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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Saginaw, Michigan


Postby Andy » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:45 am

Carol's post,and the conversation makes me think of another thing. I think Al has addressed it before. Pre-visualization. Some of you do it better than others of us. But it is an important part of good composition. Of course, there are times when you just don't have the luxury. But on most "still" nature or architectural shots, we do.

Al talks about finding his subject and then looking at a number of different shots, and looking carefully for distracting elements before taking the shot. It may have been him, also, who said they made a sort of "viewer." You can actually purchase a "scene viewer" to walk around an see the scenes. This strikes me as overkill (at least for us hobbyists with limited bank accounts and weak backs). You can make a very cheap and light tool though, using a piece of mat board and cutting a rectangle out of it. It doesn't really matter the exact dimensions. What does matter is that the aspect ratio is similar to that of your sensor (or perhaps more importantly, to how you will ultimately crop and present the image). I have one of these somewhere. I don't carry it any more. I use the lazy man's method and use the thumb and forefinger of both hands to create a rectangle.

It also illustrates another of the many benefits of working from a tripod. It helps us to slow down and think about the composition, assisting in the transition between "taking" a snapshot and "making" a good photographic image. I tend to find my area, and set my tripod in the "most likely" spot. But before I just set up on it, I'll walk around with my camera handheld and look at different options, turning, crouching down (to the humorous delilght of my companions, sometimes even getting down on my belly -- hey, if it works for Camillo Vijegas, it can work for me, right? As long as I don't get my dorky shooting vest rumpled!).

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

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