Hello,

Already four weeks in, how did that happen? Did you try last week's challenge? What did you think, did you share? This week we are going to delve a little deeper and look at some techniques a little further.

The Hero...

I love a good Hero, don't you? The same goes for our Still Life, it needs to tell a story, not a lot, just a little, but it does need a Hero, a focal point, something to guide the eye. Did you know that the brain reads an image the same way it reads a book; from left to right, from top to bottom, it will often rest on the brightest point or most vivid point - our Hero.

I like to pick a Hero subject for my scene and then grab some bits and pieces to match, perhaps everything is in natural colours and tones and you add a pop of colour, I am quite fond of Purple and Red, but it can be any colour.

Focus and Blur...

Let’s look at some Focus and Blur - If the hero is taller than the other items, then this is a great place to practice with the focal point over your hero, especially when shooting at a higher f/stop (The smaller the number the higher the F/stop).

If your hero isn’t the closest item to your lens (like in top down), experiment with the f/stop. A lower f/stop setting will bring more of the overall image in focus. Our Hero, does NOT always have to be the main point of focus, we are allowed to be artistic. So try having two different focal points at say F/2.0 and F/5.0 jump between them.

Top Row, ISO320 F/2 1/100 seconds Bottom Row ISO800 1/100 second

Top Row, ISO320 F/2 1/100 seconds Bottom Row ISO800 1/100 second

Rule of Thirds...

Most of you are probably familiar with this. But it still handy to cover; the rule of thirds divides your image into 9 sections….2 lines horizontal and 2 vertical.

Tip: Grid Overlay, Turn on your grid in camera…and/or your phone. This can help you see the grid, instead of guessing. Put your camera on a tripod and use the live view function and move items around to fit within the grid.

Julie Powell_Week 4_Thirds.jpg

It’s easy to implement the rule of thirds as we style our still photos (moving bits and pieces from here to there, it is NOT cheating, it is called styling). Experiment with the rule of thirds… You can always implement this in post-processing as well… Most editing programs have a grid overlay built into the crop tool, such as in Lightroom.

Remember:
This may be a rule…. but rules can be bent or broken; play & experiment….

Photography Talk has this great post on Photographic Rules, I especially love the last one!

Room to Breathe...

Allow a little space between your props…It can be tricky…remember -  our eyes see differently than the camera does. Don’t jumble everything on top of each other (this can be done and we may look at this a little later), but for now give everything its own space. Perhaps start with only three things - a vase, a flower, a cup or small statue or even another flower.

Tip: It can take several shots to get this ‘right’. If you are shooting with a DSLR, but you also have a smartphone… take a quick shot with your phone…take a look…Is there room to breathe? Move a few things around, or pull everything off and start again, especially if you are feeling a little frustrated. Then using the rule of thirds, add pieces back on one at a time, take a photo at each stage, digital is cheap, you can also delete what you don’t like later.

Tip: Did you know you can load more than one image to a post in Instagram? Great for loading your final image and a few quick Behind the Scenes shots too - I really should do more of that myself! Check out this quick little video on Instagram for HOW to load Multiple photos and videos.

Heroes and Depth of Field, Focus and Blur Behind the scenes
Password MCJ Week4

ISO 800, F/5.0, 1/60

ISO 800, F/5.0, 1/60

Can't wait to see what you come up with this week, don't forget to hashtag #mycreativejourney #focusandblur and I would love to have you post something on my Facebook Group page, as well

Don’t forget to ask if you would like some feedback or a critique on your image for this week, or any other week.

~ Julz, xo