Saturday, February 28, 2009

About Hub's Photographic Picks

Reviews of photo equipment flourish on the Internet. Many of these review sites like are worth their weight in gold when it comes to evaluating the technical merits and advancements incorporated in new products. Credible web sites like provide invaluable insights whenever an equipment purchase is being researched. I use them myself. Others cause me to scratch my head and ask, "Does this writer know anything about photography?" (One dead give-away of questionable camera review sites that I continue to spot throughout the Internet are those that use the 100-year old photographic term shutter and spell the word s-h-u-d-d-e-r. It just makes me shudder.)

The occasional recommendations that I make in Hub's Photo Tips and Picks will be based on their general applicability, usability, durability and value to the beginning DSLR users. I will recommend only products that I have used personally and found to provide the "best bang for the buck".

Along the way, I will recommend books, articles, websites and other source materials that I have found to be insightful and educational on all things related to beginning DSLR photography.

So, no I won't be starting with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II or the Nikon D3X. Those "dream machines" are not within my average reader's budget and will remain "cameras to aspire to". Instead, I will be reviewing products that I believe are of the greatest value to those who want solid, dependable equipment that will enhance their photographic experience and NOT require a second mortgage to own.

My "Picks" begin with the next article. I will focus on the most misunderstood and neglected piece of equipment any serious beginning photographer must purchase -- the tripod. I'll review the requirements of a good tripod and one tripod, in particular, that I recently tested and found definitely met the challenge.

Since I will only suggest equipment, software, books and materials that I believe are worth your investment, there is no grading system -- like "4 stars" or "thumbs up/thumbs down." If I didn't think it was worth your time to consider, I wouldn't have wasted my time writing about it.

I hope you enjoy my "Picks" and that each one will add to your enjoyment of photography.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Frame Your Picture In The Camera

There is a simple, professional photographic trick that when used correctly will immediately add depth and interest to your pictures. The technique is called framing. Unlike the frame you buy at an art store, these frames are provided free by nature and man-made structures that are in your scene.

The dark foreground tree becomes a framing element to add depth to this Zion Park scene.

By placing a naturally occurring picture element to the front and near the borders of your composition, a natural frame is created. The close proximity of this framing element to the front of the picture also increases the perceived distance between the foreground and background of the image.

This Las Vegas Eiffel Tower is framed by the hotel arch.

The technique requires that you thoroughly investigate your subject from every angle to find framing elements that compliment your composition.

In the Rose Garden image above, the flowered archway presents a natural frame and entrance into the formal garden. Being darker than the rest of the image, the archway adds depth and provides a path for the eye to enter the picture.

Oregon Coast

This Oregon Coast line is framed by a native evergreen tree to add interest and emphasize the infinite ocean and sky seen in this picture.

TransAmerica Pyramid

The overhanging roof of a small San Francisco shop provides a natural frame that emphasizes the height of the TransAmerica tower and guides the viewer's eye to the subject.

REMEMBER: To have the framing element in focus as well as the rest of the picture, a large amount of depth of field is required (smaller aperture opening).

Use this simple framing technique to add another element of interest, professionalism and depth to your pictures. Nothing tricky here. Just a willingness to train your eye to see the framing possibilities surrounding your subjects. Like everything else in photography, it's mostly a matter of practice, practice, practice.