Earlier this year we started a budding photography program with Illuminate Atlanta, an organization dedicated to increasing “accessibility to photographic education and the arts by providing photography education and opportunities to underserved communities in the metro Atlanta area.” Since the launch of the program we have enjoyed a handful of focused photography hikes led by Illuminate Atlanta top personnel Sara Keith (Founder & President) and Allison Jarek (Director).
As a collaborative effort we have structured the photography outings around our outdoor program. During our Thursday hike days we visit varying parts of the Atlanta Beltline and nearby State Parks, all of which are rich with photo op potential. Keith and Jarek bring their artistic advice and exercises to the table creating fertile grounds for our participants to explore new perspectives behind the lens of high end digital cameras. It has been a humbling experience to see our participants interest in photography grow and to see their abilities flourish.
We invite you to consider some of these ideas for you own photography whether it be on a phone or a traditional camera.
– Benjamin J. Davidow, Marketing Manager
Intentionally framing shots before taking them can change your perspective on how you interact with a subject. During one particular outing Jarek brought us literal frames to tryout. They not only helped out participants reframe the way they were thinking about their shots but also helped as a great prop for portraits.
Rule of Thirds – (Settings > Camera > Grid)
You may or may not know, but your phone can be set to show a grid which is vastly helpful for this next technique. The rule of thirds is a way of weighting subjects within the frame of a shot. The frame is split up into varying horizontal and vertical lines where the intersections make for great focal points of a composition. Sometimes an off center subject will be more pleasing to the eye and gain attention more naturally. This also helps in establishing the proportions of a shot.
Direct Light Vs. Diffused Light
During multiple excursions we have interacted with different lighting without consciously being aware of the differences. On our latest jaunt, Jarek brought us several kinds of reflectors (sometimes known as light bounces) which can be used to reflect and cast diffused light onto a subject. Where as direct light is high contrast, with dramatic shadows and bright whites, diffused light is softer and is more variant. Can you tell the difference in the photos bellow?
This one may seem more self-explanatory, but lines are a great way to draw attention to a subject. Paying attention to lines also helps with subdividing a composition.
Watch Your Back(ground)…
We often spend a lot of time focusing on our subjects. However, how often do we think about what is going on around the subject of our compositions? Being mindful and intentional about not only the foreground of your photos but also the mid and background is the key to success for taking a great photo!