http://www.mindbites.com/lesson/2038 There are four general categories of visual subjects: People, Action, Travel & Nature. This lesson will teach you the basics and give you some tips for shooting each of these different types of visual subjects. Brian starts with instruction geared specifically towards photographing people. Standing face-to-face with a person youre about to photograph can be intimidating. He reminds you that a good photographer takes command and gives direction. He also gives advice on how subjects should be captured in the photograph, and how light should be used for the image, how framing can add interest to an ordinary subject. When shooting people, Brian reminds us that we, first and foremost, need to focus on lighting, focus, and composition.... and on the subject's eyes, which really are the windows to his character. Still images do not move, so it's up to the photographer to imply movement when action is their subject. To do this, you'll have to work to add depth, a third dimension (to height and width), to the photograph via good photographic technique. To do this, you'll need to practice some basic action-shooting skills that Brian will cover and you'll need to have some knowledge and awareness about the action you're capturing. The secret to good timing in capturing action is this knowledge combined with lots and lots of practice. Next comes travel photography. Travel images should capture and communicate the tone and character of the places you visit. When picking an image you want to capture, look for lighting, texture and contrast, all of which contribute to great travel images. Unfortunately, you don't always get perfect weather when you travel. The upside of that is that perfect weather does not always provide perfect lighting. Brian will talk to what type of lighting might be preferred and when your best shot is at getting this kind of light. Interestingly, some of the best travel and landscape images are crafted in changing weather conditions. Images of nature vary tremendously. For capturing wild animal shots, a telephoto lens is invariably needed. However, nature images aren't all from an African safari - some are great shots that you can get in your backyard or local zoo. Brian will cover all of these instances and what to look for and pay special attention to in each. When taking these pictures, keep in mind that most viewers' eyes will automatically go to the brightest spot in the picture. Another good tip for nature shots is to become familiar and practiced with your digital camera's depth of field 'preview button.' By critiquing some images that fall into each of these categories, you'll learn some interesting things about shooting and planning shots for each of these categories (e.g. tips for vantage point, depth of field, long shots vs close-up, lens selection, lighting, focus, composition, etc). This is a great lesson for the aspiring photographer who is wanting to know what specific things to keep in mind for shooting different types of subjects. Brian not only walks you through what works and what should be considered, but he also shows you examples to really bring the points home. For People, you'll learn how to make a person stand out, when to use close-ups, how to achieve optimal lighting, how to crop your image, and how to position your subjects. For action shots, you'll learn how to imply action, how to use shutter speed effectively, and how to use design to imply action. For travel shots, you'll learn about showing texture, understanding contrast, and working with weather conditions. Last, for nature, you'll focus your learnings on how to best understand composition and color contrast. As the price for digital cameras goes down, the number of new professional photographers goes up. To help you stand out amongst the increasing numbers, Brian Ratty has produced a video series on the fundamentals of digital photography. Most photographers know how to take a picture but learning how to craft these pictures is an essential step to producing images that are timeless and treasured. This lesson is a excerpted from the DVD, Digital Photography: Crafting Images, which is a great resource for those who want to learn how to craft pictures and produce images that last a lifetime. It is the fourth lesson cut from the DVD and includes chapter 8, Visual Subjects.
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