26 February 2012

baSIX of Photography

Given a task to photograph a subject in a particular location, different photographers can come up with different results. Different results can be obtained by varying 6 key parameters.

  1. Shooting the same subject from a different angle.
  2. Keeping the subject in different size and different part of the image.
  3. Shooting from different distance from the subject.
  4. Choosing how bright or dark the image should be.
  5. Shooting with different intentional out of focus of background or foreground in the frame.
  6. Shooting with different motion blur, when there are moving objects in the scene.

not 7. Changing the lighting that illuminates the scene. But it changes the scene/subject. And a photographer may not always have liberty to do it.


A photograph can look great or so so, by varying the above 6 parameters. But what looks good or bad is a matter of taste.

  • But looks like most great award winning or liked, shared, +1ed photographs, won the audience for what was photographed, more than how it was photographed. It is the subject not the photograph itself. Just like it is the story not the writing that matters most.
  • And the professionals seem to use auto-focus a lot. The costlier cameras are made costlier by having more auto-focus points etc... They fall back to manual focus only when AF fails. IOW actually professional camera's are easier to use than a consumer/prosumer cameras with lots of limitations.

Might be continued... this is an excerpt from my very long notes. It continues on to explain how to vary the above 6+ parameters, and which kind of equipment would help achieve them.

3 comments:

Sankar P said...

Nice post. Do continue.

One more trick that I have seen often used and attracted eyeballs is colorizing the subject and blackandwhiteing the bg. It is not a photo trick though but a post-processing trick but still it is worth mentioning along with HDR (iiryc)

I will be waiting for the next edition of this.

Suresh said...

Interesting post in simple words.

Re: award winning or liked or shared or +1ed - I agree that award winning pics giving more weight-age to subject itself than technique is a PITA. But the liked, shared or +1ed just means that (they are likeable, shareable). I won't read too much into it as most the audience won't be paying attention to lighting, composition or techniques etc. They just like it! (for whatever reason), no?

Nikanth Karthikesan said...

@Sankar But sometimes people dont like it if they come to know that post-processing is involved.
Like https://plus.google.com/u/0/117263921940038912534/posts/af6uQrtA3kK
But to me it is really art part ofphotography.

@Suresh Just like awards, I feel that we also like it based on the subject only. No? Like wedding, baby etc.. or when it is entertaining or when we see places we have never visited a lot like from abroad, hill-top or pics of the places we liked a lot, or really beautiful places etc...