Composing a Great Alaskan Photo
Alaska is beautiful. From its giant landscapes to its abundant wildlife to photograph, it is surprising that any fishing gets done. Too many times we get home from vacation and review our images to find they are lacking something. Sometimes they are too chaotic and other times we ask ourselves, “What was I even taking a picture of?” It happens to all of us. This is where composition comes in. Simply, composition is knowing where to point the camera.
Before taking a photo ask yourself, “What am I taking a picture of?” Think about what it is that’s urging you to take a picture. Once you know your subject, the next step is clearly conveying that in the photo. Be mindful of the edges of your frame for anything that would distract from the true subject.
Rule of Thirds
Imagine placing a tic-tac-toe board over a picture frame. Where the lines of the grid intersect is where you would place the subject of your photo. Most digital cameras, point and shoots to digital SLR’s (the fancy ones), have a feature that will show the grid on your view finder and is very helpful. The old cliché, “Rules are meant to be broken,” is sometimes true with the rule of thirds. If you see a better angle, take it.
Fill the Frame
Using the entire frame to show your subject allows you to leave out distracting information. A good rule of thumb for this is, “Try to make an image as interesting as possible with as little as possible.” This sometimes means getting up close and personal with the subject, a great technique for hero fish shots. Also the macro feature (usually a flower symbol) will become useful for getting close ups of fish, flies, and insects. Macro allows you to take a life size picture of the subject. When printed or viewed as a full sized image this will magnify the subject to larger than life sized.
Go out and experiment with these rules on different subject matter. Play around with your camera’s settings and make notes of what worked and what didn’t. After awhile you will be taking stunning images and will be bringing home pics from Alaska that will wow everyone at the local fly shop.
by Guide, Brandon Burrough