Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Better Christmas Photography - Day 1

Our very first 12 days of Better Christmas photography "classes". My goal is to make sure you have better Christmas photos you will be proud to share.

Day one is all about composition. More specifically, it's about getting closer. This is one of the downfalls of handing your camera to a stranger (or even a relative) to take your photo. Not only do they look at my DSLR like a monkey looking at a football, 9 times out of 10, they take 3 steps backwards and you get a horrible shot.

Sadly, I've seen a lot of people take their own photos that way.

Here's an example:


In this photo, I want to share with my readers that I have a growing antique deer collection I put out at Christmas time. I approached it like I might have 15 years ago. I step back, and get a shot of the whole scene on top of my hutch in my dining room.

It's distracting isn't it? Not only can you not see the deer very well, but the large pic above and the pic on the easel distracts from the story I want to tell.

So here's what I did:


I get closer to the scene, from a different angle. I crop out *in camera* most of the items I don't want to be seen. However you still see the little church and Christmas trees. They play a supporting role, so you can see that it's Christmas time, but the photo says "gee Lana likes deer, man does she have an issue."

I stepped in even closer and told another story:


All the focus is on one little deer. The story says "there are many deer, but this is the favorite one." Although to be fair, I'm not sure it is. That's like saying, "which kid is my favorite" (*cough*jingles*cough*)

Let's try it again:


This is better than the original photo. You get that it's a Christmas scene still, that I like vintage decor, and quirky old "little people" but that's about it.



By coming in close, and using the church as a backdrop, I'm telling the story about the quirky little people, and including them in my christmas scenes, even tho they are not Christmas decor.

To be fair, all three photos are ok, I just happen to think the last two have more character to them.

Remember, that ALL PHOTOS are good photos if you are there to take them, *print them* (don't store them on your card or phone only), and remember them forever. We're just working on making clearer memories.

Check back tomorrow. We'll be talking about photographing Christmas lights. (This one kicked my butt for YEARS - and sometimes still does!)


the Goodwife said...

Ooohh! Thank you soo much!! Your photos are lovely and I can't wait for the next installment!

Cara said...

A most enjoyable tutorial. I am a 'strange angle and very close or lots of bokeh' kind of girl. Your deer collection is charming.

Deea said...

Your deer collection is soooo cute! Composition is one I really need help with. I definitely need to take a photography class. Thanks for sharing your instruction!

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