Showing Some Perspective

There are a lot of “rules” about good photography that can help you take better pictures.  These really are tools more than rules, but they hold true in pretty much all of the visual arts.  One of the things that we talk about all the time with beginning shooters is emphasizing that a photograph has to be about something.  Just pointing a camera at a scene and pushing the button is not creating an image. Part of our goal as a photographer is to lead the viewer’s eye where we want it to go.  You can use light, color, shape and perspective control to guide them to the subject of your photo. Leading lines and vanishing points are concepts that help obtain the right balance and tension in your pictures.  The train in Lancaster PA is balanced between two lines and the brakeman becomes the subject of attention.

The lines of things like sidewalks provide a path for your eyes as well.  These cool kids are the focal point, with everything else fading off behind them

The ruins at Barboursville winery provide a good example of a vanishing point.  All the lines lead your eyes through the open doors and off to infinity.

Curved lines as on this classic MG, can serve the same effect.

This fountain is one of my favorites because it seems to break the rules.  The planks of the boards lead you through the hole to the green plants behind, but the light on the water pulls your eyes back to the front of the image.

As you go out shooting, look through your viewfinder to frame your image.  Think of what you want the final product to be before you ever shoot the picture.