Welcome to (The Occasional) Photo Tip of the Day! Please also visit my main site jeffwignall.com. Text and photographs Copyright 2016 Jeff Wignall.

“The best way out is always through.”

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pretty as a Peacock: Dynamic Design Ideas

I've been writing a new book for the past few months and I have to say that I must be getting old because this one is exhausting me. I guess they all exhaust me, writing is tough work, but you just kind of chop them out, one day at a time. The current book has a lot of tips on composition and image design and one way that I'm coming up with ideas is to just look through my photos and see if I can suggest any design tips based on those photos. It's a kind of fun exercise. Here, for example, are some of the concepts that this shot (taken in Florida) triggers for me:
  • Fill the frame. Notice how there is not an inch or extra space in this frame--the peacock's fan fills the entire area.
  • Look for vibrant colors. Could you get any more vibrant than a peacock in full display?
  • Play with symmetry. Symmetry is sometimes regarded as a negative thing (it's considered too static an arrangement in the frame and has no dynamics the way that off-center images create), but it can also be very powerful when used carefully.
  • Use fill-in flash. I used just a tiny amount of fill-in flash here to light up the colors a touch
  • Look for patterns. I just love the patterns of the "eyes" in the feathers. Again, you'd be hard pressed to find any patterns more interesting than a peacock's display.
  • Use radiant design. This one isn't mentioned much in books, but if you're photographing a flower or a seashell, you get a lot of energy by letting the power of the design radiate out from a central point.
  • Envision your shot. I've always wanted a head-on photo of a peacock in full display. The moment I saw this one walking toward me I already knew the shot I wanted. Don't be afraid to daydream about the great shots you want to take--sometimes they may walk right up to you (and sometimes they screech at you in a shrill voice--as this one did).
  • Appreciate beauty.  Sometimes you just have to let beauty wash over you and try your best to capture it. Even if you don't get the photo you envision, you'll have shared some time admiring creation--and that is what it's all about--yes?
My photo books: My latest book is Exposure Photo Workshop. It's a very comprehensive and up-to-date look at all aspects of exposures.  It's available in both print and Kindle versions. (The earlier version is available in English, Spanish, Polish, Chinese and for the Kindle.)

This is posting #496.

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