Peek Inside The Mind Of Master Street Photographer John Free: Subjects Are Everywhere

Street photography has a special trait to it -You stage nothing. So how come when staging nothing good photos are taken?

This 14 minutes clip follows master street photographer (or social documenter) John Free. It almost seems as John creates good subjects out of nowhere. Aside his very keen eye, John is just loaded with confidence and conviction in his ability to create a good photo from any scene.

John takes away any excuses for not taking a photo. Instead of sneaking into his subjects, John, combines high loads of confidence which he hides as being a little nutty and one of warmest people around.

In John’s words, he is “everybody’s friend’s” or a “professional stranger”, and one of his biggest strength is the way he carries himself around, and giving a big emphasis on being a non-threat.

P.S. John does it all on film, so he takes that excuse too…

[John Free Goes Shooting “What a Joy of Life” Street Photography Tips via reddit]

9 Photo Composition Tips In 189 Seconds

If you are just starting out on photography, you’ve probably heard about the RULES OF COMPOSITION. When you hear about those rules, it can be kinda intimidating, especially if they are referred to in all CAPS. The truth is that those rules are actually guidelines that formulate what is visually pleasing to the eye.

The team at COOPH who are really good at cutting down to the chase, made a short movie explaining 9 of these rules. You may have heard them already or you read them in a book, but it is always a great refresher to see all those rules condensed into such a short time frame.

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What Makes A Great Photo?

Photo & Video by Joel Grimes
It’s hard not to love Joel Grimes. Not only is he a gifted photographer, but he’s also an outstanding educator and great source of inspiration. In the inspirational video below, Grimes’ down to earth, you-can-do-this personality shines as he talks about what makes a photograph great–and it might not be what you’re expecting to hear.

Sure, we all know proper exposure, interesting composition, and well executed focus are definitely ingredients for a great photo, but as Grimes explains, beauty still lies in the eye of the beholder. In other words, no matter how technically outstanding your work it, not everyone is going to like it. Grimes compares it music. We all have different tastes when it comes to our musical choices. Just because you might not agree with someone else’s taste in music, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. The same can be said of your photography. Just because someone doesn’t like your work, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not good–it just means it wasn’t for that person. [Read more…]

Everything You Need To Know To Master Composition In One 30 Minute Lesson


This is probably one of the most comprehensive videos we’ve seen on the topic of composition. Though it was made with the intent to help out CGI artists, the advice educator Andrew Price dishes out to us in the 30-minute tutorial can be applied to just about any creative work, especially including photography and cinematography. Price is able to teach visual artists the foundations of composition as well as some more advanced techniques, making this video a useful tool for all skill levels of photographers. [Read more…]

15 Common Mistakes People Make When Taking Photos And How To Fix Them

Regardless of skill level, we’ve all made at a least a few of these common photography faux pas. Even pros like Jeff Cable are guilty of a few, which is precisely why he’s here to share his experiences and advice on how you can recognize the mistakes as you’re committing them and what you can do correct it.

The clip is about an hour long, but don’t let that deter you. Jeff is an outstanding educator who knows how to keep it light, fun, and engaging. Watch the video here, then we’ll recap the list for you after the jump…

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Know The Difference Between Correct Exposure And Creatively Correct Exposure

Which exposure is "correct"?

Which exposure do think is correct?

One of the most commonly asked questions by new photographers is what exposure settings they should be using to get correct exposures. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most difficult questions to answer because of the seemingly endless amount of variables involved in calculating such settings. There are always situational elements such as available light, motion, and other things that we can use to help us determine correct camera settings, but outside of those tangible variables, a photographer must also take creativity into consideration. How do you want the photo look?

In this quick primer on exposure settings, Bryan Peterson discusses the notion that just because a photograph is exposed correctly on a technical level doesn’t necessarily mean the exposure settings were the right ones. [Read more…]

Why Composition is So D–n Important


It’s easy to pick just about any photography-related topic– exposure, lighting, etc.– and make the claim that it is the most important element of photography. By extension, that bold statement would mean that the element in question would also be the most important step to taking better photos. The truth is, though, that all of the components come into play each and every time we bring the camera to our eye. We continue, however, to give more weight to some than to others. Sometimes it’s because we’re learning something new, while other situations may be dictated by the subject or surroundings. For me, though, that quintessential element is composition. If the composition fails, the entire image fails. Now, I can already hear feathers being ruffled. Some of you are already scrolling down to the comments section to remind me that without proper exposure, composition becomes irrelevant. The reason I totally disagree is that I am confident in your ability to assess a scene and dial in the right aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. But telling your story– creating a photo that truly speaks for itself within the four corners of the frame– that’s a process that separates a photo that works from one that doesn’t.

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My Sea Is Dripping? Photoshop To The Rescue

HorizonAllot of times you’ll look at two very similar pictures, and say "Man, the left picture looks great, the right one is nice, but the left – Man I love it". Eight times out of ten, this difference can be explained by something called rules of composition. There are many such rules, (The Rule of Thirds is one known example, but there are many more). The rules of composition are a set of thumb rules to help the photographer rely on experience gathers in many years of art. (I was trying to avoid the whole "breaking the rules" argument, but feel free to comment) One such rule simply says Keep Your Horizon Straight. It’s a simple rule to follow, just make sure your camera is leveled when you take the shot. If you miss that rule, you’ll sometime hear comments about people falling to the side, or having the sea spilled out of the frame – some persons can not resist this remark. Some of the new DSLR models can help you with this task. Nikon’s D80 (or Nikon’s D70) for example can display a grid on the view finder, and you just need to make sure the horizon aligns with that line. There are also some nifty accessories you can attach to your hot shoe mount if you have one, see this nice gizmo from Hakuba for example.

But leveling the horizon can be sometimes tricky. When you take lots of shot, when you don’t have time to aim well or when you don’t have anything to level against. [Read more…]

Picture Composition – The Rule of Thirds (or Golden Ratio)

composition - rule of thirdsOne of the basic rules of composition is the rule of thirds. This is a very basic rule, that is often ignored by amateurs, and can drastically improve your pictures. Here is how this rule works: imagine that you draw lines across your frame to form a tick-tack-toe playing board. (you should end up with nine identical squares). Now the image is divided to thirds, both horizontally and vertically. See the diagram for lines positions. [Read more…]