Worth a Thousand Words: Issue #018


Worth a Thousand Words, Issue #018 — Take Risks!

October 19, 2011

Resizing Photos

In this article, I unravel the confusion around resizing photos. The size of an image can refer to how much data it contains, or its size when printed. Learn about how image size is related to resolution and to file size. Find out how to resize a photo to print or email. This article goes in depth to explain all the numbers.


Creativity Exercise

Take Risks

If you want to make an image that stands out from the crowd, you have to do something a little different than what the crowd is doing. You need to inject a little of your own unique personality into an image. This means taking some risks. I don’t mean that you need to stand at the edge of a cliff, or put yourself into any physical danger! But you do need to step outside of your photographic comfort zone. For you, that may mean trying a different technique with your camera, taking a photograph that’s not sharp all the way though, carrying your camera when you go shopping, or lying on your stomach to take pictures. It simply means doing something other than what you usually do. For me, last week, it meant striking up a conversation with a stranger.

I was rather desperate to find my photo of the day for my 365 project. It was getting late, and I was about to step inside an auditorium to give a talk that wouldn’t finish until after dark. After that, I had a long drive home. I was scouring the parking lot of the hotel with my camera, looking for an image. Nothing was inspiring me! A young man approached me to ask what I was doing (I’m sure he thought I was insane!). I tend to be quite shy about talking with strangers. However, instead of retreating into my comfort zone, I decided to chat with him, and told him about my project. The next thing I knew, he’d brought his beautiful dog Charlie out of his truck so that I could photograph her. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I got a much nicer image than the "Danger! High Voltage" sign I had been eyeing moments earlier.

Try breaking the "rules" once in a while, and stepping out of your own comfort zone. You will make some mistakes along the way, but you may also have some "happy accidents" that lead you down new avenues of discovery.

Something Every Photographer Needs to Know: Tip of the Month

Light First, Subject Second

Often, we go out photographing with preconceived ideas about what we want to photograph, or even what we think we "should" photograph. The way to make the best images, though, is to set aside those ideas, and instead simply seek out the best light. Light is the key ingredient in every great photograph. Try this simple formula: "light first, subject second." That means that you should let the light dictate what your subject will be. Find the good light, and photograph whatever may be in it. The right light can transform any subject into something magical. You may not end up photographing what you set out to capture, but you will end up with some great images.

Cool Link of the Month

20 Captivating Photos Shot At Exactly The Right Moment

"There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment." Cartier-Bresson popularized the concept of capturing a decisive moment through photography. The advent of compact cameras and camera phones means that many people have a camera available to hem at all times. This has resulted in the capture of many amazing photographs, shot at exactly the right moment. Check out a few of them here:

What’s New this Month at Ultimate Photo Tips


Your Thoughts

In last month’s poll, I asked you whether you belong to a camera club, and if so, whether you meet in person, or the club is online only. Your responses showed that 73% of you belong to a club that meets in person, another 7% belong to a club that meets only online, and 20% of you don’t belong to any club. That’s a whole lot of you who are in camera clubs! That’s great! Camera clubs can be a terrific way to get out and meet fellow photo enthusiasts, and they usually offer a variety of activities like workshops and outings.

What camera mode do you shoot in most of the time? How many of you are shooting in automatic or program mode, and how many of you are using the manual modes? It’s great to start out in program mode. It’s lets you concentrate of making good compositions. Eventually, though, you will likely want to take more creative control of your images, and make more decisions yourself, That means exploring your camera’s manual exposure modes. Where are you at right now? Cast your vote in this month’s poll, and let me know! The poll is in the right-hand nav bar of the website:


Photo Challenges

The topic for September’s challenge was "It’s Hip to Be Square." There’s something appealing about the balance and symmetry of a square crop. Does every image work as a square, though? No. This month, we had some great entries that showed off what does work as a square. Check out the stunning winning photo from Bruce Kennedy here:

The topic for October’s challenge is "Monochrome." When you take away the color from an image, you’re left with only tonal differences. Images with stories that are told through lines and textures that show up well through tonal variance work well in monochrome. Let’s see it in black and white! Submit your image here:

Happy shooting from Ultimate Photo Tips!