Great Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

Ansel Adams's Moonrise in Hernandez, New Mexico

source bizrate
source bizrate

Moon over Mountains

source picses
source picses

Photography and Ansel Adams

Taking great pictures worth a thousand words sounds wonderful but it certainly hasn't been my personal experience.

I received a new digital camera for Christmas and there has been a learning curve for me. It takes digital pictures and short videos also. I believe you need some basic knowledge about how to take that great picture, in addition to just learning what all the settings on the camera mean.

Photography is art and it’s abstract. Patience is important as you wait for just that right smile, find the right angle or the right light settings. Keep your eyes open! You will see a lot more if you carefully look at the whole setting, not just the person you want to photograph. The more you look, the more you’ll see. Photography is communication of passion and excitement of the person you are photographing.

Ansel Adams stated, “If I feel something strongly, I make a photograph. I do not attempt to explain the feeling." Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was an award winning photographer and environmentalist best known for his black and white photographs of the American West. Moonrise, taken in Hernandez, New Mexico, is his most famous photograph. What do you see first when you look at this photograph? There are white clouds, a moon in a black sky, white gravestones and the mountains. Ansel Adams uses the “Rule of Thirds”. Most artists think it is boring to look at a photo that is completely symmetrical. In this photo he has stimulated our eye by offering three layers, each with a different tone: the black sky, the white clouds, and the gray landscape. Ansel describes the photo as having serendipity (lucky chance) and immediate technical recall

Eliot Porter

Humming Bird source flickr
Humming Bird source flickr

Eliot Parker "Photography an Expression of Love"

Another famous photographer, Eliot Porter said, "True art is but the expression of our love of nature" and "A true work of art is the creation of love, love for the subject first and for the medium second." He was a landscape photographer who lived from 1901-1990. He took up color in his photography in 1939, long before others in the field. In 1990 Eliot Porter bequeathed his huge professional archives to the Amon Carter Museum.

For fine tuning the eye toward art, you might want to go to classes for art, painting, drawing and design at your local schools if available. There are also some good books as resources. This is a ‘nice to do thing’ but not necessary. Practice, practice, practice!

It doesn’t matter so much what kind of camera you have but learn how to use it. Study the book that came with the camera, then practice using all the settings possible. “The more comfortable you become with your camera, the less time you are going to be thinking about how to set it up right when you want to snap that photo. Follow your own passion. Copying someone else views isn’t the way to go because we are all unique individuals and we sometimes see things differently. There are no rules you must follow, including the “Rule of Thirds” that is the best for you. A good photo is one you like.

Thailand, Humming Bird

Humming Bird on red flower. source azfotos
Humming Bird on red flower. source azfotos

Unique Picture

Iguana on knee while bathing.
Iguana on knee while bathing.

Phillip Greenspun Gorilla

source commons wickimedia
source commons wickimedia

Lighting and Framing a Photo

Lighting is the most important technical issue in photography. To take great pictures you need more than the flash on the camera. Practice out of doors learning through experience how something looks on film in different light settings. We probably have all taken those photos where the family is facing the sun, trying to smile but squinting because the sun is in their eyes. Obviously this isn’t what you want. When taking an outdoor picture, you want the sun to be behind the subject and to one side of them. Sometimes this works well while still using your flash. Early morning and late afternoon are your best times for outdoor photography.

Frame your shot where you get the subjects head and shoulders if possible as the tighter you frame it the nicer the result. I mean everyone knows they are wearing pants. Zoom all the way in and then compose your shot. You may have to step forward or back. Do not frame the shot by adjusting the zoom; leave it at maximum telephoto. Next push the shutter release halfway down so the camera can figure out the auto focus, then push the button the rest of the way. You may want to tell a little joke when that button is at the half way point to catch a natural smile. Of course, take several shots!

Most of your pictures will be thrown away, according to the professional photographers, as you only want to keep the best ones. With practice you will be getting great pictures, the type of photos you’ve always wanted.

Billy Lee of Hawaii

Sunset in Hawaii source beautyandstyle
Sunset in Hawaii source beautyandstyle

Phtography Interest

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© 2010 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 55 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Wonderful hub, Pamela. I don't think I have ever taking a great picture in my life. I have to hold one eye closed to see through the lens!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

BPOP, that sounds like me but I am determined to improve so I'm working on it. Thanks for your comment.


partisan patriot 6 years ago

Pameal

Great pictures but I gotta tell you, the picture I'm so waiting for is the back of Barrack Hussein Obama as he walks away from the White House for the final time!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Patriot, The time is coming but patience is a virtue. Thanks for stopping by.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

Pamela,

Eliot Porter must have used very fast film to stop the motion of the hummingbird wings.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Tom, Good observation! He used a lot of different techniques in development of film so I am assuming that is the reason. I didn't think readers would be interested in that part. Thanks for your comment.


"Quill" 6 years ago

All I can say is thank You Father for auto focus...we still need to have a eye for what is worthy of attempting to capture...great hub...

Blessings


Teresa Laurente profile image

Teresa Laurente 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

Hello Pamela99, thank you for sharing these inputs and beautiful pictures. More power to you my friend.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Teresa, Thank you for your comment.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Quill, You are right about the wonderful auto focus. Thank you for your comment.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

My father was the best photographer of all times. He focussed and then he shouted ready and then he press the knob on the top, which in those they were, andhe pressed so hard that the camera went down. We always had family pictures without heads. Thanks for your good advice.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Hello, That's a funny story. It sounds like he was just trying too hard. Thanks for sharing your story.


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

Thank you for this hub. I am not one of these people who can even hold the camera without moving..oh I know now you don't have to be still so much but it makes the picture better I am sure. You have taught me something...thanks again.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Ictpdd, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Maybe we will both improve our skills. Thanks for the comment.


jayjay40 profile image

jayjay40 6 years ago from Bristol England

Wow, stunning photos, I'm going to be using your advice to see if I can improve. Thanks for sharing


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Jayjay, Thanks for your comments.


nancy_30 profile image

nancy_30 6 years ago from Georgia

I enjoyed reading your hub. It made me remember getting my first camera when I was about 10. The only problem was I waqnted to be in the picture instead of taking it. I drug my sister around every where getting her to take pictures of me. As I got older I enjoyed taking pictures more. My husband just bought me a new digital camera a couple of weeks ago. I'm still trying to figure it out. Thanks for the great advice. Hopefully I'll be able to take some really good pictures with my new camera.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Nancy, Thank you for your comment. Good luck with your new camera.


festersporling1 profile image

festersporling1 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Those first two are outstanding Pamela.


Tubbs Merouge profile image

Tubbs Merouge 6 years ago from Louisiana

I'm still stuck on film!! Just love my old Olympus OM10! LOL..but I think I'm going to transition to digital soon.


Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

Dear Pam...

Great photographs! I love photography because I enjoy shapes, lines, colors, hues and shades.

Pretty informative and useful!

Thumbs up!

Warmest regards and blessings,

Al


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Lovely hub!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Tubbs, Mystique and Carolina, Thank you so much for your comments.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Thank you for an interesting & helpful article. I'm mostly a point & click guy, so I learned some good stuff here.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Ken, Thank your for your comment.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Thank you for this.. :-)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

De GreeK, Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate your comment.


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

Photography is next on my list for hobbies.

Thanks for this good example. I had not even heard of Asnel Adams. But now I will know when I start photographing.


mynameisnotpaul profile image

mynameisnotpaul 6 years ago from Kentuckeh'

It's so ironic that you post this hub, because I'm about to begin a photography class! I have never been too great at taking pictures so I'll probably be referring to this hub frequently! :D


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Hanna, Good for you. I think photography is fun but I really have to work with this new camera as I have much to learn to really take good pictures.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

It is great you are starting a class. I wish I had done that when one was offered back in January. I'll probably have to wait until Aug. for another one to be available. Good luck with your class. Its bound to be good. Thanks for your comment.


Artin2010 profile image

Artin2010 6 years ago from Northwestern Florida, Gulfcoast

Great hub about photography and cameras. I can hardly wait till the day I can afford one of those voice command digital cameras. Just tell it zoom in, zoom out, add light, darken, focus in, out etc. that will be awesome. Also thanks for becoming a fan. Bless you my hub friend. Thumb up!!!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Artin, That camera sounds great. Thanks for commenting on my hub.


Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

Ghost Whisper 77 6 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

Ansel Adams has always been one of my favorites. I have taken some great shots in my travels, I wish they were as good as Adams but they are pleasing to me when I look at them! Framing the shot by adjusting the zoom has been my downfall..I am learning!! Good Hubdeedub! ;)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Ghost Whisper, I like Ansel Adams photographs also and I thought his advice should be taken seriously. Thank you for your comments.


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

I have always had an interest in photography and graphic arts so I enjoy taking photos with my digital (see my site for some of the photos). Your hub is very informative but I must say I still prefer the old SLR cameras, I think there was more scope for creativity with them.


hubranger profile image

hubranger 6 years ago from Yorkshire, UK

Interesting and informative hub. I like photography a lot and you nailed it with this one:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

"Some photographers take reality... and impose the domination of their own thought and spirit. Others come before reality more tenderly and a photograph to them is an instrument of love and revelation." ~ Ansel Adams

Love and revelation....that about sums it up for me. Thank you for a pleasant and informative hub.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

MPG Narrative, You sound like you have a lot more knowledge about cameras than I do, but I'm glad you stopped by and enjoyed the hub.

Hubranger, Thank you for your comment.

Winsome, I think you summed up the reality of taking photographs quite well. Thanks for your comments.


tim-tim profile image

tim-tim 6 years ago from Normal, Illinois

Love taking pictures, Pamela! If you know me already. I don't know what I am doing half of the time but enjoy it very much! Thanks for the great hub!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Tim-Tim, Thanks for your comment and stopping by.


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 6 years ago from Michigan

I am not a great picture taker, however, at times I try to capture a sweet piece of family life and nature. I really do like looking a beautiful pictures. My favorite on this particular hub is Sunset in Hawaii. The organge is very beautiful. Nice hub. You're right, although technology has really advanced, you need some instruction and practice to go along with it in order to get the full benefit of its purpose.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Support Med, Thank you for your comment.


Keith 6 years ago

Photography is an art, and you posted photos that really capture the essence of the subjects.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Keith, I agree that it is an art. I always liked what Ansel Adams could do with black and white photography. Thanks for your comments.


Steve 3.0 profile image

Steve 3.0 6 years ago from Cornwall UK

Nice hub, I am going to do one with a few photo tips soon. Some of the great landscape photographers can spend hours just waiting for the right light. I don't have that much patience but I often spend 30 minutes in the spot I want to take a photo just waiting for a nice break in the clouds to light it up. My MP3 player is an essential accessory to make the time pass quickly. Digital has saved me money because I like to take lots of photos of one scene. Now I can delete the duds, I used to take 36 exposures on a film and was pleased to get one photo I liked.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Steve, I thought your avatar of a camera might be a clue as to your interests! Thanks for your comment.


Brigitte Thompson profile image

Brigitte Thompson 6 years ago from Austin, TX

Great information. I believe you have to have the eye. To be able to see what others pass on by. Photography allows me to capture space and time and share it with friends and family.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Brigitte, Thank you for your comment.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Photography is kind of art. We have to give a touch of art in producing great picture and we can give it in the final editing. I liked all the picture above. Thanks Pamela


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Prasetio, Thank you for your comment.


Jasnav profile image

Jasnav 6 years ago

Nice pictures and some very useful tips! Been doing some photography myself - the tips you've given really work.

Thanks!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Jasnav, Thank you so much for your comment.


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia

Pamela99. Hi. This is a wonderful hub with great information and tips for a beginner, such as my self.

The photo's are beautiful.

Thank you for sharing all your knowledge with us. :) :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

oliversmom, I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for your comment.

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