Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding when to use image review, part of Introduction to Photography.
- It occurs to me that after three movies there's no way that the image that I've been building here could live up to the hype. I mean, this is so, I just want to prepare you, this is not some great photographic feat that I've pulled off here. Here's the picture that I took, very basic picture of a flower. What's important here is to notice the way that I balanced the frame. I found this flower way in the background and put it in the opposite corner. So I'm balancing these two corners against each other, and what's interesting about that is that when I'm standing here in the real world, I don't think of those two flowers as being related to each other in any way because one's farther away than this one.
This is part of the power of photographic composition, we take the three dimensional world and we squish it flat, down to a two dimensional plane. So I can make things graphically equal that in the real world are in completely different planes of existence. This is an important thing to be practicing when you're practicing composition and balance. Now, I'm showing you that image full-frame, of course, I can see it on the back of my camera. There are two ways that you can review an image, your camera by default is probably showing you an image review right away, you can stop and look at that, or you can throw it into playback mode and work through your images.
I got to say, I very rarely use the two second review that comes up afterwards. I find it distracting, sometimes I turn it off completely. I would really recommend not getting in the habit of taking a shot and then looking right away, and taking a shot and looking right away. It breaks your rhythm, it breaks your concentration. I need to be looking at this flower, not at images that I've already taken of the flower. I need to be seeing what else I can see in the frame, seeing what else around here. When I get done, then I could go and review and look through things and see if I got anything.
I might even look at them and go, "Oh, I got an idea, "now I want to go back," but try not to be in the habit of going, click, huh, click, hmm, click, ooh. That's, it's just distracting. Also, try not to delete images right away. If your hand's in front of the lens or something, yeah, you can delete those right away, but you've probably got enough storage to get you through a day of shooting, and you just never really know what the keeper image is going to be. Finally, it's very important to know that, really, the only thing you can reliably judge on the back of your camera is composition.
You really don't know much about exposure or color because the camera is artificially brightening and saturating the image to make sure that it's visible in bright daylight. So when I'm looking at the back of the camera, just looking at that image, I can't say, "Oh, yes, "plainly I nailed the focus and the exposure." The image is too small to know much about focus, and it's too inaccurate to know much about exposure, all I'm judging here is composition. There is a way that I can get the camera to tell me very useful information about exposure, and we'll look at that in great detail in Foundations of Photography exposure.
I want to say one last thing before we close out this chapter. I started this movie with a gag about how this image is not going to be some great thing. There's something to remember about that, when you're out practicing, you're practicing. It's okay to come back with images that aren't great works of fine art. It's a difficult thing for photographers to remember because every image that we produce looks like a finished image, but what I want you doing right now is just practicing balance. You don't have to come back with great images, you could just sit in a chair and take pictures of your foot, as long as you're playing with balance.
What I'm doing here is practicing this idea of balancing objects on different planes. I don't need to come back with great pictures, what I need to come back with is a better eye, and that's what you get from just shooting a lot. So take that pressure off and don't worry about coming back with masterpiece images, come back in this case with good examples of balance, that's your goal here.
Then it's time to take to the field and examine the rest of the factors that influence the quality of your photographs, including light metering, focus, composition, and flash. Ben also introduces techniques for shooting portraits and shows what you can do with an image editor in post. Last but not least, he'll provide a roadmap for learning more with the lynda.com extensive library of photography training. The path to becoming a better photographer begins with the first step. Start here!
- Exploring cameras and lenses
- Understanding media
- Controlling exposure
- Composing with autofocus
- Shooting portraits
- Understanding form and geometry
- Exporting and editing digital images