Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Photo Website

Thanks to my friend Phil Dolinger at http://phildolinger.smugmug.com/, I learned of a new website to display and sell images.

It is called 500px and my site can be seen at http://500px.com/brianshannonphotography.  I am looking forward to having more of my work displayed on the net as you cannot be seen in too many places when it comes to photography.

There is also a companion blog on the 500px.com site that I intend to use to document photo shoots.  Here is my first entry at http://500px.com/brianshannonphotography/blog
Thanks, Phil

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Composition: What is it?

I should say, what is composition to me?  In photography the three most important things for a good image are light, location and subject.  Does equipment matter?  Yes, to some degree.  Does post processing with something like Adobe Lightroom matter?  Again, yes, however software cannot fix a bad photo.  So what is it about photography that separates the "pros" from the "amateurs"?  Today, almost anyone with a point and shoot can take a good or even great photo.

The answer is composition.  This is an area that I have struggled with in photography and something that I have been working hard to improve on.  It is what distinguishes a typical tourist snapshot from a great photograph.

In this example from my recent trip to St. Thomas, USVI, I happened upon some very interesting rocks at a beach.  Well I know that my equipment is up to the task, my Nikon D700, my Nikon 24-70 lens and my Singh-Ray LB color combo polarizer.  I set up my shot, check the light, frame it, focus and I have a photo of some rocks, cool looking volcanic rocks at that.

Volcanic rocks

Ok, the light looks good, nice water in the background . . . ok I am done.  A nice tourist snapshot for the album.  Really?  Is that what I am trying to get out of photography?  In the past I would have been happy. In this case I kept looking.  There was some reason why I stopped to look at these rocks.

In composing a photograph, a photographer needs to ask themselves "what do I see and why do I want to photograph it"?  In this case there was something about these rocks that attracted me, the color, the shape . . .

The Praying Hands
As I looked around, I happened to notice some shapes, fingers, hands. Tightening the frame, focusing on a new subject, simplifying the subject and recomposing I captured one of my favorite shots from my trip.  I call this "The Praying Hands".  It is available on my website for sale at Brian Shannon Photography

I need to take more time to see what is around me and use my camera to capture it.  Composition to me is simply, taking a picture of what captures my interest.  This is often easier said than done but I am working on it.  If this topic is of interest to you, here are some books that have helped me with composition:

The Tao of Photography

Contemporary Landscape Photography: Professional Techniques for Capturing Spectacular Settings

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep shooting

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Skim Slam 2011

I had a chance to shoot Skim Slam 2011 at the Marriott Morningstar beach while I was on vacation recently. Loads of fun to watch and I imagine it was alot of fun for the skimboarders.  I am not normally a sports photographer but this was a chance to enjoy the beach and do photography at the same time!

Skim Slam 2011
This is obviously alot harder than it looks but at least you have the sun and the water to make it even more fun.  It was great to see all the kids competing and all the local support that the guys from Skimcaribbean have in the local community.

I hope to have more opportunities to shoot this kind of event.  I need to expand my comfort zone in photography beyond the landscape, travel and architecture that I normally do.

Skim Slam 2011

The equipment that I used for this shoot was my Nikon D700, my Nikkor 24-70 lens and my Singh-Ray LB Color Combo polarizer.  This setup has become my workhorse combo for 90% of what I like to shoot.

If you would like to purchase prints from the event, visit

Thanks to Ray, Charlie & Josh and if you are in St. Thomas visit:

Skim Caribbean for Skim board camps and instruction

If you are looking for a sailing charter visit:

Simplicity Charters

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