Our guest speaker today was Patty Hankins, a fine art floral photographer from Bethesda, Maryland. Patty says, “In 2002, after getting Master’s Degrees in Public Policy and History and working for several years as a grassroots activist, I acquired a new digital camera and rediscovered my love of photography. For me, the flexibility and freedom of digital photography means I can finally create the photographs I’ve always envisioned. I carefully edit and print every photo myself to ensure that each person who collects my art has an original piece that will last a lifetime.” Patty’s presentation today was entitled “Representing a 3D World in a 2D Image.”
Before you take a picture, says Patty, the first thing you want to do is think! What was it about a particular scene that caught your eye? What made you want to stop here? Was it a color? A shape? A line? Move around and explore the scene. Look at it from different angles. Next, you need to visualize the final image. To do this, define the subject and figure out what you want to include or exclude? How can you show the viewers what you were seeing and feeling at that moment? Patty says, “use a viewfinder,” some small frame that you can hold up to help you visualize the subject in 2D. (Patty uses a small frame cut from a piece of mat board but says that you can also just form a frame using your thumbs and forefingers.)
To represent the 3D world in a 2D image, it is necessary to show a sense of depth. While in the field capturing images look for things such as leading lines (rivers, roads, lines of light), converging lines (lines that meet in the distance), overlap (one element in front or back of another), and planes (a distinct foreground, middle ground, and background). Using depth of field can also show depth. With a shallow depth of field, the sharpest elements are the nearest while the out of focus elements are further away. Even with a greater depth of field, the sharper elements are the closest while; the more distance elements appear to fade.
Once you have your image, there are things you can do in post-processing to further add depth. Eliminate any distracting elements (with the clone tool, healing brush, crop tool, etc.) Lighten or brighten the subject or any elements you want to stand out from the background. Lightening an area tends to bring that area forward while darkening an area takes it back into the distance. Selectively sharpen areas that you want the viewer to focus on. Adjust colors. Cooler colors look farther away. Desaturating color also makes it recede into the background. Emphasize lines to separate elements and separate planes. Sometimes converting to black and white can also bring out depth, particularly when there is not a lot of color contrast. The History Brush can be used to add contrast by adding lines of definition and separation between sections of the image.
Patty is available for public speaking engagements as well as workshops and even private instruction. Her work can be found at http://www.beautifulflowerpictures.com Or f.ollow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
The photo theme for February was “Creative Composition”.
The winners were: 1st place (tie) – Melissa Chin and Jim Rogers, 2nd place – Tammi Gorsak, and
3rd place – Mike Jones.
Congratulations to the winners! Your names have been added to the drawing for the end of the
year prize of a boxed version of ProShow Producer. A $250 value. http://bit.ly/1UivwYo
The 1st Prize Winner will also be this month’s Facebook cover for the month.
The photo assignment for March is “Fairytale Moments.”