Focus is a quarterly online newsletter produced by the Photography Committee. The object of Focus magazine is to enhance the knowledge and enjoyment at all levels of involvement in the art of photography and to appreciate its unique blend of technical skill, knowledge of composition and creativity. It is available as an online magazine or a downloadable PDF Issues are available from 2008. Clickon the tab at left to view.
Our October 2020 meeting featured a virtual photo show: fellow members and GCA Photography Judges, Polly Beal, Sandy Dawson, and Sarah Starrett reviewed photographs submitted by our membership. If you missed the meeting or would like to view it again, please click on the link below:
10 Tips For Achieving Simplicity in Your Photography
Leann White is a wonderful photographer/teacher and produces an interesting blog. She recently sent this out and I thought it helpful. Enjoy
There is no one way to achieve simplicity in photography. In fact, the various ways in which photographers do this tends to be one of the key elements of their style. But if you are struggling to simplify your images, just as most photographers do when learning their their craft, here are a few strategies to help along the way:
Know what compels you. Make that the clear focus of your image.
Clarify your message. Edit out everything that doesn’t contribute meaningfully to that message.
Seek out what Edward Weston called the strongest way of seeing. Change your perspective Explore different points of view. Move around your subject. What works best?
Search for simple scenes with fewer elements—more masses, fewer points and lines.
Move in closer. In complex or chaotic scenes, focus on details rather than the big picture.
Move back to give your subject breathing room. This can be especially effective if you have clear blue skies, a field of green, a sea of water or a solid wall as a backdrop. It's a great way to work with fog.
Minimize your depth of field, blurring undesirable or distracting backgrounds.
Simplify your color palette. Soft color harmonies, a single spot of color in an otherwise neutral scene, or bold color contrast can make a greater impact than a rainbow of colors.
Shoot in black and white. It eliminates color as a distraction and allows forms, shadows, strong lines or tones to shine instead.
Clean up your edges. Look around the frame before you click the shutter and again when you are editing the image. Make sure there is nothing there to pull your eye back out of the image. Keep your focus where it matters most.
How To Take Sharp Images
Several of the photographers in the GTGC Photography Study Group look to Darren Rowse's weekly blog for ideas on how to improve their photography. A recent post on taking sharp focus contained these ideas: 1. Hold your camera well - holding the camera close to your body with elbows anchored against your chest or on a steady object such as a fence will make your camera steadier and improve the sharpness of the picture. 2. Tripods - if you have access to a tripod, and have time to set it up, will greatly improve your focus. 3. Shutter speed - if your subject is moving, you will need a faster shutter speed to get clear pictures, try bracketing your pictures to be sure you'll have a good one when you get home. There is a minimum shutter speed though if you're planning to hand hold, according to Rowse, - for a 50mm lens don't shoot slower than 1/60th of a second - for a 100mm lens don't shoot slower than 1/125th of a second - for a 200mm lens don't shoot slower than 1/250th of a second 4. Aperture - Aperture impacts the depth of field (the zone that is in focus) in your images. Decreasing your aperture (increasing the number – say up to f/20) will increase the depth of field meaning that the zone that is in focus will include both close and distant objects. Keep in mind that the smaller your aperture the longer your shutter speed will need to be – which of course makes moving subjects more difficult to keep sharp 5. ISO - The third element of the exposure triangle is ISO which has a direct impact upon the noisiness of your shots. Choose a larger ISO and you’ll be able to use faster shutter speed and smaller aperture (which as we’ve seen help with sharpness) but you’ll suffer by increasing the noise of your shots. Depending upon your camera (and how large you want to enlarge your images) you can probably get away with using ISO of up to 400 (or even 800 on some cameras) without too much noise but for pin sharp images keep it as low as possible). 6. Image Stabilization - some lenses or cameras come with image stabilization. This is a huge help when hand holding your camera. Be sure to turn it off though when using a tripod. Can't tell you how many shots I've ruined having IS on with my camera on a tripod, actually makes the picture out of focus. 7. Focus - most cameras have auto focus, and most beginners/intermediate photographers use this feature. Be sure the camera is auto-focusing on the item you want. If you can set your camera to pinpoint focus on a subject vs the whole screen do it. 8. Good lenses - good quality lenses are well worth the money. How much you want to spend will depend on what you're planning to do with your pictures. Cannon offers L-Series lenses which are professional quality. Tamron and Sigma have really stepped up their game and may be a good alternative at a more reasonable price.
For more detail on these 8 ideas and more detail go to Darren Rowse's blog at https://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-take-sharp-digital-images/?utm_source=sharpphotos&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Mar-1017
Show Photographs Printed and Mounted
Read the directions for the show entry very carefully. Each one can be quite different than the next!! A number of GTGC members have used: Allied Digital Photo 262-251-8805 N112 W16296 Mequon Rd., Germantown
Cheat Sheet for Working with Light in Photography
In August 2019, three GTGC members headed to the Garden Capital of America, Philadelphia, for a GCA Photography Study Group with Mike Moats. Mike specializes in macro and “tiny landscape” photography. We spent three days at Longwood Gardens, Winterthur (a Henry Dupont estate), and Chanticleer Gardens. We all made new friends, learned new skills and saw spectacular horticulture. We plan to make trips to Boerner and Chicago Botanic Gardens in the coming months to practice our skills; if you’d like to join Sally, Mary W. and Sarah S. let us know. We’d be thrilled to have you join us!