Wednesday, May 5

Photography Tips

In four months my feet will be landing on new sod and while there I want to be able to portray the surroundings, architecture, people, souqs, mosques, beach, sunset, sunrises, modern structures and desert in the most honest and beautiful light.  How shall I do this?  Learn from someone who knows more than moi, so I registered in a photography class through Continuing Education at the local university.  So excited!  In order for us all to become better photographers I will hand over the best of the best advice:

6 + 1 Visual Elements:

1)  Form and Shape
These are the larger visual elements which are the point of focus in the picture.  These should work together to make and establish scale, mass and volume in the picture.

(Door in Southern France)

2)  Space
When looking at the picture, a feeling of vast amounts of space or being squished into a space can be relayed to the viewer via the elements in the picture.  What feeling do you want to portray?  How are you going to demonstrate this view using the elements in front of you?

(Karen's Cat)

3)  Tone / Contrast / Value
Black is the heaviest tone, white is the brightest / lightest tones and they help to create an eye's movement around the image.  Strong or minimal contrast can improve the composition.

(Museum window in Barcelona, Spain.)

(Cairo Cafe, Egypt)

4)  Colour
Rich, pale, strong contrast, similar hues, can add depth and create a beautiful, weird or aesthetically unique arrangement in a picture.

(Ferry ride to the Isle of Mull, Scotland)

5)  Pattern and Texture
Too many patterns and textures in a picture, or one or two dominant patterns can set the mood and visual movement in a picture.

(Stair case in Barcelona, Spain.)

6)  Line
Solid lines, contours, divisive lines all create architecture and structure within a picture.

(Inside of Lloyd's of London Insurance |Company, UK.)

7)  Extra Tip!
Above or Below, Behind or In Front of the camera.  Any place for the photographer to stand or post for a picture that is different than eye level will make a more interesting photograph.

(Standing underneath the flowers at the floating market in Amsterdam, Netherlands.)

We also reviewed metering with the camera, learned about histograms and the rule of thirds.  I now have homework:  to use the knowledge that I have learned this week and take pictures galore.  Each students is to mail her/his 6 best pictures to our teacher so they will can be critiqued in the next class.  Excited and enthused!

If you want more tips, try the Olympus Learn Centre.  Happy clicking everyone! 


  1. Oh no! I am so mad. This is the same course I took, but I took it when I didn't know how to use my camera. Now I wish I were back in the classroom with you, Tonia. Everything is resonating. Am going to read and learn along with you. I am guessing all of these are your own pictures?

    What is the teacher's name?

    Fabulous post fom you!

    Thank you.


  2. Jonathan and he a great teacher. I am becoming the master of my own camera, rather than the camera mastering me.