22 Feb

Landscapes usually follow the same rules as portraits:

  • The rule of thirds- The eye reads from left to right in a picture (in Westernised countries) , and the way you contruct a landscape should bear this in mind. The strongest area to place a focal point is in the bottom right hand area- you have had a chance to look at the rest of the photo and digest the information, whereas if you were to place the focal point in the upper left hand corner, you immediately look at the object/ place/ thing and at nothing else.
  • Leading lines– these are used to draw the eye into the picture, and even lead you around the picture. Very useful when there is a lot of information in the photo.
  • Times of the day have different types of light– In the early hours of the morning, the light will be weak, containing mainly muted colours, and casting few shadows. This gives a very moody spin on the picture. At midday, when the sun is at it’s highest, colours are vivid, photos will lack depth due to light being dispersed everywhere, although this can be remedied if it iis an overcast day. Sunset light gives a rich colour palette, and long shadows provoking lots of emotions. The Golden Hour is the first and last hours of sunlight in a day, where the colours will be soft.
  • Equipment you may need– camera, tripod for long exposures, UV filters for sunny days, wide lens for larger amounts of data to be fitted inside the frame.


  • f2.8 to f5.6 will isolate a subject
  • f16 to f22 will capture more information on a larger scene
  • Correct white balance will adjust the tone of the whites in your photo to the correct level. For example, on an overcast day, the white colour may turn out blue, so if you change the setting to cloudy, the camera will correct this by adding yellow hues.
  • ISO is how sensitive yiur camera is to the light. A high ISO of 800+ will add noise to the photo. It is better to use a lower ISO and decrease the shutter speed to allow the image to develop fully. This is preferable for landscape pictures as the subject will not be moving around so much, unlike in portraits. We can tell if a photo will over or under expose by looking at the Histogram built into the camera. There should be a nice even spread on the graph. Too high to the left indicates overexposure and too high on the right indicates underexposure. This can be corrected by altering the exposure.
  • Bracketing– when we aren’t sure of the ISO we need to use, this function will take 3 photos at varying f stops.

Finished Portraits

12 Dec

Taken at the German Market hosted in Birmingham. I tried to get the subjects relaxed by talking to them, and I also managed to get a few where they weren’t aware I was taking the picture. I used the following settings:

  • White balance: shade
  • ISO: 400
  • Aperture priority
  • Spot metering

For this first picture I should have increased the aperture size by 1 f-stop to reduce the depth of field slightly, and the composition is incorrect. The subject is neither in the centre of the frame, nor does she fit into a third of the frame. There is too much information in the picture, detracting from the subject.


This second image is a lot crisper on the subject, but she is not facing the camera. Nonetheless, there is a better use of the rule of thirds. The leading lines of the steps bend towards the bag she is holding, and cause us to momentarily ask what is in the bag. Contours are soft, and the brown tones blend the subject with the background, making us focus on the facial area, and the paper bag.

This image I managed to get just before he realised I was taking a photo. The subject is happy and relaxed, and maximum concentration is on him. It is an expressive picture- despite the hustle and bustle behind him in the market, he is very calm. I managed tofind a slightly higher vantage point from the subject so that I could capture the people behind and below him.

This image is in focus, and the background is not cluttered, but I feel that it is not correctly composed. The sparkle of the lights behind add another dimension to the trees, and give you a clue as to what time of year it is. Again, the similar tones in the trees and on the coat of the subject make you focus on the face.


This is my favourite image, as the subject is crisply in focus, and in a natural (for her) pose. Leading lines from the steps sweep behind the subject adding to the attitude of the subject, who was unhappy about her portrait being taken. The subject is looking away, following the lines of the steps, and the unifying brown tone throughout helps us think that she is blending into the background. It follows the rule of thirds, with the face in the central area.


11 Dec

Just found a fab little app online- it’s cheating a little, but it makes a big difference to photos. You can download it for iPhones and whatnot, but you can access it on your computer as well. If you upload a photo, the tiltshift software will alter (and you can manipulate also) the area of focus. You can also alter saturation, colour and contrast, and vignetting, but I haven’t for these images. For example:

And here is my altered image, you can see the difference:

Obviously this software is no substitute for taking pictures correctly, but it produces an interesting effect. Here I have had to printscreen and copy into Paint to get this image on here, as the image doesn’t save (or I can’t work out how to) on computers, only displays.

Oh, and here is the website:  Enjoy!

Portraits- context

8 Dec
  • How can a portrait become more of a collaborative act between the sitter and the photographer, and how might this improve a portrait of them?
  • The photographer needs to build a rapport with the sitter, so that they can become more relaxed. Some people don’t like having their photograph taken, and may fall into conventional poses, look bored or rigid. It is the photographers job to put the sitter at ease to coax out a natural pose. Also the sitter needs to tell the photographer how they would be most comfortable.

  • How do you feel about having your photograph taken? How would you like your photographer to behave towards you?
  • I personally don’t like having my photo taken by other people, as I’m quite self critical. However, if the photographer is encouraging and positive, and can direct me as to what they think the photo should be like, then I can cope

  • What could the benefits of working with children be?

Children have no inhibitions , and can completely be themselves around the camera. Some of the time, children may get carried away with what they are doing, and completely forget that they are having their photo taken.

Rule of Thirds and Cropping

24 Nov

Above is my original photo, taken at Bodium Castle in Sussex. There is a lot of background information- people milling about and detracting from what I was taking the picture of. Using the rule of thirds, I cropped out the people, the sky and a lot of the castle to focus on the subject and what she is doing. There are 2 main hot- spots in the photo- her face and her hand, which fit  nicely into the left hand top and bottom areas.


23 Nov

withoutequal photography: Emma. This protrait uses artificial light as you can see it in her eyes, which casts a white/ blue light onto her face. It is unidirectional as it leaves one side of her face in shadow, creating depth in what might have become a very ‘flat’ photograph otherwise.

withoutequal photography: lily von pink. This photo utilises the natural light available, and despite it being a very grey day, it works well. The dull light casts no shadows which is ideal, because then you can focus on the woman. The sky behind her gives all the detail the photo needs.

withoutequal photography: pink graffiti. This final portrait was shot in natural light again but probably using a reflector to get more ligh on the subjects face. If there was no reflector, then the face may be too dull, and with the colour of the coat and the wall behind, it may become too dark.

Landscapes with a holiday feel

16 Nov

These photographs have a strong nostalgic theme for me; they remind me of holidays, exploration and happiness.

The above photofits tidily into the rule of thirds. The contrasting textures of the wall and the door juxtapose with the metal of the candle holder. The warmth of the tones make the picture feel relaxing and calm.

I wanted this picture to capture a sense of loneliness and exploration, and the lighthouse in the sea, away from the cliff edge encapsulates this. It is not a negative feeling picture as the bright colours of the sea and the cliff and the red on the lighthouse prevent it from becoming oppressive.

This picture primarily was taken to emphasise the feeling of joy. On the horizno, we can see a man playing with a kite, but this looks like he is celebrating. From a low perspective, and the content of the picture, it almost feels like a child has taken it. The tree in the foreground gives a sense of  location, and its texture gives a feeling of depth and shadow on a bright day.