Photography Tips by Ali Khataw - Day 9


Guest Post by Ali Khataw

DAY 9

Hope you all have been enjoying Eid today. What a great time it is to celebrate Eid when it comes merging with your weekend! And I really hope my photography tips have been helpful enough for you to do some Eid photography yourselves ... discounting for selfies, that is. :)

Question 9/ Day 9 - Can I change the light?

Image 9/Day 9: CONTRAST - HARD AND SOFT LIGHT

Hard light creates contrast - hard light also causes anything in its path to become a highlight, while everything else remains dark.

Soft light is more even. Soft light is less intense meaning there is not much stark divide between the highlights and shadows. Soft light can also be flat! Soft light works well with portraits done in color.



The Street Scene image was made in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. The objective of the image was to create a street scene with high contrast and high color. An aperture of F16 was utilized so that the depth of field (DOF) could keep both people in focus.


The image of young Aztec Boy was also created in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The lighting in this situation is soft and the colour creates the visible contrast. Instead of just making the image with just the boy's face, I backed up a little bit and incorporated another kid via soft focus. It adds a situation of mystery.

Example of Hard Light and High Contrast
Street Scene
Camera: FujiFilm Mirrorless X-Pro2
Lens: Fuji XF35mm F1.4
Aperture: f16
Shutter: 1/125
ISO: 200


Example of Soft Light and Low Contrast
Aztec Kid
Camera: FujiFilm Mirrorless X-Pro2
Lens: Fuji XF56 F1.2
Aperture: f2.0
Shutter: 1/1500
ISO: 200


Hope you found this helpful! Stay tuned for tomorrow when we will discuss “THE PERFECT FORMULA - COMPOSITION - LIGHT - MOMENT"
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Photography Tips by Ali Khataw - Day 8


Guest Post by Ali Khataw

DAY 8

Question 8/ Day 8 - am I aware of the shadows and contrast?

Image 8/Day 8: LIGHT

Whether you have your camera with you or not, the only way to learn about light is to observe it constantly. Harsh light intensifies the contrast between light and shadows and can be quite unflattering. When you make images in harsh sunlight your subject often ends up with shadowy eye sockets that make them look tired. When working with diffused less intense light, contrast is lower and the light is more flattering.

The image below was made at Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. Subjects stand out prominently when colors are utilized to differentiate them from the background. I asked a local monk to sit on one of the rocks where the ruins and the old tree roots had created a beautiful abstract background. I utilized the rule of thirds to compose and the resulting image below was created. I named it “Peace within Chaos”.

Camera: Canon 1D-X
Lens: Canon 24-70 f2.8
Aperture: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/320
ISO: 800


Hope you found this helpful! Stay tuned for tomorrow when we will discuss “CONTRAST - HARD LIGHT & SOFT LIGHT"
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Photography Tips by Ali Khataw - Day 7


Guest Post by Ali Khataw

DAY 7

Question 7/ Day 7 - Is it the right moment?

Image 7/Day 7: GET CLOSE! (But safety first)

Often, nothing kills an image more than keeping your distance. If your subject is smaller than a car, take a step or two closer before taking the picture and zoom in on your subject. Your goal is to fill the picture area (frame) with the subject you are photographing. Up close you can reveal telling details, like a sprinkle of freckles, arched eyebrow, or sparkle in the eye. The eyes say it all!

This image that I call the "Pakistani Girl” was made in Karachi about 6 years ago. I am a big fan of National Geographic’s photograph “Afghan Girl” (Sharbat Gula) which was made by Steve McCurry and it was the cover photograph on June 1985 issue. Six years ago when I was visiting Karachi, my family went shopping and I took my camera and started visiting the “Kutchi Abaadis” (slum areas). 

I made several images and then I came across this little girl who had these amazing piercing eyes. I immediately asked her father if I could photograph her. He agreed on the condition I would give his family a large print (which I sent to her family from the US). I spent nearly an hour talking to her and her family until she was comfortable. I am certainly no match for National Geographic or Steve McCurry but I felt really good with the results. I got what I was looking for, a “Pakistani Girl”!

Camera: Canon 5D mark II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f2.8
Aperture: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/80
ISO: 400


Hope you found this helpful! Stay tuned for tomorrow when we will discuss “LIGHT"
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Photography Tips by Ali Khataw - Day 6

Guest Post by Ali Khataw


Image 6/Day 6: THE SHAPE OF THINGS

Question 6/ Day 6 - What is the relationship between the foreground and the background?
 
The way subjects connect to each other in a photograph forms shapes that draw the eye from subject to subject. If your subject is already triangular or square-shaped then the viewer's eye will automatically focus on that shape. Horizontal photographs (or landscape format) encourage our eyes to move from side to side, whereas vertical photographs (or portrait format) make them move up and down. Below, I have included an example of each.
The image “Old Man in the Field” was made just outside the perimeter of Chitwan Forest in Nepal. He was a really friendly character who had arms that were extra long. Since it was early morning there was still fog in the background. I made several horizontal images of him using a greater depth of field (smaller aperture/larger f-stop) as I wanted the foreground in focus too. Typically in horizontal images the viewer's eye should be moving from right to left or vice versa.



The image “Sadhu” was made in Kathmandu, Nepal. I found this friendly character at Pashupatinath. Pashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for devotees of Shiva. The goal was to get the Sadhu tack sharp and blur out the background. This was achieved by using a shallow depth of field (Large Aperture/smaller f-stop). Typically in vertical images the viewer eyes move from top to bottom or vice versa.

I have done a decent amount of work photographing Pashupatinath. The link below shows some of my black and white work. It needs to be viewed in horizontal mode if viewing on an iPad or smart phone.

https://www.facebook.com/alikhataw.photography/posts/1504086942936214

Old Man in the Field
Camera: Fujifilm Mirrorless X-E1
Lens: Zeiss 12mm f2.8
Aperture: f10
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 400


Sadhu
Camera: Fujifilm Mirrorless X-Pro2
Lens: XF 50-140 f2.8
Aperture: f2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 1000


Hope you found this helpful! Stay tuned for tomorrow when we will discuss “GET CLOSE"
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you found this helpful then please "LIKE" my FB page: Ali Khataw's Photography
 

Photography Tips by Ali Khataw - Day 5


Guest Post by Ali Khataw

DAY 5

Question 5/ Day 5 - What is the real subject of this scene?
Image 5/Day 5: LEADING LINES

Leading lines are one of the most effective and under-utilised compositional tools available to photographers. They are used to draw a viewer's attention to a specific part of the frame, whether it's a person, or a vanishing point in the background of the frame. A leading line also paves an easy path for the eye to follow through different elements of a photo. Usually they start at the bottom of the frame and guide the eye upwards and inwards, from the foreground of the image to the background, typically leading toward the main subject.

The image below was made in Zion National Park, Utah, USA. If you notice the leading line in the middle of the frame its taking your eyes from the foreground to the background. When I arrived at the location, my goal was to make an image that was powerful and yet conveyed the beautiful season of fall (Autumn). So, I decided to walk right into the middle of the freezing cold stream. I then secured my camera to my heavy-duty tripod and started walking into the middle of the stream. The water was flowing quite fast and I had to balance my self without dropping the camera into the water. Once I reached the middle of the stream, I started to make some images. I used a small aperture (large f-stop) and a very slow shutter speed to create the image below. The idea was to create the effect of dynamic water flowing down to the beautiful red cliffs. My feet were numb for nearly two days!

Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon 16-35 F2.8L
Aperture: f18
Shutter Speed: 1 Sec
ISO: 100


Hope you found this helpful! Stay tuned for tomorrow when we will discuss “THE SHAPE OF THINGS"
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If you found this helpful then please "LIKE" my FB page: Ali Khataw's Photography