February Highlights Reel: Composition

As we come to an end of the month, I have enjoyed seeing the various ways y'all have incorporated Composition into your work. I've seen examples of layering, framing, negative space, even the golden triangle! In the moment, when we are practicing, it can feel difficult to see composition but as we practice, we develop instincts that become second nature. It's amazing to see how naturally those same skill come to us, a benefit of all the practice. Here are a few of my favorites from the past month.

Shelly Baisa

1) Gear: Sony a7iii & Lensbaby Edge 80

2) Settings: ISO 100 | 1/800s | f4

3) The Shot: As the sun was going down, I sat on the floor next to the bench Flynn was sitting on and pulled the sheers back to the right to add framing. I always love the light that pours through this window at this time of day. I’m naturally drawn to rule of thirds, but in this case, I think my composition also reflects the golden triangle.

4) Post Processing: I did my initial edits in ACR, correcting exposure, decreasing highlights and increasing shadows a bit. I also tweaked the white balance for warmth. I finished my edits in Ps where I cropped just a bit, cleaned up my dirty windowsill, and added a bit of contrast.

Shelley Ford

1) Gear: Fuji XT-1 & 27mm prime

2) Settings: ISO 600, 1/500 F2.8

3) The Shot: Shot at Wepre park on the boardwalk- we had to wait ages for it to be empty - I just love how it winds through the frame, and provides leading lines. Also trying to include layers and rule of thirds with his position in the frame.

4) Post Processing: Small crop in LR - I was rushing to capture before someone else came around the corner & didn’t get it exactly how I wanted

Amelia Schulte

1) Gear: Nikon d750, 35mm lense

2) Settings: f2.8, 1/200, ISO 500

3) The Shot: I gave been trying to be mindful of negative space and the rule of thirds this week. I wanted to include more of the story with the beam or light shining down on my cat, so I used negative space and the curve of the arm of the chair to bring attention down to the cat!

4) edited in Lightroom: Used graduated filter to darken the opposite corner from the window, brought up warmth, and used a bokah overlay to grab attention to the light!

Molly Garg

1) Gear: Nikon 750 24-70 lens

2) Settings: f13, 1/200 ISO200

3) The Shot: This was taken on a surprisingly empty sledding hill. I thought the white snow and my son's red coat was a perfect time to take advantage of negative space.

4) Post Processing: This was a very cool image straight out of the camera so I had to really warm it up- I also upped the clarity and blue in the sky so those pretty fluffy clouds would pop

Kimberly Lema

1) Gear: Canon EOS 5D mark iii

2) Settings: 1/125 sec @ f/4.0; ISO 4000

3) The Shot: I love leading lines and reflections and this little love pulled that all together when he was looking outside - so eager to get out there in the middle of the blizzard. I shot the image looking down and luckily had my camera ready because he's a fast one!

4) Post Processing: Pretty Present Clean Rich Color; added some more contrast; dropped the dark tones. All in Adobe Lightroom (still working on learning Photoshop!).

Jenny Dunn Pray

1) Gear: Nikon D750 50mm Nikkor Lens

2) Settings: f 2.2, ISO 250, 1/20 sec

3) The Shot: They were moving very slowly, so I focused on my daughter and her friend and shot as people skated by in front of me.

4) Post Processing: I used a radial gradient to lighten my subjects up and I boosted the vibrance and clarity.

Michelle Kirkby

1) Gear: Canon Mark IV, 35 mm

2) Settings: Iso 5000, f/2.8, 1/250 sec

3) The Shot: I stood above him on an upper landing and had him walk down the stairs. There was a giant window he's walking towards and I really wanted to make sure I had the light on the front of him.

4) Post Processing: Edited in LR, the photo was very yellow so I played around quite a bit in the HSL panel and then selected subject and took saturation down everywhere else. Also upped contrast and clarity and used brushes and gradient filter to emphasize light and shadows.

Jessica Underbrink

1) Gear: Sony a7iii / 35mm

2) Settings: f1.4, iso 320, 1/160

3) The Shot: My 7 year old had a loose tooth that was dangling, but he couldn’t pull it out. My 9 year old offered some assistance. I shot through my older son’s arms, framing the reflection of their faces in the mirror.

4) Post Processing: Changed to black & white, and bumped up the exposure and contrast slightly.

Sarah Noël

1) Gear: GoPro Hero 8

2) Settings: Auto mode

3) The Shot: We went skating on the frozen lake outside and I wanted to work on framing and thought it would be cool to use my husband’s legs as the frame

4) Post Processing: Edited by straightening and correcting distorsion, increased shadows and adding a bit of texture on the ice.

Jourdan McCord

1) Gear: Nikon D5600; 35 mm

2) Settings: 1/2000 sec at f1.8, ISO 5000

3) The Shot: My little guy climbed in to the dryer to help grab the last bit of clothes. Love those little feet.

4) Post Processing: Edited with LR iPhone: increased contrast, shadows, and whites quite a bit. Warmed the image and increased vibrancy and texture.

Erin Jackson

1) Gear: Canon 6D Mark ii, Lensbaby Sol45

2) Settings: ISO 1600, f/3.5 (fixed), 1/100

3) The Shot: We've spent a lot of time potty training in the last week and I wanted to capture it in a way that didn't feel to intrusive of my daughter's privacy. While she was sitting on her potty (with her dinner and her iPad, just as she likes), I stood back so that I could see enough of her through the door to tell the story without showing too much. I twisted my Sol45 to get her in focus but create a nice blur everywhere else so that the lights down the hall added to the atmosphere but didn't distract from her.

4) Post Processing: I edited this in Lightroom using a Tribe Archipelago preset and graduated filters, with some tweaks in the HSL panel.

Doretha Rost

1) Gear: Nikon D780, 50 mm

2) Settings: f1.8, 1/500 sec, ISO 100

3) The Shot: I love taking still life shots on this windowsill in my bedroom, especially late afternoon when the light is a little bit softer and diffused. I played with different perspectives but like this one because of the lines, layers and framing.

4) Post Processing: I toned down the bright colours in Lightroom to add a bit of mood. I also cropped and sharpened the details

Claire Cullingford

1) Gear: Canon R6 35mm prime

2) Settings: F2.8 1/160 iso 125

3) The Shot: I was stood in the window with one side of the curtains shut. They are thick curtains and blocked out most of the light. Used my phone as the remote for my camera.

4) Post Processing: I added a black and white preset and darkened the bottom right corner with a brush in PS. Cropped slightly to apply the rule of thirds composition.

Lori Minor

1) Gear: I shot this with my drone

2) Settings: ISO 100, f2.8, & 1/1250.

3) The Shot: I utilized leading lines for the image, as I had my kiddos made a little path to where they made their snow angles. I also utilized the snow as negative space. I did crop the image so that the kiddos would be at the intersecting line of the left upper rule of thirds.

4) Post Processing: I edited this with an Archipelago preset. I made a mask in LR of the trail to darken it a tad, I decreased the highlights, & decreased the blacks (it was a little difficult to discern the path, as there was so much white from the snow. I also made a mask of my kids & increased the shadows a tad. I also increased the whites of the entire image, as there was a bluish hue on the snow.

Reynada Head

1) Gear: Canon R6, 50mm 1.8 lens

2) Settings: 1/500 sec at f/ 3.2, ISO 125, 50mm

3) The Shot: As we drove from south Mississippi to our destination in Pensacola, FL, I looked back in the rearview mirror to see the sunset reflecting on the van. I shot this with reflections, layers and framing in mind. Focused in the rearview mirror and took several shots hoping that the bumps of the ride didn’t ruin the image.

4) Post Processing: LrC basic adjustments that included -contrast and highlights, + texture and clarity. HSL, hue: -red/orange/yellow, +blue; saturation: +red/orange, -green; lum: +red/orange. Photoshop, minor adjustments to levels before export.

Nikola Viens

1) Gear: GoPro Hero 10

2) Settings: 1/1800 sec f2.5 ISO 100

3) The Shot: Shot this during an unusually warm winter day (anything above 60 degrees and we head to the beach for some salt water therapy)

4) Post Processing: Edited in LR Mobile to enhance sky, lift shadows, dehaze and sharpen

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