Guide to ‘2020’ Photographic Set Subjects
One way to capture Motion or Action is to photograph any moving subject. From a car, train or a jogger in your local park etc. Nature on a windy day also makes everything move.
Motion can also be captured by using longer shutter speeds to show movement.
Another way to capture movement or action is to freeze the entire subject such as a bird flying in the sky. The exact shutter speed you want will depend on a variety of factors, such as how fast your subject is moving, how much movement you want to convey, and how crisply you want to define your subject.
You can also create movement or action by using slower shutter speeds to create it. You can also just move your camera around or twisting it to create movement in your shot.
Sometimes you can blur certain elements in the image while focusing sharply on a few subjects in the foreground.
Here is one example of many. A train at your local station which would be in focus while the people in the background are blurred. Or you could blur the train and keep the people in focus. You can do this technique with many other subjects.
There are a number of ways to capture motion, and the methods you choose will be determined by the shutter speed you use and the movement of your subject.
You’ll find lots of opportunities to capture motion so get out and shoot some exciting images!
The field is wide open with imagination.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn
Winter lends itself to frosts, snow, woolly jumpers, children splashing in puddles and gumboots.
Spring can be bouncing lambs or daffodils. The beginning of life; be it animals or plants, maybe just trees bursting into life
Summer is a season of flowers, roses, green grass, flowering of trees or just growing trees, beaches and summer activities.
Autumn are the lovely autumn leaves that bounce along in the wind. Autumn colours, long shadows and the wind.
This is just a few ideas that spring to mind I am sure you will have plenty of your own…
If it’s round it’s a circle
To the human eye, circles and spheres are abundant in nature and in our universe. They can occur naturally — or they can be man-made — such as traffic roundabouts, windows, buttons, pizza, coins, clock faces, wheels, cups, and balls.
We only have to spot tree rings or onion rings, the perfect circular cup of the acorn or ripples in puddles to be reminded of what the ancients called the ‘monad’ in natural forms in this universe.
Some circles in nature are formed by natural growth, and some by the action of the wind or waves on natural textures, some by animals making homes or escaping from homes, some are nature cause and effect.
Saucers, lids, jars, rings, spinning tops, oil on water, bubbles, a vase maybe ….. it’s all about using your imagination, the more creative the better!.
This will include circles that have been photographed on an angle rather than at 90° and become “squashed” circles/ellipses but not objects that are not naturally a circle
A close up photo is usually picture taken with the subject close to the camera. Fill the frame with your subject, get in close and show something that might not have otherwise been seen.
The classic close-up is about getting details. That usually means getting right into the subject. The feeling of ‘closeness’ usually means the shot is taken from less than a meter away. However, close-ups can be as close as a few centimetres.
The idea of a close-up is to make the viewer ‘feel’ the subject is right up close. So in some cases the picture can be further away than a Meter. To make the viewer feel the subject is close you can use different techniques. If the subject fully fills the frame and detail is clear then the size of the subject can imply closeness rather than actual distance. The use of long lenses to bring the subject into the shot optically also implies closeness. So the actual closeness may be secondary to the detail that is shown. What is important in the close-up is the feeling of immediate proximity to the subject and the expression of detail in the subject. Thus, a close-up is to some extent a subjective or artistic interpretation rather than a stated distance.
For clarification this competition will include Macro photographs
In nooks and crannies, emerging through cracks in concrete, climbing over ruins, hanging from gutters and clinging to rocky outcrops….they find a space and fill it. They are survivors, and opportunists. They are wild, frustrating, sometimes noxious and invasive but often very, very beautiful. They are wild flowers, weeds and grasses
Where they grow in large colonies the flowers fill the countryside with glorious colour e.g. Tekapo ~ lupins, Wellington ~ pink ragwort and gorse, Kaikoura ~ antirrhinums
Growing wild : growing naturally without being planted or cared for by humans.
The Set Subject: includes plants from the roadside, tussock areas, seashore dunes, alpine areas, wetlands, wastelands, beside waterways, and hedgerows. Forest and scrubland…yes, native bush …no. It does not include trees, fungi or “one offs ” from dumped garden waste.
Suggestions: Shrubs: (briar rose, heather, broom); vines and climbers (honeysuckle, ivy, toadflax): grasses (pampas, roadside grasses); noxious/invasive plants ( banana passion fruit, blackberry, agapanthus, wild ginger, thistle); poisonous plants: woolly nightshade, moth plant; roadside weeds (buttercup, dandelion, daisy, clover, cow parsley, plantain)
Complementary colours create a natural contrast that our eyes find attractive and intriguing. Colours that are opposite each other on the photographic (RGB) colour wheel are complementary colours. They “cancel” each other, if you mix them. This means that they create an achromatic (white, gray or black) light mixture. So Blue is opposite Yellow, Green is opposite Magenta and Red is opposite Cyan
Basic colour theory says that the more different two colours are, the more contrast they produce. Complementary colours are as different as it gets. They reinforce each other’s brightness while preserving colour balance.
The most vibrant shades of complementary colours provide the most striking contrast. But that is not always what you want. Sometimes you won’t want such a high contrast. You might still want a visually energetic photo, but nothing too vibrant. You can go for a more balanced, natural look. Subdue one or both of the colours for a less overwhelming but still engaging effect. Often one of the two complementary colours is purer and more saturated than the other. It helps to save the appeal of high colour contrast but at the same time lets your image look natural and unprocessed.
My Favourite Things (Song)
This is such a simple one. Illustrate some of the lyrics of the song ‘A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS’ from The Sound of Music. There’s a great variety for you to choose from.
For example: Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things.
Cream coloured ponies and crisp apple strudel
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favourite things.
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into Springs
These are a few of my favourite things.
So go for it, but no whiskers on roses or raindrops on kittens! And definitely no warm woollen kettles or bright copper mittens!
Life after Dark
Whether it be nocturnal wildlife, a busy street of restaurants or even the stars in the night sky… Get your camera out after the sun goes down and test yourself in low light conditions.
Some different night time photography techniques to consider;
- Movement: slow down the shutter speed and allow for cars and bikes to leave a trail of light, or soften cloud and water movements
- Bracketing: while using a low ISO, bracketing allows for burnt out spots to be recovered after exposing darker areas
- Tripod: use a tripod and remote shutter to ensure for a sharp image while using long exposures (be sure to turn off your in camera anti-shake if you have it!)
- Artificial light source: Try your hand at creating drama with a torch or lantern for added lighting effects.
When submitting a photograph into this category it should be clear that the photograph has been taken at night time or depicts that the subject is set in the dark.
Photographic triptychs are usually 3 individual images arranged with a plain border between them. However if a background is used it should complement the presentation of the three images but must not become a significant “fourth image” in the message of the triptych’s three images.
Alternatively a single photograph may be “cut” into three parts which then provide the three elements for a triptych. In this case the resulting triptych should certainly have a linkage between its components …they were originally one image! However to be successful the “new” triptych image must provide the viewer with something extra over the original. Cutting for the sake of cutting is not a guaranteed way of producing a strong triptych.
Think about your final aspect ratio: There are endless possibilities here. The important consideration is how the images work together. Suggested triptych aspect ratios:
The three images do not have to be the same size or the same shape.
- Three 2:3 aspect ratio portrait images placed next to each other
- Three 3:2 aspect ratio images placed one above the other
- Three square images side by side
- Two larger images flanking a smaller one and vice versa
What makes a triptych a successful triptych? The individual photographs must be technically competent…putting three poorly-produced pictures together is not likely to result in a strong final image.
The total triptych should demonstrate the creativity of the photographer by the approach taken with a familiar subject or by the choice of an unusual subject.
Maximum sizes apply …
- The complete Digital triptych must not exceed 1620 wide x 1080 high
- All 3 print images to be mounted on one backing board maximum 40cm x 50cm
Shadows or Reflections
Photography is the recording of patterns of darkness and light. Shadows can enhance the relationships of subjects in an image. You can feature a shadow as part of the focal point by including it with the subject or, consider leaving the subject out of the image and focusing instead on the shadows.
You need to have a good think about the effects of lighting and light placement before you shoot a ‘shadows’ shot.
Shadows are longer in early morning or late afternoon, but don’t rely only on the sun for shadows. An inside light or a torch can create some beautiful shadows.
Reflection is a theme that’s open to all sorts of imaginative interpretations – from abstract ideas to perfectly symmetrical mirror images. When you first start thinking about reflections, lakes and ponds spring to mind. You don’t need much water to capture good reflections. Puddles and wet pavements are often great for reflections. Mount your camera on a tripod. If the water is your reflective surface, the reflection will appear smoother and clearer if you lengthen the shutter speed.