One more thing…

In yesterday's post I talked about what white balance to use for moon shots. (The moon in the sky, not someone's backside!) I didn't say anything about adding some perspective. A lot of times people will take a picture of the moon or some other large thing... but it just doesn't look so cool. You get the 'well, you had to be there, it was thiiiis big' explanation while looking at a really unimpressive photo. One thing that will help that problem is learning how to crop a photo to cut out the distractions. Big important thing. Many, if not most, pictures could be improved greatly with some cropping. The quickest and easiest thing to do is to provide some sort of context or perspective in the photo to show the size of whatever you're photographing as compared to something that's familiar to everyone to show scale. Think like a crime scene photographer. Lay down a dollar bill if it's a small thing, for instance. When you're talking an enormous old growth tree, put your kids in front of it with their arms outstretched. We've all seen the famous pictures of the California Redwoods that look like just big trees until you notice the liiiiiitle guy standing at the foot of those gnarly roots wearing the red wool shirt. That's perspective. It's also more interesting to us as people when there's a person or animal in a shot. That's why we like beautiful lake pictures with a canoe and a fisherman. It's easier to imagine ourselves enjoying the scene, putting ourselves into the picture. In my photo yesterday, I chose to photograph the moon through the tree branches in order to show it's relative size and nearness, which I believe was much more effective than a clear shot into the middle of the sky, with nothing else to show perspective. It's also a less boring composition. Oh. Round thing. Ok. As opposed to the negative space fingers of the branches reaching into the positive light of the moon. It's more interesting, see what I'm saying? If you can show the size relationship of your subject, letting the photo give the explanation, you'll have really made a big step forward in your work. Have fun! Keep shooting.