Sunday, December 14, 2014

Photography Challenge #2: Crop This!

After playing along with Erin's 30 Word Thursday weekly challenge on her Treasures Found Blog for the past year I have finally taken the plunge and started taking photography more seriously.  Starting with my iPhone, I soon found that the limitations of that device were getting to me.  Upgrading to a Cannon Eos Digital Rebel SL1 camera, I have started experimenting more with technique.  I have also invested in Photoshop Elements 12 and most of my post-production on photos will be from that program.  As a way to force myself to try new things, I'm doing a weekly photo challenge--each week focusing on a different photography or editing technique.  Some of these may be simple and others more difficult.  I encourage any of my readers to take part in the challenge!  I'll try to post a link-up every Monday with the results of last week's challenge and the rules for the following week.

Last week we did a fairly simple transfer from color to B&W and I think the results were pretty interesting!  This week the challenge was a two-parter.

1) Take a picture that was "ruined" by something intruding in the shot, and cropping that out of the frame.  A very common and simple technique, but a powerful one in the day of digital editing.

Before:  A cute snapshot of my wife at the Keukenhof in the Netherlands.

New and improved!
Taking the picture with all the random distractions of passers-by, signs, and trees, I was able to easily crop all of them out.  Now I am left with a more portrait-like picture of my beautiful wife, rather than a casual snap-shot.  Keep in mind that this was actually the first day I used my new camera...and that it kept raining off an on every 30 minutes or so while we were there!

2) Take a decent picture and improve it by selective cropping.


This was a row of town-homes we wandered by in Pittsburgh on our search for the Church Brew Works.  I was drawn to the vibrant red against the white and raw wood, as well as the repeating pattern.  The picture is OK on its own, but lacked impact.  I was able to crop out most of the foliage and power lines in the background, as well as straightening the picture a bit.  I was also able to focus the eye a bit more on the central white window by doing this, using the Rule of 3's.  

I think this was a quick and easy challenge to show that sometimes simple edits can significantly change the impact of a shot.  

Feel free to add your own link to a blog or website on the link-up tool below!

Challenge #3:  Still Life!  This one is a photo taking challenge, but one that can be done indoors.  The idea: take common objects from your home and do a classic still life portrait.  Looking at old paintings of fruit and flowers, this has been an age-old technique for practicing your lighting techniques in controlled circumstances.  I plan on doing at least two pictures for this (more if I get fancy!) I've got some ideas for subjects…but we'll see what really works.  I also need some actual light instead of these gray days we have been having.  Or I need to figure out my flash!

No comments: