I am one of those who subscribe to “a photo says a thousand words”.  I remember my freelance writing teacher telling us the value of snapping a photo which would help in recalling details when writing a story.

I am also one of the many amateur photography enthusiasts in our local who take many shots of the sunrise, sunset, moonlight and the various faces of our environs, as well as holiday photos, and posting in our FB local community page.  For example is the photo above which was taken during a walk in the woods on a winter's day at Bredenbek, Germany. 

We do have professional photographers amongst us who unselfishly share tips of taking good photos.  One of them is Mel Alderton, who calls herself ‘The Shipwrecked Photographer” * which reflect her love of the Homebush Shipwreck.  Ask Mr Google what this feature is about and you’d get more than ten links to photos of the historic ships which used to be the ‘collier’, carrying coals from Newcastle, Mortlake Gas Work and the Waverton Coal Loader, and played part during World War II.  They have settled in Homebush Bay and have mangrove grow through them and now they are home for seagulls and other birdlife.

Mel has shared us these tips:

“A good image, either in photography or any form of visual art, is guided by the elements and principles of good design. The basic elements are line, shape/form, space, colour and texture, and the basic principles are balance, rhythm, pattern, contrast and unity or harmony – and that’s before we delve into shutter speeds and apertures!

“Line is the most fundamental of these. Lines can be straight or curved, or a combination. They can be solid, broken, implied, psychological or explicit. They can be vertical, horizontal or in between.

“Lines can dictate the mood of an image. They lead the eye through the image. Diagonal lines give a dynamic feel to an image. Vertical and horizontal lines convey a sense of stability or static feel to an image. Vertical lines infer height, balance and strength, horizontal distance. Curved lines can impart a sense of comfort or peace, zig zag lines show energy. Lines can connect points in an image or contain a subject. Converging lines lead the eye through the image, to a point in the distance.”

Eager to improve on my photography (albeit only using my photocam), I posted the photo above in our community page and asked Mel to do a critique on it.

These were her comments:

“I like this. The converging lines give you a sense of the person heading off into the distance.

The placement of the person, the dominant element of the image, is following the ‘rule of thirds’. 

“The way the track disappears in the distance gives you a sense of mystery, wondering what’s ahead!”

I am now more keen to snap away bearing in mind the tips that Mel has shared.

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*To see the work by Mel Alderton, click here.

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