Outdoor Composition: 3 More Techniques (Part 2 of 2)

Last week I mentioned how I enjoy incorporating foreground elements, framing and leading lines into the composition of my images in order to create stronger and more dynamic images. This week I’m sharing three more elements of composition that when used well will strengthen the quality of your captures. Composition is really easy to use as you go about capturing your everyday. It’s about being aware and shooting with intent.

Here are three more composition techniques that will bring attention to your subject and help you create stronger photographic images.

4. Centre composition  

One of the first rules of composition I learned as a new photographer was the rule of thirds, which specifies your subject placement should not be centre composed rather it’s more pleasing to have your subject placed within the first or last third of a scene. However this rule is meant to be broken. Nature has a way of being incredibly balanced. When I see a scene in which nature is balanced or mostly balanced I will often use centre composition. I find so much calm in nature and I think a nicely balanced image helps infuse a sense of harmony and peace.

ISO 200, 200mm, 3.2f, 1/200SS

ISO 200, 200mm, 3.2f, 1/200SS

5. Perspective changes

This is a super fun technique!  I’m drawn to a certain type of image and I thrive on simplicity in my images so there are times I feel like I’m repeating the same image over and over again just in a different location. This is my favourite compositional technique to add uniqueness, variety and even creativity.

Try shooting up at your subject. I adore the sense of height and freedom implied within this composition. Sometimes shooting up means laying on your back and shooting directly up towards to sky and your subject. Just make sure you’re safety outside of a potential collision path!

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/500SS

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/500SS

Or try shooting down at your subject! There’s a wonderful feeling of protection and caring infused into this composition perspective.

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/800SS

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/800SS

6. Scale

I adore the feeling of little in a great big world.  I often use this technique to capture my children when we are out in nature.  Nature can be big, bold and oh so beautiful and I like to showcase how grande the world around us is.

ScaleOutdoorComposition.jpg

Remember these composition techniques when you are outdoors capturing memories. If you take a moment to compose your images thoughtfully you’ll immediately elevate an image.

In case you missed the first three outdoor composition tips you can find that here: Outdoor Composition: 3 Techniques (Part 1 of 2).

Enjoy being creative and exploring different types of composition when you are out shooting!

Outdoor Composition: 3 Techniques (Part 1 of 2)

Despite a couple of weather hiccups this spring, involving snow storms, we are slowly warming up and I know that many of you are well into summer like weather. With spring blooms on the horizon, where I live, we are venturing outside a lot more often. Heading back outdoors has rejuvenated my creativity and I’ve started to look for new but familiar places to photograph my children. With that, I’ve also become excited about exploring composition outdoors. Composition is an important tool in photography as it can attract a viewer’s attention, lead a viewer through a frame, help tell a story and infuse intention into what you the artist is trying to visually convey. Intentional use of composition will help you become a stronger photographer.

Here are a few techniques and elements of composition, that I like to use in my outdoor images.  

1. Incorporate foreground elements

Incorporating foreground elements within a frame can help add depth to an image which creates a more three dimensional and lifelike feeling.  There are several ways foreground elements can be infused into an image.  One of my favourite ways to layer an image and create that foreground is to get down low, and by low, I mean really low, often laying on my stomach in order to capture an image.  This results in a nice blurred foreground if you are shooting at a reasonably wide aperture and focusing on your subject in the distance.

ISO 200, 200mm, 3.2f, 1/1250SS

ISO 200, 200mm, 3.2f, 1/1250SS

A second way foreground elements can be incorporated into an image is simply by shooting from behind an element like a tree, shrub, grasses and so on.  This technique is a favourite of mine when I backlight my subjects because the foreground objects typically catch the light creating beautiful sparkly foreground bokeh and glow.

ISO 800, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS

ISO 800, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS

A third way in which to incorporate foreground elements is to use creative techniques like a prism.  I really love how a prism can reflect surrounding natural elements into an image or how a beautiful rainbow like flare can infuse a little creative magic into a capture, making it fun and unique.

PortraitPrism.jpg

2. Framing

Framing is a fantastic way to bring attention to a subject or subjects within an image.  Outdoors, I find opportunities to frame exist everywhere!  Subjects can be framed in park play structures, doorways of tunnels, in doorways of buildings, through windows of a structure, through fences, between tree trucks, amongst tree branches, between grasses, and so on.  Being aware of naturally occurring and structural objects and using them in a way that frames your subject can really elevate an image in a creative way.

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1250

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1250

3. Leading lines

Leading lines not only help bring a viewer’s attention to your subject but can also add depth to an image and lead your viewer's eye through a frame, helping tell a story.  I like to look for elements like pathways, man-made and naturally occurring, shorelines, logs, tree branches and anything that helps lead my eye towards my subject in a fun and creative way.

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/640SS

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/640SS

I hope you’ll enjoy incorporating some of these compositional techniques into your own outdoor images! Part 2 of this mini series on outdoor composition is on its way next week so be sure to keep an eye out for that!

Inside My Camera Bag: My Most Used Photography Gear when Capturing my Children

I always enjoy reading about what’s in a photographer’s gear bag so I thought I’d take you inside mine! Don’t worry I’ve cleaned out the rocks, I’ve taken out the sticks, removed the dried up leaves and flowers and shaken out the snack crumbs for just this occasion!

Speaking of camera bag, I own Kelly Moore’s, The 2 Sues in a pretty deep mauve. This bag is big enough to hold one camera body and two average lenses. I adore all the pockets and places to store items like extra batteries and memory cards. I’ve had this camera bag for years and put it to the test! It still looks great and has withstood snow, rain, sand and mud. It’s even water resistant which I appreciate!     

Now let’s dive in and I’ll share my favourite and most used photography gear!

1. Nikon D810 and D610

My camera body of choice is currently my Nikon D810. I’ve hung onto my D610 for several reasons, I’m a bit sentimental when it comes to gear, but I find it’s also incredibly useful to have two bodies at times. My D810 is my go to camera but if I need a second body for some reason I use my D610. I also bring my D610 to places like the beach or hiking because it’s a littler lighter and there’s a higher possibility that it might get scuffed up. If I’m doing any photography around water I always use my D610 as it fits nicely inside my DiCAPac.  

ISO 800, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250SS

ISO 800, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250SS

2. Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 f 

The Sigma Art 35mm is my most used lens when I’m photographing indoors. I like to shoot a little wider indoors as I can capture a little more space around my subject which helps me tell a better story. This lens is a dream when it comes to sharpness, although it did need calibrating with my D810. I love that I can open up my aperture nice and wide letting in as much light as possible in lower light situations. I also adore the beautiful flare that I can get indoors with this lens! It’s so pretty!   

ISO 1600, 35mm, 2f, 1/800SS

ISO 1600, 35mm, 2f, 1/800SS

3. Nikkor 50mm 1.4f 

This was the first lens I purchased and it was the only lens I captured my children with for a very long time. It’s a fantastic all around lens. Nowadays though I use this lens for all my freelensing images. 

ISO 3200, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/200

ISO 3200, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/200

4. Nikkor 105mm 2.8f

This is my absolute favourite lens. I’m particularly attracted to telephoto lenses when I’m out capturing my children. My children can run and play and I can hang back a little allowing them to be themselves and in the moment without a camera interfering. I also happen to adore that this lens isn’t all that heavy. My absolute favourite thing about this lens though is the gorgeous bokeh and flare!

Another thing about this lens is it doubles as a macro which is awesome! It’s nice to have options!  

ISO 800, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1250mm

ISO 800, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1250mm

5. Nikkor 70-200 2.8f

I love telephoto lenses and this lens does not disappoint! I adore the zoom on this lens. It allows for signifiant versatility when it comes to focal length. I enjoy taking this lens with me when we are not going far or shooting long because it is heavy and big. The bokeh and flare however are gorgeous and if you like that look this lens will fill up your heart’s desire! 

ISo 400, 95mm, 3.5f, 1/640SS

ISo 400, 95mm, 3.5f, 1/640SS

6. Prism, copper tube, lace

I adore creative photography so tucked into one of the pockets of my camera bag is my prism, copper tube and a piece of lace. I enjoy pulling out these tools and embracing the creativity that comes with their use! 

ISO 200, 85mm, 3.2f, 1/1000SS

ISO 200, 85mm, 3.2f, 1/1000SS

7. Sigma Art 14mm 1.8f

This lens isn’t in my camera bag yet but I wanted to mention it because it sits at the top of my wish list. I want it specifically for night landscape photography however when I rented it I enjoyed using it with my children. I adore the wide aperture and I think it’ll fit nicely into my collection of lenses I use when capturing my children specifically when I want to capture a whole scene.

I’d love to hear what your favourite child photography items are and why! So please feel free to leave a comment in the blog post!

How to Take Stunning Photos in Overcast Light

Light happens to be one of my favourite photography topics. I adore all things light. Finding light, manipulating light, capturing light…it’s a passion of mine. I also happen to love a good challenge so the more challenging the light the more enticing it is for me to work with and capture it in a technically strong and creative way. In the past I’ve found myself a little disappointed when the outdoors has given me overcast light. However, in time I’ve found ways to work with overcast light in ways that can be beautiful too. Here are some of my tips for working with overcast light.

1. Create portraits or environmental portraits

Overcast light can be beautiful portraiture light. The dynamic range or difference between the highlights and shadows in your scene is lessened as compared to shooting in stronger light. This creates more even lighting in your scene. This even lighting falls beautifully across a subject resulting in smooth and even skin with little worry about distracting highlights or shadows.

When creating portraits in overcast light I make sure that I’m still aware of where the sun should be. If you are unsure of where the sun should be you can look for soft shadows around you. The sun is always opposite the direction in which a shadow is falling. Or there are numerous free apps such as Sky View Lite, Sky Guide and others that will superimpose the sun’s placement when you hold your phone up to the sky when using the app. Knowing where the sun is will help you still use overcast light in a good way. I like to have the light behind me, falling flat over my subject. This creates beautiful catchlights in your subject’s eyes, especially if your subject’s head is tilted upwards just a touch, and soft and even skin tones. 

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS

2. Embrace the mood within overcast light

Overcast light emits a certain type of mood. Usually one of peace, tranquility and calm or sometimes even moody drama. Play this up! Capture images in a way that enhances the calm or moody drama in your surrounding.

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/4000SS

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/4000SS

3. Incorporate juxtaposition

As just noted overcast light typically suggests calm or moody drama within an image. Incorporating elements into your image that are contradictory to these moods will likely draw attention to your image. Think energy within a moody scene, like a dancing child or movement of any kind.

ISO 2000, 120mm, 3.5f, 1/1600SS

ISO 2000, 120mm, 3.5f, 1/1600SS

4. Focus in on detail

Another favourite technique of mine in many situations is to simply focus in on details. When the light is not dynamic drawing attention to a simple detail can still contribute to a powerful and stunning image.  

ISO 200, 50mm, 2.8f, 1/1600SS

ISO 200, 50mm, 2.8f, 1/1600SS

5. Use interesting compositions

Overcast light is for the most part flat. Incorporating elements of composition that enhance depth can result in a more interesting and dynamic image. Challenge yourself to find creative composition after all you’ll be working with light that isn’t all that hard to manage so now is the time to take risks and challenge yourself with experimenting in composition.

CreativeCompOvercastLight.jpg

6. Incorporate a creative technique

I really enjoy thinking up ways in which I can push my images creatively. By using natural elements around me like shurbs, tree branches, flowers or other products like a prism or by freelensing a bit of artistic flair can be infused into an image making it unique and captivating even in overcast light.

ISO 200, 105, 3.2f, 1250ss

ISO 200, 105, 3.2f, 1250ss

Next time you are given overcast light remember these tips! Stunning images can be captured in every lighting situation!

4 Lessons Landscape Photography has Taught me that Make me a better Everyday Photographer

I have loved the Canadian Rocky Mountains since I was a little girl. As a child, I remember my sisters and I impatiently waiting for our father to arrive home from work while our mother hurried around packing up our motorhome in anticipation for another family adventure into the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I recall feelings of excitement as I buckled my seatbelt with my sisters beside me and my sheltie pup, Cindy, at my feet. There was a thrill in the air as we headed off towards the sunset and “my mountains”. Some of my happiest childhood memories are from these mountain trips. It’s been many years since I was a child but my connection to the Rockies has only grown stronger as the years have gone by. Now it’s my turn to take my own children into “my mountains” to create cherished moments and beautiful memories.  

As a mother my passion for photography was initially being fed by my desire to photograph every single moment of my sweet little children’s lives. However, in 2015 my desire for personal photography development branched off into me exploring landscape photography and I haven’t looked back since. This genre is truly a perfect fit for me. My love of nature and all things outdoors, my passion for spending time in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and my love of photography has melded together and made me into the landscape photographer I am today. I’m about as passionate a landscape photographer as they come and as my priorities to my family allow.

Photography has given me so many amazing gifts. There’s nothing more thrilling then watching the morning sky fill with beautiful warm coloured light while listening to the good morning songs of the mountain birds or watching the sun fight stormy clouds during a dramatic sunset over mountain peaks while breathing in the scent of fresh rain or standing in silent awe beneath a sky twinkling with stars that shine so brightly it’s as if they were touchable…it takes my breath away, every, single, time. The giving doesn’t end there though. The friendships I have made, the laughter so fierce that your belly hurts and your eyes well with tears, the connections, the moments, the memories…all priceless and all because of landscape photography. There’s also applicable gifts that landscape photography has given me which make me a better everyday photographer. Those are what I want to share with you in more detail. 

ISO 100, 21mm, 14f, 1.6sec

ISO 100, 21mm, 14f, 1.6sec

1. Light is key  

One of my favourite all time photography quotes is from George Eastman who stated, ”Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” 

Landscape photography has taught me how to embrace, admire, love and above all know light. As a landscape photographer my relationship with light found an all new level of respect. I cannot manipulate light when I’m out immersed in landscape. I must embrace and accept light for how she shows up. I’ve come to learn that all types of light are beautiful and that knowing how to work with any given light is truly the key to photography. There’s power and beauty in all types of light. 

ISO 100, 24mm, 13f, 20sec

ISO 100, 24mm, 13f, 20sec

2. Composition matters

One of the first lessons a new photographer, of any genre, learns is that composition matters. Then, usually, the rule of thirds is mentioned but composition is so much more than that. Landscape photography has taught how to thoughtfully consider the elements present within my scene and to use them in a way that helps tell a story in a meaningful, visually pleasing and creative way. 

These lessons have impacted my everyday photography. When I capture my children as opposed to just snapping away I try to always compose very thoughtfully. I’ve also become more comfortable with embracing creativity and it was landscape photography that opened my eyes to this possibility.  

ISO 400, 16mm, 11f, 25sec

ISO 400, 16mm, 11f, 25sec

3. Post processing matters 

I find that there are two type of photographers…those that loathe post processing and those that adore it. I’m in the latter category. I think that there is an incredible amount of post processing freedom within the digital manipulation of a landscape image. I’ve embraced those freedoms and thoroughly enjoy creating an artistic image. 

The freedom I have found within processing landscape images has most certainly translated over into my everyday images. I enjoy manipulating and creating something beautiful.

ISO 100, 17mm, 14f, 3sec

ISO 100, 17mm, 14f, 3sec

4. Embrace your own creative self and infuse you into your images

When I was a new photographer learning all the things I could possibly learn I remember feeling anxious whenever someone talked about photography style. Did I have one? Or didn’t I? What if I didn’t? I needed one! When would my style develop? How would I know that I’d found my style? What if I never found my style? Ha! Well these days I’m much more relaxed about such things. Why? Well because I’ve learned, but sometimes still have to try hard, to let go of what I think others will think about my images and instead embrace my own creative self and infuse that into my images. Landscape photography has taught me that no two photographers will ever capture the same scene in the same way. The differences might be subtle, in some cases, but will never be identical. Landscape photography has taught me that as a photographer I need to trust in myself and then capture my images in a way that no one else can ever replicate. I need to always capture what I love, from my own heart, and in my own unique way. 

ISO 1000, 16mm, 10f, 3sec

ISO 1000, 16mm, 10f, 3sec

I’m absolutely delighted to be able to co-facilitate: Enchantment in the Rockies with Kristen Ryan of Kristen Ryan Photography coming this November 6-10, 2019. This retreat has been created for women and will be held in my beloved Canadian Rocky Mountains. Priority registration opens up tomorrow, Wednesday, April 24, 2019 for those subscribed to my website. I look forward to meeting the ladies who attend. I’m thrilled to be able to have the incredible opportunity to connect, learn and grow with each of you as women photographers.

Easter-3 Must Capture Perspectives

In my home Easter is a fun time! My children always request Easter egg decorating as an activity this time of year. They literally sit for hours perfecting their egg masterpieces while I snap images on my camera. After awhile though I begin to realize I’ve taken the same image over and over again just with a different egg. Ha, ha! Okay, I better mix things up! In situations like this where my children are still and engaged in an activity I like to add variety to my images by changing my perspective. This allows me to get several different captures out of a single photo shoot.

1. Eye Level

This is certainly the most traditional perspective when capturing an image. This straight on, at eye level, capture is a must have. You can also try for variety in this perspective by capturing different facial expressions and maybe an image or two with eye contact as well.

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

2. Bird’s eye view

I really love this point of view. This is certainly a perspective that us parents can all relate to as we often view our children from this view point. Whenever I see images captured from above a child I find I’m filled with that parental feeling of nurturing.

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

One way you can add variety within this perspective is to capture the bird’s eye view point from in front of but also from behind your subject.

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

3. Details

Details are beautiful but so easily overlooked. I am making a more conscious effort to capture the details around me. You can certainly vary how you capture your details as well and use various different perspectives. Also, don’t be afraid to shoot at a wide aperture which will draw attention to your subject and blur out your background.

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

There! All done! Now I have at least 4 or more Instagram worthy images ready to be posted! That sounds like a win in my books! Happy Easter friends! I hope you have some fun and relaxation planned with your family!


all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019




Let in the Light: Secrets to Controlling Lens Flare

Ahhh! Lens flare! I happen to adore all that dreamy haze, artistic, colourful, and geometric shaped light but this was not always the case. When I was first starting out as a photographer, I, like many, found myself drawn to those hazy and dreamy flare filled images but when I tried to capture images filled with flare I found my captures were often wash out or my flare overpowered my main subject. Whether you are embracing the gorgeous artistic enhancement of lens flare or want to eliminate it knowing how to control lens flare is your first step. Here are a few secrets to controlling and mastering lens flare.

To help you better understand lens flare let me briefly and simplistically explain what it is. Lens flare is simply light. When a photographer captures an image, using a digital camera, light hits the camera sensor triggering electronic signals that then turns the light into an image. However, sometimes, in certain lighting situations, there is light that refracts or reflects inside the lens. This light shows up in various forms of flare depending on the lens type, lens settings and how that light is refracting.

ISO 200, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

ISO 200, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

1. Use a lens hood

The first point of control when it comes to lens flare is in your gear. That hollow circular part that attaches to the front of your lens is your lens hood and it can be very effective in controlling and even eliminating lens flare. Lens hoods help block or minimize the amount of light entering the lens which will help reduce or control flare. Now if your goal is a lot of haze or lens flare then by all means remove your hood and let the light in! 

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8, 1/800SS

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8, 1/800SS

2. Lens choice

Lens choice matters when it comes to flare management. Wider angle lenses are often build to handle more light entering the lens and can sometimes manage flare better when compared to telephoto lenses in the same light. More expensive lenses often have an anti-glare coating which can help reduce flare. Prime lenses or fixed focal lenses also tend to control flare better because there are fewer internal parts in which light can bounce off of. My favourite lens for capturing lens flare is my Nikkor 105mm 2.8f. It’s dreamy every single time.

ISO 800, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

ISO 800, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

3. Type of light

This may be obvious but the type of light you use will impact the amount of flare in an image. Direct backlight is going to result in more flare than shooting with your back to the light source, which will likely almost eliminate most flare. Side lighting will result in different flare than backlight. A high light source will result in less flare than a light source that is low and directly shining into your lens. Filtered light will typically result in less flare than full unfiltered light. Be aware of what type of light you are working with and conscious of how that light source will impact potential flare.

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1600

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1600

4. Photographer composition

This point is similar to the last except it’s not the type of light you’re using rather it’s your own position to the light that is important. Small movements can make a big difference in managing lens flare. I often take several shots of the same scene making small movements up, down, right or left so that I can choose how much or how little flare I want when I’m in post processing.

ISO 500, 35mm, 2.5f, 1/320SS

ISO 500, 35mm, 2.5f, 1/320SS

5. Aperture

Closing down your aperture (f9, f13, f22) will result in less light entering your lens and less lens flare. Most often you can create a sun burst at these apertures especially if the rays of light are being dispersed by an object. A wider aperture (f2, f2.8, f3.2) will result in more lens flare because more light is entering you lens. Also, this type of flare is often more hazy and less defined when compared with apertures like f9, f13, f22. 

ISO 31, 35mm, 22f, 1.3sec

ISO 31, 35mm, 22f, 1.3sec

6. Post processing flare

Yes! I’m all for it! My love of all things creative runs pretty deep. I admit that indeed I do use flare overlays to add and enhance flare in post processing. As long as the flare works with the type of light in the image I will often incorporate an overlay to enhance already present flare. I enjoy being creative so this type of editing works with my style of photography.

ISO 200, 200mm, 2.8f, 1/1250SS

ISO 200, 200mm, 2.8f, 1/1250SS

If you are subscribed to my website I sent you a spring gift so check your inbox! Did you get it? My spring gift to you is a sun flare overlay, which I created specifically for those subscribed to The Photographer’s Notebook! I used the flare in the image above. Enjoy using the overlay to enhance the flare in your images. If you are not subscribed to my website you can pick up the flare by subscribing, but do so before April 30, 2019 because this gift disappears after that date.

Enjoy embracing light!

4 Tips that Draw Attention to your Subject

There are many different reasons photographers pick up the camera.  It could be to document a moment and preserve a memory or perhaps to create art, or maybe it’s a combination of both, or perhaps photography is a business for the photographer? Regardless the reasons behind why a photographer captures an image I wager a bet that there is a subject in the photographer’s frame. Capturing an image in a way that draws attention to your subject will create stronger more dynamic images. Here are four elements that I use in order to draw attention to my subject.

1. Light

Light is hands down one of my favourite elements in which to bring attention to my subject. The power of light is undeniable.  Thinking about how you can light your subject in a way that makes him or her shine is a sure way of drawing attention to your subject.

ISO 1000, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

ISO 1000, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

ISO 400, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

ISO 400, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

2. Composition

Composition is an in depth topic. It’s vast theory is extremely powerful and can help draw your viewer into your image towards your subject, can help lead your viewer’s eye through the frame and can help tell the story you intend through your images.

Two favourite compositional techniques that I often use which draw attention towards my subject are framing and filling the frame.

Fames are a very effective way in which to define your subject within an image. I enjoying looking for and finding all kinds of frames and I love creating them too. There are many types of natural frames outdoors such as trees or even grasses. There’s also artificial frames which can be structures like bridges or park equipment. When I’m outdoors my favourite kinds of frames to find usually involve something sparkly. I enjoy shooting through shrubbery which creates that frame I want but also adds a touch of sparkle magic into my images.

ISO 400, 135mm, 3.5f, 1/4000

ISO 400, 135mm, 3.5f, 1/4000

A second way composition can be used to draw attention to your subject is to fill the frame. Filling the frame ensures that your subject is front and centre within the image. Distractions are often completely eliminated and there is nothing else to focus on but your subject.

ISO 100, 35mm, 4f, 1/320SS

ISO 100, 35mm, 4f, 1/320SS

3. Selective focus  

When we view an image our eyes are typically drawn to areas of focus. Our brains tend to feel more comfortable with in focus aspects of an image and will be drawn to areas of focus before exploring out of focus areas within an image. The use of purposeful and selective focus can help draw your viewer’s eye into an image and towards your main subject creating impact.

Dandelion.jpg

4. Colour

Colour is a high attractant and will almost always draw attention towards your subject especially when that colour is bright and bold against a more neutral background. I use this technique often and have a collection of bright and colourful accessories and clothing for my children.

ISO 640, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS

ISO 640, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS

These are only a few ways in which a photographer can draw attention to a subject. There are many more. In fact, I think in the future I’ll write under this topic again with different tips!

Thanks for reading!

7 Must Capture Spring Images

Now that winter is over, so says the calendar. (I’m choosing to ignore the snow that remains and is all too slowly melting away). I’m ready to capture all things spring! I always enjoy some inspiration so here are a few of my very favourite spring elements to incorporate into all my images.

1. Outdoor Adventures

I think winter is beautiful. I adore the fluffy white snow and sleepy frozen landscape but it gets cold here, very cold, often so cold it’s hazardous to venture outside for any longer than a few minutes so come spring we embrace our outdoor adventures enthusiastically. I wager a guess that, like me, you have been heading out into nature more. I love going for walks along our city pathways, venturing into the woods and parks, playing down by the river and stopping in at the park. These adventures all make for fantastic opportunities to capture everyday moments of childhood in a genuine and authentic way.

ISO 200, 35mm, f5, 1/1000SS

ISO 200, 35mm, f5, 1/1000SS

2. All Things Flowering

With spring comes new life. I’ve already seen green grass sprouting up through the thawing winter earth so I know it won’t be long now and the flowers will begin to bloom. Fields of flowering weeds, dandelions and flowering trees all begin to blossom over the next few months. I adore infusing the colour spring flowers have to offer both into my child images and landscape images.

ISO 400, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/2500SS

ISO 400, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/2500SS

3. New life

Spring is about new life. I’m certainly partial to the earthy smell of moist soil and green growth and I enjoy watching my children nurture tiny seedlings that will eventually be transplanted outdoors but for now need tender care and attention.

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250SS

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250SS

4. Bugs and Baby Animals

I don’t know about your children but mine adore bugs. Wiggly, squishy, fast, slow, slimy, hopping…all are excitedly scooped up and gently played with. I treasure these childhood moments because there’s so much joy found in such a simple everyday moment.

When my children were a little younger we used to visit a local farm around the Easter season. I have many capture of them petting the baby goats and holding tiny baby chicks. All wonderful sentimental moments that I cherish to this day.

ISO 800, 105mm, 4f, 1/800SS

ISO 800, 105mm, 4f, 1/800SS

5. Weather

Spring is truly about the full four seasons for us. Snow, rain, fog, sun we get it all. I enjoy the variety these weather elements offer and aim to incorporate weather into my spring images from both outside and inside.

ISO 400, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/4000

ISO 400, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/4000

ISO 320, 35mm, 2.2f, 1/320SS

ISO 320, 35mm, 2.2f, 1/320SS

6. Spring Vacation

Our spring vacations can range from sun and beach to snow and ice and somewhere in between. Holidays are always inspiring and I want to capture all the images all the time. Outside of everyday routine I always find myself inspired by scenes and the newness of my surroundings.

ISO 400, 16mm, 10f, 1/320SS

ISO 400, 16mm, 10f, 1/320SS

7. Colour

Winter where I live is either white and pretty or dried brown bland so I fully embrace the colours of spring. The brighter the better! I love to capture nature’s beautiful colours but I also embrace colourful clothing and accessories too! I find beautiful colour so refreshing and rejuvenated after a long white colourless winter.

ISO 640, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/1250SS

ISO 640, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/1250SS

Have you picked yourself up a Photographer’s Notebook yet? Take 5 minutes or so to brainstorm some spring themed images after reading this post! Jot down your ideas for images you can capture and be inspired to capture all the beautiful moments spring offers because this season often moves on in the blink of an eye! Happy spring friends!


4 Tips for Managing Outdoor Spring Light Outside of the Golden Hour

For all of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere spring officially arrives tomorrow! Hip Hip Hooray! Where I live, spring typically creeps in at a turtle’s pace however by the end of March we can usually begin to head outdoors more often. Along with warmer weather spring brings us more daylight stretching those beloved evening golden hours to later in the day. I find that sometimes it becomes less practical to venture out during the golden hour and often our time outdoors begins to take place beyond golden hour times when the light is higher and harder. Here are a few tips and ideas on how you can manage outdoor spring light.

1. Say hello to hard light

I mention full sun and people cringe but I think it is beautiful light! I adore how full sun deepens colours and evokes a strong and bold mood. Don’t be afraid to pull out your camera during full sun and play with the hard light. Front lighting your subject can work really well in full sun.

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/2000SS

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/2000SS

Full sun also offers really fun and unique light so embrace the harsh light! Look for unique situations where you can play with dappled light or unique full sun highlights and shadows.

ISO 100, 200mm, 3.5f, 1/1250SS

ISO 100, 200mm, 3.5f, 1/1250SS

If the sun is still quite high in the sky and you are worried about those dreaded racoon eyes falling across your subject’s face from the strong overhead light take the opportunity to capture a faceless image or try focusing in on detail.

ISO 200, 105mm, 3f, 1/500SS

ISO 200, 105mm, 3f, 1/500SS

Don’t be afraid to experiment and capture your subject from a variety of angles in the full sun. You’ll learn a lot about light and shooting in full sun by experimenting and I bet you’ll come away with a fun and unique look that you never thought you could capture with full sun!

ISO 100, 120mm, 3.5f, 1/1000SS

ISO 100, 120mm, 3.5f, 1/1000SS

2. Look for shade

Perhaps you’ve had enough of full sun but the light is still too high for that golden hour look. One trick to find softer light is to place or encourage your subject to play in the shade. This will allow for more manageable light. Your subject will be more evenly lit and you won’t be dealing with as many strong highlights. Also, observe your scene because there’s magic in the shade. Sometimes light will catch on the trees and branches that are creating the shade your subject is playing in. This light shows up in a magical way in the form of sparkle bokeh! I adore looking for this type of sparkle, it’s a favourite of mine.

3. Filter overhead light

Filtering the light in my environment is also one of my very favourite things to do because usually in the spring if I’m in a location with tall trees I can still fake a close to golden hour look or at least soften the sun in some capacity.  

ISO 100, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

ISO 100, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

4. Shoot up at your subject

This is similar to filtering the light except in this situation I use my subject in such a way as to block the strong sunlight. In this situation I’m very often lower than my subject and I’m shooting up at her or him. This technique is really fun to play with different angles and embrace creativity for different looks!

ISO 400, 140mm, 4.5f, 1/800SS

ISO 400, 140mm, 4.5f, 1/800SS

I really look forward to seeing how each of you uses spring light so be sure to tag @thephotographersnotebook with the hashtag #thephotographersnotebook on Instagram so I don’t miss your beautiful spring captures!

Happy Spring!

all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019