Monday, December 15, 2008

Instructor's Tip: Add People for Impact

Image by Russ Burden

Enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by one of my favorite instructors, award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured this image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

Add People for Impact
When it comes to photographing people, portraiture is often the first word that comes to mind. This brings thoughts of face shots, head and shoulder images, and even full length body photos. But people photography doesn’t need to be restricted to these criteria. Strong images can be made where a person is secondary in size to the overall composition. So much so, great images can be made where the person takes up less than five percent of the photo yet is an integral component.

I like to incorporate people into my landscape pictures as they tend to be better sellers. Before I decide whether or not I want to do this, I first determine if the composition is strong enough as a stand alone image. If the answer is yes, I study the composition to decide upon a strategic placement of the subject. This often turns out to be one of the power points or what is referred to as the rule of thirds. Power points fall at intersecting lines of an imaginary tic tac toe board drawn over the viewfinder. Placing the subject at one of these intersections adds strength to the image and prevents a bulls eyed center of interest.


To take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Russ' most recent tips. On the home page, click on the "Photo Tips And Techniques" button in the left hand column. Additionally, check out his "Digital Tip of the Month" found by clicking on the Digital Photography button.

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