(photo credit: Reuters)
Tom Langford is an event and commercial photographer, professional retoucher, and a website designer.
on holiday in an unfamiliar place we enjoy new sensations, tastes,
colors and cultures. These impressions come flooding back to us when we
look at our holiday pictures - it’s easy to assume that we have captured
them in our photographs.
This picture was taken last year in
Guilin, China, by Chuck Cutler of South Orange, New Jersey. He took it
while walking along the Li River where families were enjoying the day in
various ways. It awakens vivid memories of the occasion for him, but
what does it convey to others? Let’s take a look to see what we find ...
is a strong focal point in the center of the frame showing a man
laughing in front of a huge 2009 date. The people in front of him are
out of focus and appear to be absorbed in their own activities. The
prominent 2009 sign is obviously important but I can’t tell why.
explains that this is a picture is actually of some locals enjoying the
popular pastime - a game of cards. The cards, however, are blurred, and
not given any prominence. Would it have been possible to take this
picture and to convey the subject more clearly?Making the subject clear
course it is impossible for photographs to evoke your personal memories
in others, but if you can make the subject of a picture clear you will
definitely develop your skills as a photographer.
instance the picture is about a group of people playing cards, but the
laughing man and the 2009 sign strongly detract our attention away from
the subject. Shooting from the same position we could recompose the shot
as I have indicated below ...
this version our attention is drawn to the main card player and the
cards he is holding. I have shown how the shot would look with him and
the cards in focus:. By choosing a wider aperture the laughing man would
be out of focus so he would only add color to the occasion and not
More importantly there now seems to be a convivial
relationship between the two main characters and I am no longer
distracted by the huge 2009 sign which plays no part in the scenario.
used a Canon 7D SLR to take this shot. By using it in P (Program) mode
you can instantly override the auto exposure and select a wider aperture
by rotating the forward command dial. This is a fast-shooting trick
that you can practice so that it becomes instinctive in this type of
To take a picture that quickly conveys the subject is
not such an easy task for a photographer, especially when on holiday.
You can always take plenty of personal pictures for your own enjoyment,
but every now and then pause, look carefully at the preview on the back
of your camera and try and develop the trick of seeing what others may
see. Constructive Feedback
Aspiring photographer can send pictures to be used in future articles
for constructive feedback. Send one picture only, at a small size to
suitable for emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not sure how to send a photo by email at a small size? Look at this Brief Guide to Picasa: www.langford.co.il/courses/PicasaGuide.html
Tom Langford is an Event and Commercial photographer, website
designer, and professional retoucher. “Details of Tom Langford’s photography courses at: http://www.courses.langford.co.il. Event
Photography: http://weddingseventsisrael.com. Commercial Photography: http://www.langford.co.il”