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Old Oct 14, 2008, 8:13 PM   #11
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Rodney....are we that predictable?

I understand that science can be used to deduce probable results, and I see the wisdom in trying to find the "best possible solution" in presenting a product for commercial considerations, say a beautiful woman, if you are selling a hair product....you need to grab the readers attention quickly, hold it, and invite investigation....

But we don't all react exactly the same to any given stimulation, visual, or otherwise, and too, is not subjectivity the seed thatinvites new creativity and technique?



As a very new beginner in photography, I appreciate your sharing, and find it quite enlightening....but the rigidness of it, sort of makes me feel we must operate within a box, to be excepted.

Let me try to explain it this way....I can understand why a person should understand grammar, etc, all the tools necessary in writing, but all that text book perfect execution won't sell one novel, if the author has no heart of imagination first.

Do you stymie that imagination by trying to make it adhere to guideline first and foremost?
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 9:22 PM   #12
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eddie haskell wrote:
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Rodney....are we that predictable?

I understand that science can be used to deduce probable results, and I see the wisdom in trying to find the "best possible solution" in presenting a product for commercial considerations, say a beautiful woman, if you are selling a hair product....you need to grab the readers attention quickly, hold it, and invite investigation....

But we don't all react exactly the same to any given stimulation, visual, or otherwise, and too, is not subjectivity the seed thatinvites new creativity and technique?



As a very new beginner in photography, I appreciate your sharing, and find it quite enlightening....but the rigidness of it, sort of makes me feel we must operate within a box, to be excepted.

Let me try to explain it this way....I can understand why a person should understand grammar, etc, all the tools necessary in writing, but all that text book perfect execution won't sell one novel, if the author has no heart of imagination first.

Do you stymie that imagination by trying to make it adhere to guideline first and foremost?
If this sounds rude then let me apologize up front. I am not going to beat a dead horse here. I am offering those who wish to learn to create more effective images the knowledge to do so. Not everyone has the ability to be creative or artistic...they just don't have it so if they know the basics of good portraiture they can still take effective, pleasing portraits. Those who are creative can run wild with their knowledge and be as creative as they want. Anyone who isn't interested can move on to another thread.

Your analogy pretty much confirms the direction I am going here. That author would have had a difficult time writing that novel if he first didn't learn the grammer.
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 11:32 PM   #13
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Great write up, thanks for taking the time to help us in need.
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 11:43 PM   #14
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eddie haskell wrote:
Quote:
Rodney....are we that predictable?

I understand that science can be used to deduce probable results, and I see the wisdom in trying to find the "best possible solution" in presenting a product for commercial considerations, say a beautiful woman, if you are selling a hair product....you need to grab the readers attention quickly, hold it, and invite investigation....

But we don't all react exactly the same to any given stimulation, visual, or otherwise, and too, is not subjectivity the seed thatinvites new creativity and technique?



As a very new beginner in photography, I appreciate your sharing, and find it quite enlightening....but the rigidness of it, sort of makes me feel we must operate within a box, to be excepted.

Let me try to explain it this way....I can understand why a person should understand grammar, etc, all the tools necessary in writing, but all that text book perfect execution won't sell one novel, if the author has no heart of imagination first.

Do you stymie that imagination by trying to make it adhere to guideline first and foremost?
While I kind of agree with you it does help to know the basics. I will still break the rules if I feel it works for a particular photo know matter how wrong it is meant to be. But as he said, some people are not inclined to do that. I still know people that wont take a photo in the shade because they were told not to years ago, yet they forget that in bright sunlight people will squint, they also wont take a photo without the sun behind them yet are amazed at the effects that doing so can bring. The problem is they were told all these rules and grew up with them in a different era. Those rules were useful in those days for their family snapshots so it does not make them wrong. I personally want to know the rules so that if I do get stuck I can look back to them
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 11:48 PM   #15
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RodneyBlair wrote:
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eddie haskell wrote:
Quote:
Rodney....are we that predictable?

I understand that science can be used to deduce probable results, and I see the wisdom in trying to find the "best possible solution" in presenting a product for commercial considerations, say a beautiful woman, if you are selling a hair product....you need to grab the readers attention quickly, hold it, and invite investigation....

But we don't all react exactly the same to any given stimulation, visual, or otherwise, and too, is not subjectivity the seed thatinvites new creativity and technique?



As a very new beginner in photography, I appreciate your sharing, and find it quite enlightening....but the rigidness of it, sort of makes me feel we must operate within a box, to be excepted.

Let me try to explain it this way....I can understand why a person should understand grammar, etc, all the tools necessary in writing, but all that text book perfect execution won't sell one novel, if the author has no heart of imagination first.

Do you stymie that imagination by trying to make it adhere to guideline first and foremost?
If this sounds rude then let me apologize up front. I am not going to beat a dead horse here. I am offering those who wish to learn to create more effective images the knowledge to do so. Not everyone has the ability to be creative or artistic...they just don't have it so if they know the basics of good portraiture they can still take effective, pleasing portraits. Those who are creative can run wild with their knowledge and be as creative as they want. Anyone who isn't interested can move on to another thread.

Your analogy pretty much confirms the direction I am going here. That author would have had a difficult time writing that novel if he first didn't learn the grammer.
Thanks guy....I can live with that......I'm just a rebel and don't cotten to rules or coloring inside the lines :?



But...please, keep it coming
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Old Oct 15, 2008, 1:24 AM   #16
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[align=center]Using Contrast to Lead the Viewer[/align]

We've discussed how to isolate our subject from background elements to present our subject to the viewer and we've discussed placing the COI using the rule of thirds. We can mix the ingredients in part or use all ingredients to lead the viewer to our intended center of interest. I often hear photographers refer to their imagery as a story. They believe or hope they are telling a story, but they never learned how to write that story. In order to tell a story a photographer must have the knowledge and ability to lead the viewer and provide a path for the viewer's eyes to the interesting elements in a scene.


The human eye is attracted to contrast and it doesn't matter how loudly the naysayers want to scream it isn't so. It's a FACT. We can achieve contrast with, colors or the use of light. For this part of the discussion we will focus on how light (highlight & shadows) lead the viewer to our intended center of interest.


The first example below represents an image where all tones are dark(Low Key). In a portrait this will be the clothing the subject wears, and any other element we may choose to have in the scene. While there may be a pastel in the scene, it should receive less light than the COI. The center of interest should receive the most light. The example demonstrates that the eye is attracted to the brightest element in the scene.


The second example represents an image where all tones are bright(High Key). Everything will be opposite the Low Key example. Light pastel colors with the most light on background and clothing with the face being the darkest (least light) element will lead the eyes to our intended center of interest. This example demonstrates that the eye is attracted to the black circle, the darkest element in the scene.


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Old Oct 15, 2008, 1:25 AM   #17
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Example 2
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Old Oct 15, 2008, 5:16 AM   #18
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Great info. Keep it coming .. Thanks!
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Old Oct 15, 2008, 11:27 AM   #19
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This is a portrait from a series of images of the same person. The shots were taken a few years ago as a class project. The idea was to build up to one of those portraits that get a WOW response by including elements or techniques for each shot. On the subject of contrast, this was the last shot. The same uninteresting pose, clothing and background was used for each shot until we got to the posing section of the project.


Because the background has not elements the subject is automatically isolated, but how do we lead the viewer where we want them to be when the background and the face are nearly the same shade? As you can see, I chose to throw some light on the background behind th subjects face. This now creates an area of high contrast to lead the viewer to the subject's face or the intended center of interest. An added bonus is that is also separates the subject from the background.


This was a class project for me. Create your own class project by getting a subject that you can reshoot several times. Start out only trying to frame the subject nicely, then by using some rules try to lead the viewer to your intended center of interest and finally if you want, include some creative elements. Once you have done this a few times it becomes natural to you. If you do not have a live body to use, then find an interesting object to shoot.



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Old Oct 21, 2008, 10:10 PM   #20
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"RodneyBlair: This was a class project for me. Create your own class project by getting a subject that you can reshoot several times. Start out only trying to frame the subject nicely, then by using some rules try to lead the viewer to your intended center of interest and finally if you want, include some creative elements. Once you have done this a few times it becomes natural to you. If you do not have a live body to use, then find an interesting object to shoot."

The light certainly did the trick in bringing the attention to his face. I like how the shot is straight on and he is facing a little right away from the straight on shot. His eyes looking a tad more right, which (I think) makes it even better. Nice shot. Thanks for the tips Rodney.

Cig...

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