Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sometimes Straight Is Too Common!

Okay....so if you are looking for a post about sexual orientation, you'll be sorely disappointed. If you are one of the pervs who came to my site after googling "guinea pig porn", take a hike....unless you want to learn how to take better photos of your precious guinea pigs....then stay.....eeekkk...now I even scared myself. Sorry!

This is, however, the third installment of Corey's photography tips. The
first and second have been well received, and I am anxious to see if anyone has tried using the different techniques. Please be sure to point me in the right direction if you post any of your photo attempts.

This time around I will be discussing two different techniques. First, I'd like to point out a little concept I use to add a little bit of funk, or whimsy to my photos. Usually, along with centering our subjects, most people when taking a photo aims the camera straight on, and makes sure to get the subject completely level. In most cases, having the subject leveled in your photo doesn't take anything AWAY from your photo, but by simply adding a slight tilt, you can add interest. Somehow it can take a normal photo, and make it just a little more artful. The important thing to remember is to use it in moderation. If you over tilt, it can distort the image. Tilting can be done with the camera or in photo editing.

Here are some examples using some recent photos I took of Sugar in the snow.

This is the photo as I took it:



Here it is adding a tilt:



Adding a tilt in the other direction:



It is important to note that all three photos are acceptable. It is all a matter of taste. Playing with your photos helps you get an understanding of what you like, and how simple little things can impact your results. Which of the photos above speaks to you the most? Can you articulate why? Personally, I like the second crop the best. I appreciate how the tilt opened up the space in the far top corner of the photo to allow my eye to follow where Sugar Bear was looking. Can you see that?

Here is another example where the tilt is almost minuscule, but I feel it adds a tad bit of whimsy. The first one shows it how I took it.



This one I added a small tilt:



You tell me....which do you prefer, or does it not change a thing for you? It really is a matter of taste, but I wanted to throw this idea out there, so that some of you might start playing more with the photos you take. I have learned so much from playing with the camera, and my editing software.

Here are a few pics I took while using the camera itself to tilt the scene:





The second idea I wanted to discuss today is more of a thought process than a technique really. I challenge you, when taking photos of your children to really try to capture part of the experience that you most want to remember. Think about your child, and who they are, then try to capture photos that speak to that. Is you child wild, and crazy? or quiet and contemplative? Is your child silly or serious? Do you want to document something about your child that is forever changing so that you can look back and see the growth? When you really think about these things while taking photos you'll find that the result might portray more of your child than usual.

When taking photos of sugar, I usually try to capture something that emphasizes her curls at the nape of her neck.
Sugar's hair has been an issue in our lives, and it is something that I enjoy documenting. (if you click on that link, you might need a potty break before reading it) In "real life", I enjoy standing behind her, admiring her beauty, and taking in the world as she sees it. It is important to me to capture this when taking photographs of her.



Sugar Bear is an explorer, and she is constantly looking for new and different things to point out to me. I always try to capture her curiosity.





She is fun and willing to try new things. If I miss something she did, I encourage her to do it again. Sometimes she does...sometimes she doesn't, but it is worth the effort.



Just stop and think, "What do I want to remember about my child at this moment in their lives?" and try to capture it the best you can. Take photos of their hands holding their favorite toy:


Don't want to ever forget the delicious baby fat? Then take a pic:



What about the favorite Shoes:



Or the hat she wore 24/7 for months:






Just keep snapping....and start playing. You might be surprised at what photos turn out to be your favorites. This is favorite of mine that uses the tilt technique, and showcases her hair at that age. To me...the tilt emphasizes the wind. It is almost like she had to lean into the wind:




Let's review:
1. Move in close.
2. Get down at their level.
3. Don't be too centered.
4. Play with tilt.
5. Showcase who they are.

Above all. HAVE FUN!

24 Live It or Love It:

Hanlie said...

Thank you so much, Corey. Jenty directed me to your site when I asked who I can learn to take photographs as beautiful as hers. Great that you also linked to the first two lessons! I'm going to start practising on my cats(not too easy, since they are constantly moving and gettting down to their level is hard when you're fat!)

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Thank you Corey. Another great lesson! I love the "delicious baby fat" ... awww... so squishy! LOL

holly said...

this will take a lot of practice. i have been *trying* lately, but really really failing. polly pockets are so much easier to capture (and i didn't really do that all that well...). i did a little experiment which i will put together tonight. you can see the disaster that ensued. :)

Julie said...

Playing with the "tilt factor" is lots of fun, isn't it? Thanks for the reminder today. That baby-fat picture is adorable, by the way! :)

the mother of this lot said...

What beautiful photographs!

AnnD said...

Thanks for the tips! I loved it and the photo examples!

Terry said...

Another Great post Corey. For me I am a big lover of baby toes. In fact I took a picture once of my baby's toes and blew it up and put it in my scrapbook. I just am obsessed with baby toes.

I love the tilt. I am still trying to figure out how to change my camera settings so I can take more than 1 picture every 10 seconds.

Beth Ellen said...

Good points. I really need to improve in my people shots. :)

Autumn said...

Great tips Corey, I have a habit of always trying to get things straight in my photos. This is a great reminder to try something different. Ok, I'm totally ready for the photoshop tutorial. :)

Mama Zen said...

Thanks for the tips, Corey! I'll have to try the tilt.

Groovy Mom said...

Oh, now I MUST get batteries for my camera. Every time I pick it up lately I say that to myself, but I keep forgetting. Reading your tips makes me want to take some pictures.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Okay, maybe I AM pregnant, because all those shots of Sugar through the years just made me tear up. I remember that hat!

These are awesome suggestions, Corey. I've really been trying to think about what I want to capture about Dacey these days. I took some today that I think are very her. AJ is harder because she's just so darn SMILEY! All my pictures of her are just big ol' smiles. Anyway, thank for this. I've never been brave enough to play with tilt, but I'm gonna try.

And I was going to say, too, that capturing Sugar's personality is what I have always loved about your shots. I have never seen her in real life, but I have no doubt if she were to walk through the front door (don't I wish?!) I would know EXACTLY who she is based on your artful and masterful capturing of her personality through the years.

Enough blabbing. Thanks again though.

Childlife said...

I love that last one too Corey : ) And your snow shots are just magic!

Jenty said...

I'm really enjoying your series. so much in fact, I've sent your link to friends that are learning about photography too ;)

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Keep 'em coming, Corey. These have been great!

CMB said...

I am so very glad I found your blog. You have taught me so many valuable lessons - but the most important did not have anything to do with photography. Just on being a Mom. Thanks.

Nap Warden said...

Thanks for the insight...I need all the help I can get!

Pam said...

Corey, I absolutely LOVE these posts you have been doing on taking better pictures. They are not too technical or anything, just pointing out how we can capture the essense of our subject. I've been trying to take some pictures following your advise...will try to post soon!

Lori- Fairytales & Margaritas said...

This was great too! I'm going to have to play much more. But, I did find a cool setting on my camera that separates the screen into 9 pieces, so I can practice the last lesson even easier!

we are reilly said...

ANOTHER great post! :)

Huckdoll said...

You should really write a book...you've got a knack for this. Some night, when I've got a ton of time I'm going to print everything out and study. Thank you!

Jo Beaufoix said...

I am loving this sweetie. My camera has been sick so should be returning tomorrow I hope, if not Monday. I can't wait to try more stuff with it. And I love the pictures of SB ad her hair.

Michelle said...

I've really been enjoying reading all your tips, tricks, lessons, and techniques! You do capture so much about Sugar and her life and personality through your photographs of her...I feel like I know her in person :)

Carolyn said...

Awesome tutorial again. Have you noticed I've had a little blogging time today? Love the baby fat photo especially.

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