VIDEO: 9 Composition Tips from Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry is one of most iconic voices in contemporary photography with a career spanning more than 30 years.

As you can imagine, his experience in photography is invaluable. Here are 9 photo composition tips from McQurry that every aspiring photographer ought to keep in mind:

1. Rule of Thirds – This rule states that you should always position important elements along the lines on your camera grid.

2. Leading Lines – Use natural lines to lead the eye into the picture.

3. Diagonals – Diagonal lines create great movement.

4. Framing – Use natural frames like windows and doors.

5. Figure to Ground – Find a contrast between subject and background.

6. Fill the Frame – Get close to your subjects.

7. Center Dominant Eye – Place the dominant eye in the center of the photo. This gives the impression the eyes follow you.

8. Patterns & Repetition – Patterns are aesthetically pleasing. But the best is when the pattern is interrupted.

9. Symmetry – Symmetry is pleasing to the eye.

Remember that the composition is important, but rules are meant to be broken. So enjoy yourself, photograph in your own way and style.

 

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Natural Light Portraiture with Karl Taylor

For beginners, natural light portraiture can be difficult to crack, largely because of the difficulty in controlling light.  However, there are other things to consider beyond light that can also affect the look of your images.

In this video, Karl Taylor looks at the importance of posing the subject right, the choice of lens, choice of aperture, lighting the subject, and the environment. Karl offers some great insight into what makes great natural light portraitures great.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

David Gitonga

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YouTube Takes Annotations to the Next Level with “Cards”

 

In a bid to bring annotations to mobile and make them just as beautiful as uploaded videos, YouTube has rolled out what it calls “Cards.” These are customized images, titles, and call-to-action text that come in 6 different categories.

Cards can now inform viewers about other related videos, merchandise, playlists, websites, fundraising, and fan funding.  One unique thing about cards, unlike annotations, is the fact that they are available anytime during the video.  And in case you’re wondering, they also work on mobile.

I tried playing around with the new “Cards” system and was impressed.  They not only look beautiful and appealing, they are also quite captivating and make you want to click on the beautiful thumbnails that accompany them. In order to view a card’s content, you will need to click the “info” symbol.

To create and edit Cards, simply go to your YouTube Video Editor and select the “Cards” tab. You will still be able to create both annotations and cards, but according to YouTube, the goal is to have these “eventually replace annotations, but this will happen only once they can do everything annotations can do today.”

In the meantime, why not try and play around with Cards and see what you can do with them. I, for once, will definitely start creating them for both my existing and future YouTube videos.

 

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Steve McQueen – Stagnant

Camera movements can greatly enhance the look and quality of your shots. However, with so much emphasis on camera movements these days, it is easy to forget that static shots can also be a powerful way of telling a story. Rather than insisting on employing, or saturating, a film with lavish, complex, slow dolly or handheld movements, why not simply leave the camera be?

As you check out the video below, notice how these static shots all one to fully absorb the moment. These shots are especially great when you need to help viewers absorb gruesome struggles and extreme distress of the character. McQueen often lingers  on these moments for extended periods of time leaving the camera motionless. Viewers cannot escape the moment and are forced to endure every second of it, and feel the intensity, pain, anger, or frustration of the character.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Interview with Mbugua Njihia, CEO, Symbiotic

I got to interview Mbugua Njihia, CEO of Symbiotic, at his office located in Nailab. The interview was interesting and I got to try out a new approach to editing that I have been dying to experiment.

I shot the interview with two cameras and used the huge windows at Nailab as the main light source. The interview setup took about 20 minutes and the interview lasted for about 15 minutes.

Hope you like it.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

David Gitonga

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