Where's his head ?

On Photography - a good picture

Once I took a picture of my friend in Bali, he was standing next to a donkey.... so,I tried to get the the donkey into the picture . I must have moved or maybe some one jogged my elbow, when we developed the film....my mom saw the picture and had a good laugh ! I had taken my friend and the donkey for sure , my friend minus his head, only torso down and the donkey also minus it's head..only it's 'behind' ha ha ha. Well that was a long time ago, but my skill in taking photographs are not much developed. Since reading a lot about BYJ's hobby, I've gotten re-acquainted with photography.

Well, we'd better listen to an expert's advice before we go on and use up our camera's memories taking pictures of donkey's 'behind'. I'm taking advice from Mr Andy Grunberg, and posting some excerpts from his article in Microsoft Student 2008, titled 'Taking Better Photographs'. Here's his advice :

Learn What Makes a Good Picture Good

Some photographers master all the technical aspects of picture taking and still aren't happy with their images. Chances are, for them, the issue has to do with what a picture looks like, not with how it gets made. Here advice gets a bit thorny, since beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, and conventional isn't always beautiful. Still, there is no shortage of advice for better composition, starting with photojournalist Robert Capa's declaration, 'If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough.' But this is not a universal answer.


When taking a picture, most of us look to see what our main subject is doing, or whether everyone in the group fits into the viewfinder. But the picture we make is a rectangle with four edges and lots of space in between that requires thoughtful arrangement. All the contents of the picture compete for our visual attention; if something bright but irrelevant is lurking down in the lower right corner, the viewer’s eyes will go there and not to the center. If there's a tree growing behind your best friend's head in the original scene, it will look like a plumed headpiece in the picture.

To make a fairly complex subject simple, good framing takes the entire area of the picture, and its edges, into consideration. A kind of harmony needs to prevail, whether it's serene and classical or syncopated and jazzy. As an exercise to help you frame your pictures better, try photographing a partially abstract subject, such as the color red, or objects you wouldn’t ordinarily care about, such as spiral shapes. Think about fitting them into the frame in new and interesting ways. Once you've mastered colors and shapes, go on to subjects that are more animate and interesting


Sunlight looks best in photographs at the beginning of the day and again at day's end. (Coincidentally, this is when the light is most yellow.) These are also the times when you are most likely to find unusual conditions like fog or mist. For more drama, try photographing just before or after a storm.

Unfortunately for most of us, the middle hours of the day are when we visit the sites we want to photograph. Then the shadows will be minimal, making the picture look flat, and the contrasts that are present will be too harsh. Sometimes a polarizing filter, placed in front of the lens, can help restore the beauty of a scene, but this won’t work in all lighting situations. If you are photographing people, a white piece of cardboard or other simple reflector—placed to reflect light onto the face—can erase dark facial creases caused by strong shadows.

Subject Placement

Main subjects tend to be central subjects. Automatic camera systems are designed for photographing this way. But often a more interesting picture can result if the subject is off to the side. Don't be a slave to the centering urge; experiment with different angles and approaches while bearing in mind that you may need to adjust the camera's automatic controls. Also, the camera does not always need to be held at standing eye-level. Try kneeling down, or climbing a hill, to bring new perspective to your photographs. Remember that if your pictures seem to look all the same, it's not your camera's fault!

Subject distance

So maybe you do need to be closer to make your pictures better. It can't hurt to try something new. Then again, maybe you would do just as well to stand much farther away for a change. The point is, always taking pictures of people standing 2 to 3 m from the camera is boring. Unless you are trying to make a radical statement that everyone is ultimately the same, vary the ways you photograph people. The same goes with other subjects. Visually, it may be more interesting when a flower fills the frame to overflowing than when it is neatly framed within the picture. And a close-up of a baseball player's glove can make a stronger statement than a distant shot of an outfielder's great catch.

Many photographers study pictures, including paintings from centuries past, for clues to how to make their photographs better. Others may take pictures without looking through the viewfinder to try to discover new ways that the camera can depict the world. [myoce : hmm...this is what I did when photographing the leaves from the underside] More than anything else, thinking of your photography as a process of learning and discovery will help make your pictures better.

About the author: Andy Grundberg writes on photography for the New York Times and a number of other publications. His books on photography include Grundberg’s Goof-Proof Photography Guide (1989); Mike and Doug Starn (1990); and Crisis of the Real: Writings on Photography 1974-1989 (1991). He has taught photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, the San Francisco Art Institute, and Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

Source : Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Photos of BYJ : Taken from various Baesites, credits as labeled


Hyds said…
Hi Myoce,
Is that a mamiya his holding? Nice.. Thanks for the tips. will bear that in mind ;-)
myoce said…
Oh Hyds... I don't know...
I tried to search but did not find smt similar ..
Maybe it is a mamiya ...but an old model ?

The first one is a Leica..

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