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  • Writer's pictureLeah Sacks

Image Interlude

This week for my blog post, I wanted to give an update on my nature photos! I’ve been spending a good amount of time outdoors, trying to stretch my legs and add some variety to my life. In the process I’ve been taking photos with my iPhone. As you may know, I previously wrote both a blog post where I was taking photos of nature scenes, and then later a blog post where I was learning about iPhone photography. In this post, I wanted to share some of the photos I’ve taken since then, but no promises that I really used all the things that I have learned. Below are some of those new photos, and where I was trying to follow a particular technique, Ive written a little about what I was trying to do.

Some of these photos also touch a little on the very few things I’ve learned about image composition. At some point soon, I’ll write another post about image composition, but the bare minimum that I have earned so far I’ll add here.

Essentially, for creating landscape scenes, you don’t often center on one specific subject, even if you have a subject in mind. Most commonly, people think about “the rule of thirds.” To me, as a non professional, the rule of thirds time has always meant the idea that if I put something at the one third or two thirds mark (horizontal or vertical) then it will be a more interesting image. From what I’ve gathered recently, that’s not quite the whole story. You want the image to be balanced. So if you out an interesting thing in one corner, it’s best to have another interesting thing in the opposite corner. You also don’t want to have your image “drop off” behind the interesting subjects. You want to sort of lead the viewer from one part of your image to another, usually on a diagonal a shortcut way to thing about this is if you draw a diagonal from one corner to the opposite corner and put all of your interesting things on that diagonal, that’s a starting point. Obviously in reality, it’s not quite that simple and if you were to strictly follow that principle you’d have some dry....interesting... images. See below where I’ve played around with these ideas a little. I haven’t completed my research into composition yet, worked everything I just said with a little bit of a grain of salt.

Here, in this set of six, you can see where I played with my perspective on the object, looking at it from above or below, close up or far away. I actually really like the two close flower images on the left. In contrast, I don't think that the more distant image of the small purple flowers turned out well. In both cases, I think cropping them in a particular way might be helpful for the composition. While the multiple bud purply flower in the top center image plays a little with focus and a unique angle, I don't think it really worked out very well. I also like the two images on the right (for the most part). I think that the background (the house) of the tulip image is distracting, but that the angle is fun! My favorite image is in fact the tree image. It is both a cool subject and a unique angle. It also, while not quite a diagonal, has sort of a journey through the image, and there is something in the background as well as the foreground.

Here (above) you can see where I was playing with the focus on my camera a little bit as well as the diagonals and an interesting angle. I had something in the foreground and the background, trying to balance the image. I'm not really sure how I feel about it overall, though I think I like the one on the left. What do you all think?

Here I was playing with the foreground a bit (the image on the left) and with the position of the sun and diagonals in the two on the right. Thoughts?

These four are some of my favorites. Two of them are intentionally silhouette images where the sun is behind the trees (the top left and bottom right images), while the other two are working to have a balanced image with a nice diagonal. While they turned out well, I definitely still need more information about composition.

Finally I took two images that were a little more just for fun. One is of a bridge, but you can see where flooding has surrounded it! And then the other is a close up of a piece of wood. I just really liked the texture. Which images on this blog post are your favorites?

Before I close out this blog post, which is rather short on words (but full of pictures!), I wanted to take a little time to reflect on my thoughts about photography at this point. I’ve found that I really like having a little bit of knowledge when I go to take a picture. I can pull out my phone and have a little fun thinking about what the best image will be. At the same time, I’ve definitely been feeling like I need more knowledge about composition. I can now work with the settings on my phone to the best advantage, but I need to set up cool images in the first place.

Photography for me has always been a way of celebrating and appreciating something I find joy or beauty in. It’s both capturing memories, and helping me experience the moment. When I’m out on walks, I’ll stop to appreciate a flower, and then spend even more time engaging with the scene once I remember I can take a photo. With family and friends, taking pictures is both an activity for us to enjoy together as well as something to look back on and remember through the photos we took.

In short, photography is very convenient when I can do it from my phone, and that is a huge draw to helping me follow through and actually explore and take part in the hobby. It has been a great way to entertain myself, get outside, and develop a new passion. I’m hoping to continue to learn more, and I’m sure you’ll all be seeing more posts about it in the future.

Here is the link to the one YouTube video (by Nigel Danson) that I’ve watched about image composition so far:

Sneak peak: Advantages of ArcGIS pro?.... Starship?......HiRISE?..who knows??

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