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Bruce Hobbs' Tips**

Bruce Hobbs' Tips curated by DeeGee (Derek Godridge LRPS AFIAP)

  • The rule of thirds and the Fibonacci Spiral – also known as the golden spiral – was again fully explained with practical overlays placed over some of the un-mounted prints. Bruce explained how each of the nine apertures should contain something to provide interest and contribute to the whole.

  • The importance of making the subject of your work clear to the viewer and not to presume that, for example, they know the species they are looking at or the meaning of the scene photographed.

  • Leaving some “breathing space” around the main subject matter to allow it to “breathe”

  • Especially with animals or plants which may be light in tone, make sure you have darker tones around the subject to enable it to stand out, also think about de-saturating or reducing the contrast of non-subject areas.

  • Light pastel tones in a photograph really do benefit from darker tones around the edges, so move your shooting position to achieve this is you can. Make sure the subject stands out.

  • Leaving room for the subject to “move into” and remember that any animal photo will appeal more to the viewer if it has just landed or is about to move away from the viewer.

  • Look at the background to ensure it isn’t busy and if possible move to change the angle of view and hence “de-clutter” the image.

  • Look for the photograph BEFORE you get your camera out to ensure you have a clear vision of what you want to photograph. Ask yourself “What am I taking a picture of?”

  • Does the frame put the picture in the best light, maybe a lighter or darker mount might enhance it so try alternatives.

  • Remember that in landscapes, the amount of sky above the highest point will change the apparent height of the feature. It may only be a small hill nut if you only include a small amount of shy it will appear larger.

  • If you have leading lines in an image they need to lead somewhere otherwise they can mis-direct the viewer. Leading lines properly composed will definitely assist the viewer to be drawn into the image.

  • With more abstract image ask yourself “Does it look interesting, does any included repetition work, are the various tones complimentary ?” – because if it doesn’t it won’t do well in competition.

  • With boats try an exercise in photographing the same boat from different angles going away, side on, coming towards you and decide which one works, Give the boat a focal point and make sure that it’s bow is pointing at something.

  • Give “context” to your photos so if you include a surfer make sure we can see where he has come from and where he is going.

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