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"Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph." – Matt Hardy


"I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it."  -  Author Unknown


"A man’s heart away from nature becomes hard; lack of respect for growing, living things soon leads to a lack of respect for humans too."  – Luther Standing Bear


"Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow."Imogen Cunningham


"Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."  - Ansel Adams


"When you follow your bliss….doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else."  - Joseph Campbell


"You can outdistance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you." – Rwandan Proverb


"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." – Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."  -  Pablo Picasso


"We have been taught to believe that negative equals realistic and positive equals unrealistic."  -  Susan Jeffers


"Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous.  That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor."  -  Paul Hawken


"Satisfaction of one's curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life."  -  Linus Pauling


#1 Tip for Improving Your Photography - Better Composition / Rule-of-Thirds

The #1 basic composition tip to better photography is to use the 'Rule of Thirds'.  This is a visualization tool for the photographer where we 'see' the image before us in 'sections' a GRID, if you will.  We call this a 'rule', because as a general rule this exercise and learning to see this way will immediately improve your helps you to determine where the most interest is in the scene and where to place that interest in the photograph. Let's take the basic image below:

In this image, there is no one element that is the subject - it is the whole scene that is drawing me in.  So first I have to determine where the most interest is in the scene....and although the grass is nice, the sky is where everything is happening. So, I should use more of the sky in my composition and then I employ the rule of thirds to craft the image.  

So here it is best that I put the horizon on the lower third to 'anchor' my image but let the sky be the star.  Also, notice that I put the lightest cloud on the top third to add balance to the photo.  In fact the lighter, brighter more colorful cloud has a curve that sits at the intersection of where the thirds meet - called a 'Power Point'.  This placement emphasizes the importance of this element and helps keep the viewers' eyes within the photo. 

NOW, let us take an image with a definite subject.  You will need to pay more attention to the idea of 'Power Points', because you will likely want to place your subject on one of 4 power point positions in the photograph.  

Here, the interest in the subject is obviously the star fish clinging to the rock. However, although they are my 'subject', I also want to show them in their environment. So, where is the most interest?  In the bottom part of the frame. So I include the color and evening sky in the top third but let the sea life shine as the subject.  

In this image, I placed the star fish in the bottom right power point and included enough of their environment so the viewer knows what it is like in their world.  Not 'bullseyeing' the subject dead center in the frame allows us the show more of the environment but be close up on the subject as well.   

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