Photo challenge #8, 9 & 10

This is the last post for the developing your eye photo challenge part 2. I will combine the last 3 days, since the themes are on enhancing pictures by straighten or rotate them and by increasing or decreasing the contrast. These are things I normally check for and adjust in my pictures. I am not a big fan of straightening a picture after it has been taken, because some details get lost when I do that. It is way better to try to get a straight picture from the start. And with all kinds of technology available, it is pretty easy to do so. Most cameras have a grid option, in which a grid of lines is displayed on the camera screen so you can check if your subject is straight or not. An added bonus of this is that these lines can also help you with the rule of thirds, which may make a picture more interesting.

Enhancing the contrast is something I almost always do. I normally photograph in broad daylight and without flash, so shadows or too much light will influence how a subject is portrayed. By increasing or decreasing the contrast afterwards, elements soften or harden, depending on the effect I want to get.

Out of the three themes, I find rotation the most interesting to do. There are various reasons for rotating:

  • There are times when my subject forces me to take a picture in a weird position. The resulting picture will need some adjusting afterwards. This happened with the mushroom picture below. I was bending over the log on which it was growing, while holding the camera under the mushroom so I could take a picture of the lamellae.
  • By experimenting with rotation of pictures, you can get a different effect. For example a horizontal or vertical view, or by mirroring an image.
  • Psychology of vision can also be a good reason to flip images to achieve a more powerful picture. Some people say that we tend to like pictures better if they guide us in the same direction as we read (so for most cultures this would be from left to right). This is more apparent in pictures with eyes in them (humans or animals). Other people advise to actually have the subject look in the opposite direction to create tension in a picture. Have a look at the same picture rotated in different ways.


Which one is your favorite?

4 thoughts on “Photo challenge #8, 9 & 10

  1. The mushroom picture is difficult to say what my preference is, anyway, I would cut both pictures just above or just beneath the green leave. Giving it a more dramatic view.
    For the bee: the right picture is definitively my choice. We look from left to right, following the bees eyes offering more room. For the left picture, I bump into the bee and I feel locked. Hope you don’t take my comments too hard..

    1. Thank you for your response, Greta! I am genuinely curious what other people think of my pictures, so I don’t take your comments too hard. Concerning the bee picture, I came across a few sources stating those effects you mentioned. However, as it is subjective, I am a bit sceptical whether these are real effects or just a matter of taste. And I mean this from a scientific point of view, since I did some psychology research in university, so I know it is hard to objectively measure what those pictures actually do in the brain and how people will react to it. But it is always nice to have readers and fellow photographers join in the conversation and tell me what they think 🙂

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