Eckhart Tolle, in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment said to let the flowers teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem. Butt wait, there’s more.
Let them teach you about composition, aperture, exposure compensation and shutter speed. Let them teach you to not only keep a tripod in your car but to use it.
Let them teach you about light, wind gusts and patience. Let them teach you to pay attention to signs, and not get locked in the park overnight. Let them teach you about color and how to bring out their beauty in a photograph.
And finally, if it takes a while to learn all of that let them teach you to convert to black and white, and pretend that you feel color is distracting and that you were going for that aesthetic, artistic look.
I read an article this morning about how Sony’s Clear Image Zoom feature will double the focal length of your lens with almost no loss of quality. Actually the term used was minimal loss of quality.
In theory it sounded great and in practice the focal length was indeed doubled but the images were terrible. And to do a proper test I used a tripod and shot in manual at several different apertures.
Just figuring out how to do it with my A6000 was a challenge. First of all you can shoot only JPEG. Then you change the Zoom setting to ClearImageZoom. Then go back to Zoom and Zoom from 0-2x.
After looking at the images I remembered trying this with my RX100 and the results were equally disappointing. But that camera can focus much closer so I shot this Dahlia with it from about an inch and a half away at 10mm.
When you think about photographing horses, you probably picture a naked woman riding an Arabian stallion on a sandy beach at sunset. It’s a good plan if you can manage to put it all together, but until then you may want to practice locally.
Living in Pennsylvania it’s easier to find horses than it is to find good lobster and they all love to pose. If you have trouble finding horses where you live consider going to a riding stable or school.
Tip 1: They usually have crud in their eyes. You don’t have to point this out to them but see if you can find one that has less. Another option is to get further away and avoid head shots.
Tip 2: As soon as it gets really hot they’re often covered with flies. While this may not seem like a big deal it really does take away from the beautiful animal that you’re trying to capture.
Tip 3: Horses are very friendly and will come up to you to see what you want. Despite the warnings, I always pet them and have never had my fingers bitten off. Your results may vary.
Tip 4: Consider converting to black and white. Unless you’re lucky enough to capture the perfect light, choose one of the many ways to do this then lie like a professional. Tell everyone how color is distracting, that black and white forces you to focus on the image, and that you were going for that aesthetic, artistic look.
Tip 5: This is the big one: you want to get a good composition, an interesting pose and ideally something in the background. Most horses have very little to do during the day so they just sort of stand there, which is good because you’ll have plenty of time to think about the shot.
Finally, don’t ask them why the long face, I’ve never met once that thinks that’s funny.
Dead Center is Deadly says photographer Rick Sammon, referring to obeying the rules of composition. He strongly (obviously) suggests you don’t put objects in the center of the frame because it’s boring, and because there are so many other ways to do it.
Its might seem simple enough to find a young sunflower in her prime and take a photo, but even though the light is fading fast you should consider these rules of composition: the rule of thirds, the golden ratio, the rule of odds, negative space, filling the frame, balance, leading lines and symmetry.
Maybe take one shot using each rule, then mix and match until it either gets too bright, too dark, it rains or you get kicked out of wherever you are. Then take the RAW files home and edit them according to the rules of editing: white balance, exposure, noise reduction, etc, etc, etc.
I’ve heard rumors in back alleys and pool halls that there are people who take photos with their compact camera or phone and upload them as shot, but I’m sure they’re just rumors. Of course this is not fight club and breaking the rules will not result in a beating. Unless Rick Sammon sees your photos, then you’re in trouble.