Thursday, May 27, 2010

Featured article in Tompkins Weekly!

We are honored by Tompkins Weekly article featuring our company! You can visit the article at . Look for us on page 10 and 11! Thank you, Sue Henniger, for coming in to meet with us, and learning about IthacaStock!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It Ain't the Violin

Photographers are some of the biggest technology geeks in the world.

The newest camera comes out, and we rush like an elephant herd to go get it, so that we can take better pictures. The problem is, the photos don't actually get a lot better. Clearer, sharper, less noise maybe, but unless we improve ourselves, the hardware won't make much of a difference.

So, not in any particular order, let me give you a few tips to help improve your work straight away, without costing you a camera worthy of a second mortgage.

Step One: Identify your subject.
You would think this was simple, right? For the most part it is, but our eye sees lots of stuff, and we want to capture the scene, the smell, the sun, the hot dogs- whatever. Train yourselves to ask, as you're aiming the camera, what am I trying to show? Simplify!

Step Two: Seperate your subject from the background.
This can be done by using a large aperture so that only the subject is in focus - use the portrait mode for you with the point and shoot cameras - if your subject is moving, pan the camera so your subject is in focus, and everything else is blurred.

Always look for the background. Think: "Will this background help or hurt the image?" Sometimes a distraction can be hidden behind your subject by moving a step or two.

Step Three: Move your subject off center.
Your subject should be 1/3 to the left, right, top or bottom of center. Of course, this is more what the pirates call "Guidelines," and there are exceptions. Never put the horizon at the exact center of a photograph.

Step Four: Diagonals and Curves.
Your eye wants to move through a photo and explore. If everything to see is smack in the middle and square, the eye says, "OK, I'm done." Diagonals and curves bring a third dimension to your images, which causes our eye to be curious and wander.

Step Five: Get Uncomfortable.
"What? Get Uncomfortable? I just want to be a photographer and take pictures. Why should I get uncomfortable?" The truth is, anyone can hold a camera at eye level, and press a button. And they get exactly what they've worked for, a snapshot.

To capture a great image, you must get uncomfortable, and explore perspectives a "normal" person just won't try. This is spring time, when the flowers and trees are blooming. Try photographing from beneath them, and see what glorious images you get as the sun illuminates and glows through the colors of petals and leaves. Lie down in the wet grass to get the image of dew on a crisp morning. Get up at 4 AM and drive to the forest to catch the first rays of sun in a wild wood.

Your perspective is Unique. Nobody sees things exactly like you do!
Capture it, and share it!
The tips I've given here aren't rocket science, and can be accomplished by anyone with a camera, from a Brownie to a Canon EOS. These tips are merely tools, helping your talent flare and focus into images worthy of a professional.
So you see, it ain't the violin, it's the violinist. A picture isn't about the camera, it reflects the photographer.
Until Next Time,