Monday, April 5, 2010

Instructor's Tip: Patterns

I hope you 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 the above image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

Photo by Russ Burden

All too often, photographers develop a sense of tunnel vision determined by the destination to where they’re bound. Depending upon the location, the overall big picture gets locked into the mind and no thinking outside the box occurs. For example, a trip to an exotic foreign locale is planned. Visions of the sweeping countryside, people and their culture, big cities and the main tourist attractions become the focal points. With the preconceived notion and desire to come home with these images, ways of looking at other potential subjects are passed over.

Take for example a trip to Paris. High on any photographer’s list would be a great shot of the Eiffel Tower. Even amongst all the other structures of the Paris skyline, the Tower beckons to be photographed. Photographing it in its entirety is fine but often nets a cliched image. By isolating sections, juxtaposing other buildings against it or finding dramatic pieces within, different and maybe even better images can be made.

Interesting patterns are everywhere. From the sides of a building to the bark of a tree, patterns can be extracted from a multitude of subjects. Whenever like colors, shapes, lines or textures are repeated in specific intervals, the potential to make successful pattern photographs is there.

When searching out patterns, try to look for a composition where a single element breaks it up yet doesn’t interfere with its integrity. This creates a focal point for the eye while it simultaneously makes a stronger image. Try placing this element in an area one third in from the left, right, top or bottom of the frame. It will add intrigue and interest to the photograph.

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.

Check out Burden's "How To Tips" featured on Outdoor Photographer's website. The seven that are dated February 4th are his. Just underneath the articles, be sure to click on page 1 to see an additional 9.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Burden's 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.

To learn more about this subject, join Burden on one of his photo tours.

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