I love this shot – the smile on his face is real – he’s having a ball. The pool edge makes a nice line and a sort of frame across the shot. Despite the overhead view, it is very real and personal.
This shot is also what I like to call an “environmental portrait” – a portrait of a person in situ doing what they love.
I also love this shot – the view is very unconventional, and makes him larger than life, like a super hero. He seems ready to fly. The sky is a nice contrasting color to him, and there are no distracting background. Your eyes are drawn to him.
Camera: HP Photosmart 935
The only way to improve your picture taking is to take picture after picture after picture.
Firstly, you need to take photographs and often. I find it beneficial to find a focus – a theme – and to take as many of those sorts of pictures as you can. For example, if you want to practice natural light portraits, then there is your theme. Other themes could be landscapes, photojournalism, events, architecture, night time, and more.
Secondly, and often missed by amateurs: don’t shoot your subject just once. Shoot your subject a dozen times. Then you will cull the best photograph or photographs from the shots you took. You may find some have flaws you didn’t see before, or you may have several “good” shots with one fantastic shot.
Don’t limit yourself. If using film, shoot an entire roll on an event – or more. If using digital, get the biggest memory card you can get and shoot as much as necessary.
Lastly – once you are done get comments on your photographs. Photo clubs are good for this, as is Flickr Groups for photographers.
A photo a day makes a good project as well – and you can post it to Flickr as well.
Remember – have fun!
Photographs can be taken in online venues such as Second Life, but you are dealing with a view that is completely sharp – much in the way that a point-and-shoot camera operates. Any depth of field has to be added artificially either in the virtual environment or in post-processing with programs like Photoshop or the GIMP.
Composition and view are still the same, as is the importance of the background. I do however find myself not using the rule of thirds as much, however.
I may post some of my Second Life shots here, and see what folks think of them.