• Mt. Washington Alpenglow – Bretton Woods NH Ron Bowman / For the Monitor

  • Covered Bridge Ron Bowman / For the Monitor

For the Monitor
Published: 3/17/2021 9:17:50 PM

Great photos incorporate one or more artistic elements or ingredients.

In this lesson, we are going to explore the use of form (lines, shapes, patterns, and texture), moment and light to help create more interesting, memorable, and artistic photos.

Form is made up of lines, shapes, patterns, and textures, which can often steer the viewer from one place to another in a photo.

Notice how the lines, shapes, and patterns in this covered bridge photo, lead your eye to explore the entire interior from the foreground to the background.

Other examples of your photos could include shells at the seashore, boats in a harbor, an old Church, modern office building, unique architecture, close-up photos of flowers, etc.

Moment refers to a photograph that depicts a scene where the photographer is in the right place at the right time. The essence, of “Moment,” is that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to recreate the same picture again, which adds more value to the photograph.

An example of this is the photo of Mt. Washington. The pink color (alpenglow), at sunset only lasted a few minutes, which was but a moment in time. Other photos that depict “Moment” include news event photos, photos of people, stop action sports, etc.

For light, photographer Miroslav Tichy is credited with saying “Photography is painting with light.” Light is, without a doubt, one of the most important elements that helps determine the impact and success of your photos. When used properly, light can express moodiness, romance (candlelight), mystery, define form, define character, and help create emotion for the viewer. Your lighting options typically include artificial light (electronic flash or light bulbs) or natural light.

Electronic flash will help to light a scene indoors, but this type of lighting is not very flattering for pictures of people (unless done in a controlled studio setting). Where possible, try and use the available light indoors without using a flash.

Shooting in natural light outdoors offers many opportunities and challenges, depending on what you are photographing. Outdoor light ranges from twilight (prior to sunrise or just after sunset), sunrise or sunset, overcast light on cloudy days, sunny days with various forms of lighting (overhead, side, front and back) or even night scenes depicting outdoor lighting, fireworks, or the evening sky.

Although you can’t control outdoor light, you can plan your photo shoot based on the weather, time of day, or which direction you’re shooting into. The best light for people photos outdoors is on an overcast day, or in shade on a sunny day.

For landscape photos, try taking photos early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the light is less harsh and warmer in color. If you enjoy sunrise photos, then plan on being at your favorite spot about 30 minutes prior to sunrise, which will allow you to capture the changing colors in the sky. The most challenging light is on a sunny day at noon, when the light is directly overhead. So, where possible, try and avoid this time of day.

Stay tuned for my next lesson, where I will discuss the final elements of perspective and composition.

Ron Bowman is a NH photographer, with 50+ years of experience photographing weddings, real estate, and New England landscapes. He is a member of the Lakes Region Art Association and can be reached at: rbphotonh@gmail.com. You can also view his work at the Lakes Region Art Gallery located in the Tilton Outlet Mall and on his website: www.rbphotonh.com.

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