Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A New Way of Composing

by Deanna

I have been very fortunate in the last month to hear two very successful photographers speak on composition and what makes one image picture worthy and others not so much. I even attended a two-day workshop on macro photography with Mike Moats who is an award winning and much published photographer.  After being in the business since 2004, Mike has learned what is a "winning" piece, what non-photographers are attracted to.  It's not the teeny tiny macro that some of us swoon over, (see below) because most non-photographers can not identify with the tip of the flower being in focus while the rest is totally out of focus.

What most people are attracted to, in his years of analyzing what he sells and why, are those images that are a little unusual but still very identifiable.  For example, here is a tulip.....

It's a nice image, pretty colors, but it is so typical of an average everyday tulip, head in top half, stem below.  What Mike encourages us to do is find subjects that are unique for a much more interesting piece of work.  For example here is a beautiful red tulip with its petals curling and raindrops adding that extra layer of texture.

or this....a tulip just beginning to unfurl with the light in the perfect spot.

All three are images of tulips but I think you all would agree that the last two have more interest than the 1st one.

Springtime brings me out with camera in hand searching for the newness of Spring.  I especially am attracted to flowering trees, such beauty for such a brief moment in time. I like the image below, it's one of the many crab apples that bloomed at the arboretum this year, beautiful pink and sharp focus with a nice depth of field. 

But, I like this one better, because it is just a little more unique. Blooms still in tight buds with one just beginning to open. Now this is just my opinion. But that's what art is all about....what you like, what makes you happy. What speaks to you. 

Mike has had his greatest success with what he refers to as his "two subject" pieces. They are his winners.  A background with an object on top.  Sounds pretty simple, right?  And it is, the challenge is to find the right background with an appealing piece on top. I'll show you a couple of my examples of a two subject image.

In this first example, the beautiful dark green foliage is the background and the sweet blue flowers are the 2nd subject in this "two subject" piece.

Here is another example of a two subject image.  Ferns in the background with a ladybug as the 2nd subject.

Now, I am challenging you all to find those unique subjects and see what happens when you focus on a two subject piece.

 And speaking of Focus....our theme for this month is leading lines. We would love to see your "leading lines" images on our Instagram #focusingonlife and in our Flicker group, Focusing On Life. Please join in on the fun. You just might be highlighted in our Focus on You which happens every Friday right here.


terriporter said...

Oh, my, these images are so beautiful! I'm still swooning over the second one of the crabapple! I was so excited to be able to take a workshop with Mike Moats which was scheduled for last September here in town. I had heard such great things about him and with my love of macro, it was right up my alley. Unfortunately, the workshop was canceled so I am hoping it will be rescheduled at some point. Just reading your post has me thinking about my macro photography a little differently. With all the bees buzzing around my cactus flowers, I should be able to accomplish some two-subject photos! Thanks for sharing about this workshop. Now I want to attend one even more than ever!

Dotti said...

What an educational and inspirational post! Your examples make the "directions" easy to understand. I can tell this is a post I'll be coming back to. In fact, I may just print it out!

Claudia Wrightson said...

:) well... I DID print it and will use it. I dont sell many prints but I liked your first crab apple photo with the ONE (close bud, trying to open bud, and OPEN flower) cuz of the good better and best look... but then when i see your 2 subject idea I "rethunk" my choice.

Thanks for sharing!!

Jeanne said...

Great ideas and I totally agree that all of us want something that has the "extra oomph" . Sounds like both of your classes were very informative. Going to work more on my two subject shots! Great article Deanna, and of course your photography is !#$%@!!!! as always

Jan said...

Your photos have begun to reach out and grab me! These are so beautiful and such unique perceptions of beauty! It has been such joy for me to watch your photography blossom!

Susan Licht said...

Inspiring post! I'm in love with those tiny blue flowers on that dark leafy background!

kelly said...

Wow Deanna! Amazing captures! Thank you for sharing what you learned from the workshop and these great examples. I will certainly keep these things in mind! xoxo

Cathy H. said...

You've given me a lot to think about; looking for something a bit more interesting and the two-subject shot. Thank you for sharing what you learned from Mike Moats and showing us such beautiful examples!

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