the entire foreground, then gets progressively more narrow while leading the eye deeper into the frame, eventually converging at the point where it disappears into the forest.

Railroad tracks as they appear to come together in the distance are another more obvious example of converging lines.

Rails. Pondicherry NWR

Place The Foreground In Shadow.

Odiorne Salt MarshThe human eye is attracted to bright light. By having a prominent foreground appear darker than the brighter, more brightly lit background can provide a sense of depth in your photos.

Shoot Vertical.

Moonrise Over Lonesome LakeI’ve found that by photographing with the camera in the vertical, more commonly referred to at the “portrait” camera position, can help create depth. Include a strong foreground, leading lines, and by placing the main subject in the upper third of the photo works really well to bring out the depth in a scene.

What tricks do you use to create the illusion of depth in your photos? In the mean time, check out these other interpretations of Depth.

2014, The Best Of?

Looking Back,

                      Memories Of 2014

As the New Year begins I like to take a look back and share my favorite images of the previous year.

Are they my best?

That’s too subjective for me to decide. What they are is a selection of favorites from another year long journey looking through a lens. Most you’ve all seen before, some are being shared for the first time. One or two aren’t even all that great, photographically speaking. The stories that go with them as what make them special.

Without wasting another minute of your precious time, in somewhat chronological order, here are some of my favorite memorable moments from 2014.

(For your viewing pleasure, I’ve included a slideshow of these images at the bottom. Enjoy!)

-10°F, let me get my camera!

Whaleback In The Sea Smoke

Happy Hour begins at Three.

Michelle.

Temp., 0°F. Wind, 40mph. View, Awesome!

Lafayette To Lincoln Winter On Franconia Ridge.

White-out at sunrise? Fashion shoot!

Tracey, Adam, And The Weather In Tuckerman Ravine

Seeing in black & white. For the first time.

Riverbank 2

Getting high with new friends.

Hiking Life

Book covers.

Sunrise On The Boott Spur Trail

Hot air and silhouettes.

Silhouettes, Shadows On A Partially Inflated Hot Air Balloon.

Pink after dark, yes please.

Spending The Night Under Aurora Skies

Looking for fairies.

The Forest Primeval

Dawn in the wilderness.

Mountain Silhouettes. South Twin, The Bonds, Bond Cliff.

Autumn.

maple_leaf_on_wet_wood_8034-edit-2

Golden mornings.

Morning Gold, Hampton Beach, NH

Lighting the way.

Morning Light At Portland Head

Blue-white and late day light.

Blue Hour In The Land Of Snow And Ice.

A room with a view.

A Room With A View

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Thank you all for being my fans. I hope 2015 is an amazing year for each of you.

Photography 101: Get Out And Explore.

Along with the first snow comes wanderlust.

Blue Hour In The Land Of Snow And Ice.

Along with seasons first big snow storm came a desire to head to the mountains. A call to get out and explore I would not resist.

The sky at sunset was rather plain, yet the pastels on the horizon as the blue hour set in made for a wonderful evening high in a winter wonderland of snow and rime ice.

(By the way, click on the image to view this 7 shot pano large. You’ll almost feel the cold as if you were there).