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Basic Photography Tips


My name is Stephen Cornfield and I own a company called Photo Field Imaging (www.photofieldimaging.com). We provide photographic as well as digital photo editing and digital scanning services (photographs, negative and slides).

As a photographer in Newmarket Ontario, I have found that no matter where you are, there is a seemingly endless amount of subjects to shoot. All you have to do at times is to open your eyes and go find them. Sometimes when I go out I do not know what I will find. Often, though, I will have an idea of what I would like to shoot, but finding the exact subject and location for my idea do not always come together.

In the Newmarket area there are many outdoor places that can provide you with photographic opportunities. Fairy Lake (my favourite) and the trail systems are just a couple. You can also shoot indoors at "The Tannery" once a permit has been attained.

As you go around and talk to photographers you will find that some love landscapes, for others it is wildlife but for me it is people. Does that mean that I do not occasionally go and intentionally shoot landscapes or wildlife? Of course I do, when the opportunity arises. I love shooting people in both formal and informal settings. By formal settings I mean for occasions when people are dressed up and are expecting to be posed or posing in certain ways (i.e. weddings). Informal settings could be birthday partings, social get togethers, etc.. T

To me, when I am looking for a shooting location I am always thinking background, background, background. What is in the background? Will the background be a distraction in the photograph? Will the background serve as simply background or a backdrop? Is there garbage or other unwanted artifacts lying around? Will the background add to or take away from the subject? Trust me. A background can either make or break a photograph.

The second thing that I look for is lighting. What time of day is it? Is the sun high in the sky? Is it overcast (i.e. cloudy)? Etc. I personally love to shoot on overcast days, where the light is more diffused (i.e. no harsh shadows or "speckly" backgrounds). If the light is harsh then I prefer to shoot in shady areas where the light can be more controlled. If I am shooting a subject that is out in the open I try to make sure that the scene is not backlit. If a scene is backlit it can make it very difficult to get proper exposure for the intended subject.

Last, but not least, is the subject. Even a photo of my beautiful wife can turn out bad if the first two steps have not been completed properly. When working with your subject some things to be considered are: How is the subject posed? How is their posture? Are they sitting/standing straight or do they have rounded shoulders? How are there hands positioned? Are their hands simply hanging like clumps of meat or are they doing something? I personally like to have the guys with their hands behind their backs or one hand in their pocket with the other leaning or resting on someone or thing.

I believe that if you are mindful of these things, your photographic results will greatly improve.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

About the Author:  Stephen Cornfield is a photographer who has several years experience photographing weddings, sporting and informal events. His company, Photo Field Imaging, www.photofieldimaging.com, also provides photo editing, restoration and scanning services for all types of photographs, film and slides.

Keywords: photography, tips, lighting, background, subject, Stephen Cornfield, Newmarket, Ontario, photographic




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