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The Photo Commandments
(or, um, suggestions)

 

 

I. Be Active and Move!

-Move yourself, move your camera, or move objects to get a better composition

 
point your camera in different directions


move your body higher or lower

 

 

 

II. Be Quick, Be Ready, or Wait

-Be ready at all times to capture that perfect "decisive moment" or wait for one

 

 

 

 

III. Fill the Picture Frame with Essentials

-The choices you make on what to include the frame affects the meaning of the photo

 - click HERE for a guided lesson

 

 

 

IV. Minimize the Unnecessary

-Do not include extra stuff that distracts the viewer. NO CLUTTER!!!

-Do not ignore the background. Be aware of everything in the frame.

 


the clutter in the background takes away from the picture

 


background objects that are NOT clutter


foreground objects that are NOT clutter

 

 

 

 

V. Obey The Rule of Thirds

-Don't put objects directly in the center. Or maybe you should.

-To the side usually makes a dynamic photograph. Centered objects are static.

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

When photos follow the rule of thirds, it helps the eye to move across the image.



 

Subjects in the center of a mostly symmetrical photo give a formal look



 

 

 

 

VI. Honor the Orientation of the Picture Plane and the P.O.V

-Horizontal, Vertical, or Skewed

-Low Angles, High Angles, and Unusual Angles

-More examples found HERE

 


horizontal


vertical


looking slightly down

 

 

 

VII. Honor ALL Shapes

-From positive/negative shape

-From shadows and light

 

 

Photography: Crooked Shadow Artwork-ID: 36-1502

 

 

 

VIII. Honor the Elements of Art and Principles of Design

-line, color, value, texture, shape, form, space

-unity, balance, dominance, repetition, rhythm, contrast, theme/variation

-for examples please visit HERE

 

 

 

IX. Use a Tripod for Shutter Speeds at 30 and under

-If there is not enough light, the camera might want a longer shutter speed. With a longer shutter speed comes "shakey" blurred photos.

-On digital cameras, you can adjust the ISO to avoid this problem

 

 

 

X. Break the Rules when it will Improve the Photograph

-Know what the rules are, but break them if it will produce a better photo. As Tim Gunn says on Project Runway, "Make it work"

 

 

 

Amendments to the Commandments

 

Show the Eyespace

-show the area your subject is looking into.


eyespace cut off, giving a sense of unease

 


eyespace shown


eyespace shown upwards


eyespace shown looking down

 

 

 

Beware the Sprouting Pole

-trees, poles, or any other objects that come out of someones head look strange.


pole-head

 

Show Space

-portraits have a sense of space if there is at least 4 feet of nothingness behind a person.

- photos have a sense of space if they have objects in the foreground, midground, and background.

 


subject is right up against wall, no sense of space is shown

 


nothing is right behind the subjects

 


objects in the foreground, midground, and background show space



objects in the foreground, midground, and background show space

 

 

 

Show the Unexpected

-notice odd things in life and capture them with your camera

 

 

 

 

 
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-disclaimer-