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Posts Tagged ‘Composition’


(Credit: Pixdaus.com)

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(Credit: Pixdaus.com)

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My experience in learning another language is that it involves consistent dedication and long hours of study.  In my case, I have been studying the English language since I was six years old.  I know it sounds excessive, but I never had the opportunity of living in an English-speaking country; therefore the use of the language has been sporadic.

Blogging in English has been an excellent opportunity to link me more to the language; specially the written part of it.  Currently, I speak English on rare occasions.  One of those occasions is when I meet Americans at the airport in my freelance transportation business.  I try to make the English conversations as pleasant as I can.  My satisfaction is to leave satisfied customers behind.

Serious blogging requires the proper use of a language, in an effort to keep readers returning for more.  Those of you who are constant bloggers know how difficult this task is.

This post is about the proper usage of e.g. versus i.e. which are frequently confused.

The Latin expression “exempli gratia” (e.g.), usually shortened in English to “for example”, is often confused with “id est” (i.e.).   Exempli gratia (e.g.)  should be used after defining a class, to give an example of a specific instance (or more than one; you can provide a list).  It should be used inside parenthesis followed by a comma.  Literally, exampli gratia means “for the sake of example”.

Example: “The simplest crayon sets feature the primary and secondary colors (e.g.,  red and green).”

In the above example, the general class is the noun phrase “the primary and secondary colors”, which if you remember your first art class is the set {red, blue, yellow, purple, green, orange}.  “e.g.” here has provided examples from that set of colors.

The Latin expression Id est means “that is”“That is (to say)” in the sense of “that means” and “which means”, or “in other words”, or sometimes “in this case”, depending on the context; may be followed by a comma, or not, depending on style (American English and British English respectively).  It is often misinterpreted as “in example”. In this situation, e.g. should be used instead.

To further clarify the expression, “i.e.” should be used after a statement to explain it in another way, typically only one other way but possibly two (more would likely be confusing).  It could also be used to define a single word.

Examples: “Most crayon users prefer to scribble (i.e.,  draw erratically)” or “The most common crayon mishap involves a trip to the otorhinolaryngologist (i.e. the crayon has been inserted into the ear or nose).”

In the first example above, a single word was defined; in the second example, the word was implicitly defined, but the context of the whole phrase was clarified.

It seems to be more common for people to misuse “i.e.” when they mean “e.g.”, as opposed to the other way around.  Next time you want to polish your posts, keep in mind the correct usage of these Latin expressions.  Fine tuning the language is a good habit for a serious blogger.  Good Day.

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Entrance of a house in Bussana Vechia, Italy.  (Credit:  Pixdaus.com)

Entrance of a house in Bussana Vechia, Italy. (Credit: Pixdaus.com)

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(Credit:  Still Life by by Arrizabalaga @Pixdaus.com)

(Credit: Still Life by by Arrizabalaga @Pixdaus.com)

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Feet


Photographers usually like to take pictures of faces.  I would say that portraitures are one of the most popular segments of modern photography.  People like to contemplate their own pictures; it’s part of the human vanity.

However, there are other beautiful parts of the human body besides faces which make great photographs.  For example hair, lips, eyes, ears, torsos and feet also have beautiful lines, shapes and tones worth capturing.

On a recent visit of my wife’s two grandnephews, I decided to take pictures of their feet.  Feet are beautiful.  They are the ones that make us stand up and challenge  our obstacles.  They are the ones who make us move forward and fulfill great feats in life.

My wife decided to join the group.  The following pictures include three pairs of feet of persons 63, 2, and 6 years old.  This is what came out of my Birthday camera’s lens.  Here we go.

Three pair of feet of young and not so young persons.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)

Three pair of feet of young and not so young persons. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)

Two generation of feet whose responsibility is to make us move and make things done.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)

Two generation of feet whose responsibility is to make us move and get things done. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)

View of three pair of feet with different shapes which constitute a beautiful composition.  Some fingers resemble tiny balls of flesh.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)

View of three pair of feet with different shapes which constitute a beautiful composition. Some fingers resemble tiny balls of flesh. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)

Yep, feet are also beautiful.  The monopoly of photography should not only be attractive faces.  Good Day.

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When I purchased my Birthday digital camera last December, I thought that taking great photographs was just aiming my camera at an interesting scene and pressing the shutter button.  The only rule I remember my friends telling me, was to center the  subject.  Just by doing that I would get masterpieces out of my light machine.

Wrong.  Point-and-shoot is a myth created by camera dealers in an effort to increase their sales and fill their pockets.  Even the term used for their cameras—Point-and-Shoot—is misleading and confusing.  It makes you think that these cameras by themselves will let you take magic shots.  I prefer the term “compact cameras”.

As I get my feet wet with photography, I’m learning that effective composition plays a big part in taking good pictures.  It doesn’t matter is you have a cheap $100  or a $1,000  camera, you still have to organize your shots.  By organizing your photographs I mean  placing your subject correctly, so your intended message or mood will be adequately transmitted to the viewer.

This is where the Rule of Thirds comes in.  The Rule of Thirds is a photographic composition technique that most if not all advanced photographers employ quite a bit.  The basis of this rule is that a photograph is divided into nine equal-sized sections, with two  lines vertically and two  lines horizontally. The four intersections of these lines are a good guide point for where your subject should be centered.  These intersections are also called power points.

These power points (and lines) also work as guides for other aspects of the photograph, for example, a horizon may look better when lined up with one of the lines. Also, when photographing people, a good use of the rule of thirds in many circumstances would be to line a person’s body up with a vertical line, and line their eyes up with a horizontal line.

This is likely one of the most important compositional techniques, as many photographers feel that a centered subject is not as interesting (in most situations). It is, however, recommended that you treat this “rule” as more of a guideline though, as there are many circumstances where a more appealing photograph can be produced without the use of this rule.

The Rule of Thirds goes all the way back to 1845, where it originated as a rule for composing scenic artwork.  However the basic principles of composition go back even further.  The principles behind composition  date back to the artists of the Italian Renaissance and to the ancient Greeks and Romans before them.

When my friend, Michael Moore, told me about this composition technique, it was difficult for me to “see” these imaginary lines on my camera’s monitor.  Later I found out, that my camera could overlay these lines on the screen .

If you have a Canon PowerShot A720 IS, this is how to use the Display Overlap option which controls the grid lines on your camera LCD monitor.

Rear view of the Canon PowerShot A720 IS with the control buttons at the right side of the camera.  (Credit:  Yongbo Yiangs Weblog)

Rear view of the Canon PowerShot A720 IS with the control buttons at the bottom right side of the camera. (Credit: Yongbo Yiang's Weblog)

The large circular button in the middle controls the Up-Down-Left-Right menu options, much the same way a mobile phone does.

Start by clicking the Menu button below the large circular button mentioned above.  This  action will display several options which you can select by using the circular button.  Press the down side of the button (identified with a flower icon and the letters MF), until you reach the Disp Overlay (Display Overlay) option which controls the LCD grid lines.

If the option is set to OFF, click the right button to locate the Grid Lines option and activate it by clicking the Menu button again.  Remember to activate the Shooting Mode.  You do this by moving the Mode Switch button located at the upper right hand corner of the camera next to the red camera icon.

Remember that photography is all about refining an image to its most basic element, and then making that element leap to the forefront of the photograph, in order to convey information or to evoke a mood or emotion.  To do this you need to organize your subject, and the Rule of Thirds is a powerful tool to do.  By clicking the link at the end of this post, you will see the  Rule of Thirds in action.

Application of the Rule of Thirds placing the seagull at the upper right power point and giving room from the bird to fly towards your right.  You can easily image the flight of the bird.  (Credit:  Yongbo Yiangs Weblog)

Application of the Rule of Thirds placing the seagull at the upper right hand power point allowing room for the bird to fly towards the right side of the picture. You can easily imagine the flight of the bird. (Credit: Yongbo Yiang's Weblog)

Point-and-Shoot is a myth, be prepared and surprise us with your spectacular pictures.  I’m doing my best, but still have a long way to go.  Good Day.

Source:  Yongbo Yiang’s Weblog

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Yesterday while I was washing the dishes after lunch, I noticed my wife had several green mangoes and a couple of onions stacked on a plate near the kitchen sink.  I found it pretty strange that she had mixed mangoes and onions.  But she knows more about cooking than I do.

An idea came to my mind.  What if I added a ripe mango and more onions to the plate and and create a colorful composition for a photograph?  I decided to have fun with my camera, and that I did.

At the end, I had a stack of green and ripe mangoes, several onions, a  transparent cup of red gelatin, a small  crystalline glass and one green-colored tall glass.  These were the ingredients for my kitchen photographs.

I also used two sources of light; natural light coming from the two kitchen’s windows and yellow light generated by a spotlight which I dug from one of the bedroom closets.  I was curious to see the effects of these two sources of light on the aforementioned objects.

I also used two digital edition programs to enhance the appearance of the pictures.  The first one is FotoFlexer which comes embedded inside Photobucket, the web site where I deposit my photographs.  I have been using this application for several months now.  The second program is Picnik, which I’m just starting to experiment with.  It has a lot of features worth trying in the future.

This is the result of several minutes playing with my camera in a sort of “divertimento” at our kitchen yesterday noon.  Here we go.

Photograph of several green mangoes and a couple of onions.  The strong light is coming from an old spotlight I found in one of our bedroom closets.  The camera flash was not used.  I used Picnik to modify this photograph.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)

Photograph of several green and ripe mangoes and a couple of white onions. The strong light is coming from an old spotlight I found in one of our bedroom closets. The camera flash was suppressed. I used Picnik to edit the photograph. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)

In this picture I used FotoFlexer to enhance the picture and the light source was an old spotlight.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)

In this picture I used FotoFlexer to enhance the picture and the light source was an old spotlight. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)

The light source was the old spotlight.  With FotoFlexer I blurred the edges of the picture to center the attention to the mangoes and onions.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)

The light source was an old spotlight. With FotoFlexer I blurred the edges of the picture to center the attention to the mangoes and onions. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)

For this picture I used the natural light coming from the kitchens windows.  The difference is noticeable.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)

For this picture I used the natural light coming from the kitchen's windows. The difference is noticeable. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)

A close up picture of the composition of fruits and onions.  Natural light was used with no flash.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)

A close up picture of the composition of fruits and onions. Natural light was used with no flash. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)

The natural light gives the picture a soft atmosphere.  The colors are more natural.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)

The natural light gives the picture a soft atmosphere. The colors are more natural. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)

The soft light of the green glass and the red gelatin is gently reflected on the white kitchens formica.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)

The soft light of the green glass and the red gelatin is gently reflected on the white kitchen's formica. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)

Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself taking photographs of mangoes and onions beside a kitchen sink.  Yep, life is full of pleasant surprises.  This was a real fun photographic divertimento at our kitchen.  Why don’t you try this at home with ordinary things you use every day?  Believe me, its fun.  Good Day.

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(Credit:  jack sparrow)

(Credit: jack sparrow)

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(Credit:  Sergio Parisi)

(Credit: Sergio Parisi)

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