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Basic photography Art, composition, and computer principles AEE 211 February 24, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Basic photography Art, composition, and computer principles AEE 211 February 24, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Basic photography Art, composition, and computer principles AEE 211 February 24, 2003

2 What makes these images effective?

3 Overview Basic composition –Mood and atmosphere –Qualities of a good photo –Basic composition –Improving composition Working with the computer –Files –Scanning –Printing

4 Creating mood Overall feel of a picture Created by –Perspective –Color –Focus (isolation and distance) –Weather and light Sunrise/sunset Misty, rainy days Sun vs. overcast

5 Characteristics of a good photo Shape Line Pattern Texture Size and space

6 Shape Tends to be noticed first, before texture and pattern Easiest and most recognizable composition tool –Shape helps create a mood/character for the picture –Search for the unconventional or surprise shape in objects

7 Creating shape Common –use backlighting to create a silhouette Uncommon –side lighting with simple background –underexpose to focus on shape vs. color or texture


9 Line Lines create –Shape –Pattern –Depth –Perspective Line leads the eye –Focal point/subject –Diagonals –S-curves

10 Line creates perspective Lines into the horizon show depth and perspective for the viewer Vanishing point –Point at which lines converge and vanish in to the horizon –Place off-center Close-ups decrease perspective while wide- angles can exaggerate it







17 Pattern Orderly combination of shape, line, or color Pattern can help echo the character of a photo Catching attention –Random patterns –Slight variation in a pattern –Pattern in common places



20 Texture Adds realism (sense of touch) to a photo Sharp (hard) light highlights texture Especially important for close-up and b/w shots Side lighting highlights texture Most portraits use front lighting to decrease texture on skin


22 Using light for depth Sometimes hard light is inappropriate for illustrating shape and depth Soft side lighting can give a sense of shape and depth without high contrast –Portraits –Still life –When shape/depth is more important that texture


24 Size and space 2D pictures distort depth, relative size, and distances –Include reference item –Include parts of the fore- or background –Use a frame –Be creativemaybe you want to distort

25 Giving perspective LinearLines which converge into the distance Diminishing sizeobjects further away are smaller Aerial perspectiveatmosphere creates haze, which lightens objects farther away

26 Depth and perspective Overlapping formsoverlapping objects in a picture create depth and distance Selective focusingfocusing on the foreground and blurring the background




30 Improving composition Rule of thirds Simplicity Angle and perspective Framing

31 Have a strong center of interest Take pictures at different angles with different compositions Work around the rule of thirds




35 Simplicity One strong center of interest –Foreground or background should be simple or complimentary to center of interest –Include foreground or background for sense of isolation, distance, depth, etc. Avoid mergers





40 Cut offs Avoiding cutting out parts or wholes of people or main subjects Avoiding cutting out the path of a moving object


42 Give the object somewhere to go


44 Working with angles Low angles –Clear sky backdrop –Accentuate movement or action High angle –Eliminate cloudy sky 45 degree angles will cut glare Avoid centered horizons



47 Framing Adds depth Should fit theme Helps subject fill the frame Can block unwanted subjects from view Watch focus on foreground –Focus on foreground in landscape –Focus on subject in portraits –Auto-focus should be centered on main topic –OverallDEPENDS ON CAMERA





52 Balance Balance color and weight in a picture Formal and informal Symmetrical and asymmetrical



55 Symmetrical Asymmetrical


57 Fill the frame Would this picture look better if I was closer? –Focus on subject –Detail Start far and move closer Fill the frame with objects that fit Long range shots provide depth and perspective




61 Digital issues File formats Scanning Printing

62 Native file formats Format used by computer program Retains ability to edit within native program Unreadable on WWW or graphics programs Product families (Adobe, Microsoft, etc.) Examples –.ppt,.doc,.mix

63 Nonnative file formats General formats that multiple programs can open –.gif,.jpg,.tif,.bmp Formatting cannot be undone within a program – picture must be reedited Save pictures in both native and nonnative file formats

64 Resolution Quality of the pictures on a screen, print, or file –DPI = dots per inch (printer) –PPI = pixels per inch (screen) More resolution means higher file size Different file types contain more or less information (resolution)

65 Resolution and bits

66 Tagged Image File Format Very flexible and can be opened by most programs Saves as pixels Scan as a.tiff or as a native file format if possible

67 EPS files (vector) Only some programs use: FreeHand, Illustrator, CorelDraw Saved as separate images not as pixels – no resolution lost with resizing Use the Options button under PRINT in PageMaker to save as EPS

68 Graphical Interchange Format Great for the WWW 8-bit – 256 colors (indexed color) Usually set at 72 pixels for the WWW Allows for transparency NOT used in printing

69 Portable Network Graphic 24-bit (millions of colors) Transparency with jagged edges Alternative to the.gif Newer computer programs only

70 Joint Photographic Experts Group 24-bit color Lossy compression You can usually set your compression here Best for WWW pictures

71 Portable Document Format Embeds all data into a single file –Fonts –Format –Pictures –Text Works on any computer with reader Standardizes your document Work on WWW and as attachments

72 Postscript files Will print on any postscript printer Do not need program to output data Print to file Make sure you know what kind of printer you are dealing with

73 PNG – GIF – JPG - TIF





78 General rules Scan a photo as a.tiff file For web pictures, use.jpg For print pictures, use.tiff or vector format at a minimum of 300 dpi When possible, scan/save the picture at the size to be used – 300 dpi will look poor if enlarged

79 RGB Color Red-green-blue Monitors and scanners determine level of the three to put on a pixel Light directly into the eye = cannot look the exact on paper Out of gamut (cannot be printed in CMYK format)

80 CMYK Mode Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key (black) Commercially output documents or special printers –Four-color printing –Process colors Color bounces off object and onto your eye Get a process book or color guide to select (Pantone, Tru-Match, Agfa)

81 Comparing the two RGB have smaller file sizes RGB has some features that the other does not Convert between the modes at the end or you will lose information

82 Understanding resolution Resolved to our eyes = realism and accuracy Printer = DPI Monitor = bit depth (colors displayable) –72 ppi is good enough for electronic photos

83 Understanding pixels Picture elements (dots) per inch Standard monitor displays 640 by 480 pixels –640 by 480 –1024 by 768 More pixels requires more RAM, which may mean lower bit depth

84 Enlarging with pixels

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