In response to a recent outcry for more photos, I’ve decided to do a weekly column on how to make your camera work for you. Each week we’ll have a little lesson plus a photo assignment (if you’re up for it!) with an opportunity to share your photos afterward. This week, our theme is “between places.”
Since we’re all new here, let’s not get carried away just yet with camera settings or too much technique. I only want you to do two things when you take your photo: get close and think about what you want to say. For example, this picture in a church where I basically attended from a closet. The bars on the window convey that something clandestine is going on, when it’s actuality just a regular church service. An interesting twist to this photo is the Vietnamese government’s restrictions on churches, which has led many people to take their religion underground and, quite literally, attend illegally. This church happens to be one of the few legal ones in Hanoi but, even so, being behind the bars reminds us that religion is not a freedom many people enjoy around the world.
Or you could be literal like this photo of a koala. It’s a pretty cute photo but for me, I think I could improve it. Consider where the action is; where is your eye automatically drawn? I’m drawn to the face, smooshed in-between the branches. So how can I make this better? I could crop the photo down to the face itself and refocus on his contentment. But maybe you like the body wrapped around the tree–whatever you decide to put in your frame, make sure you’ve done it for a reason and that all “extra” information is cut out. In other words, get close to your subject!
“Between places” can be interpreted in so many ways! You could be literal and photograph something very symmetrical like stripes on a flag. You could be kind of creative and photograph three children with a focus on the middle-aged one. Or maybe you could make it symbolic and say something meaningful about being middle-aged as an adult? You could take a picture of a sandwich or maybe make a play on words (think: “between a rock and a hard place”). Be creative! The sky is your limit!
If you find yourself stuck, my suggestion is to just get literal. Find something with a gap between it and get real close. Maybe try to bring something between the gap into focus or maybe focus on the frame you’ve created. Try bookends – no, literally, try bookends!
Whatever you decide to photograph, just have fun! Don’t worry about being in perfect focus or having the right light. If you know how to edit your image on a computer, go ahead, but don’t feel pressured to. When you’re done, come back and post your photo in the comments. Also, don’t forget to join our Persephone group called Picture This! You can post your questions here, ask for feedback on your photos, take away tips, learn from each other, and maybe create your own photo challenges! And if you have a photo assignment you would like to see featured, send us your idea!
Alright Persephoneers, go forth and photograph!