Julie Lyles Carr: A Matter of Perspective

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Matter of Perspective

There are some amazing resources for burgeoning photographers out there on ye ol' web and the proliferation of affordable, high-quality digital cameras is making photography an art form that anyone can dabble in.

I love photography. I've been shooting for many years now and am simply delighted with the cameras, editing programs and photography products available these days. I do love my spankin' new Canon 40D, but today, I thought I'd show you what you can do with a $100 point and shoot.

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We made a trip to the state capitol. I brought my big new fancy-shmancy camera--and upon pulling out the Canon to take a few shots, realized that I had failed to charge the battery. I then pulled out my fantastic Sony Cybershot, which has an incredible fast flash-burst speed and fully customizable settings--and then realized I had failed to put my memory card back in after my latest photo upload. 1 of 8 then put her little Kodak point-and-shoot in my hands to soothe my photographically-deprived psyche.

Two little things to remember as I show you what you can pull off with one of these little babies. First, I never, never, never (okay, well, almost never) use the flash. I've been doing natural light photography for a long time and am a firm adherent. So I set the little Kodak on 'manual' and turned the aperture to 2.8. Now, if you're not terribly familiar with what all those terms mean, google some photography sites and take a look at some wonderful articles. Or, you can just trust me, turn your little camera to manual, set your camera to 2.8 and give it a try.

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Take advantage of the natural light coming through a window. Your photos may be a bit dark, but don't forget about all the editing programs available. I used to take great pride back in my chemical film days for getting all the right exposure and saturation and filter and blah,blah,blah...I'm over myself. Use those programs. Lighten shots if they need it. Tweak whatever you want.

Something else that is a take-away from the above shot; when I was in television, even though I was an on-camera personality, I still went through a photography/videography seminar with a well-known videographer from San Francisco as I would sometimes end up in a situation where I would need to video my own story. He told us of the need to think of our shots as a story, to get several perspectives of the same scene, one more broad, one slightly closer in, and then yet another even closer in. This way of thinking about, of looking at potential shots, does change the way you might choose to take the picture. Think of it from the perspective of wanting your shot to tell a story, all within the context of the visual content.

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Also consider having your human subject in a corner of the frame, showing the perspective they are viewing...

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Look for unusual angles, unique visuals...

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And again, all of these shots were made with an inexpensive, point-and-shoot digital camera. Mess around with your settings. Play with all the amazing editing suites out there. Bend those old knees. Look at your world from a different perspective. Tell a story with your pictures. And when you do, be sure and let me see the results of your creativity.

Happy Perspective-Altering,

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