that's the tops... or lack thereof


i've noticed something strange about my photo snapping habits in the last two photo shoots i have done... i noticed that i have this terrible habit of cutting off heads... particularly of the guy in the couples that the shoots are for. of course, with this first couple, i would say i had a good excuse. he is around six-and-a-half feet tall. in fact, i found it impossible {and awkward on my part} to get them both in in some of the places where we were shooting... especially if he was standing.

exhibit A...

DSC_0779_80_81 triptych

you see, i have a fixed lens, so i did not have the luxury of zooming in or out. and at this spot on this busy street, there was a parked car that would not allow me to take one step further back than i was. i tried to go to the other side of the car, but then i could not photograph their feet... plus, i was awfully close to the traffic in that position. trust me... you never want to put your trust {or your life} in the hands of most chicago drivers.

so with the above series of shots, i just played off of his height... made it part of the whimsy of the photos by purposefully cropping out his head and having her look up at him.

but i'm not sure what my excuse was in the family shoot i did last sunday. of course, there are times when you want to cut crop out the top of your subjects heads for an artistic effect. personally, i like to do it because, to me, it creates a more intimate mood... like the viewer is a lot more up-close-and-personal to the subject.

so i could see getting away with the whole cropping out tops of heads in the next two shots below.

here, the parents were not the main focal point, so i was perfectly okay with him being slightly cropped.

and here, he is looking down, so again... i was not so bothered by the crop.

but when i do something like what i did in this last shot... there's no excuse!

it's just sad. especially when the other people in the photo {as well as the one who is getting cropped too much} look so nice... it's like i wasted a perfectly good photo of perfectly cooperative and comfortable subjects. this has to be a Composition 101 no-no! and i have to admit... this was not the only one. there were several where i did this! *sigh*

but in my defense, it was a bright day, and i was facing the sun, which made it difficult to see my camera screen to make sure everything was a-okay.

some day, i'll buy one of those hoods that shades the screen on the camera... or a new camera that has one already built in. until then, i'll just have to live with my photography tendencies and pray that i get in a few good shots with all {or most} of everyone's noggins.


beth said...

G...i just found out that my camera has a setting where i can change the brightness of my screen {for those sunny days} so i can see what i shot more easily....maybe yours does, too.

and a 6.5 tall man is hard to shoot no matter what!!
all of shoots this summer, i have started with my 50mm and then quickly changed to my 17-50 for many of the reasons you just stated. i just CAN'T move myself every time for the photo i want....so moving the lens is what i have to do.

and hey....shoots have huge learning curves {variables} EVERY SINGLE TIME no matter what. that's one thing i've learned for sure.
so don't beat yourself up :)

lissa said...

I would ask the girl to stand on something so she would match the guy's height or the guy to sit down.

I don't think I like the idea of a fixed lens. personally, I really like having the ability to zoom in and zoom out.

have you thought of photographing in parts and putting them together later in software? I there is a feature on certain cameras that allows you to shoot in parts but I never quite figure out how to use it on my camera.

enjoy your day.

skoots1mom said...

what adorable pics...you can see their love ;)

Kathy said...

Personally, I have a HUGE forehead and would love for you to crop part of it out :). Live and learn, right?

georgia b. said...

oh, i definitely agree, beth. that's exactly why i went ahead and just started my photography business. i know i have so much to learn that can't be learned any other way than just good old experience, and i was always waiting to start until i knew a lot... but then realized that's how you come to know a lot... just doing the shoots. i learn a little each time. and i love how it works that way! it makes each shoot a new surprise with a new sense of accomplishment. i hope i never stop learning how to better myself. and thanks for the tip on adjusting my camera screen brightness!! good to know! i've actually been thinking of going back to my non-prime lens now that i know understand lens manual settings better... especially if i am taking outdoor shots where i have plenty of light and i don't need much lower than a 3.5 aperture.

lissa... yes, i have done things like that before... combining in photoshop. it works well if i get similar enough shots. but sometimes i like to just play off the inability to get the whole subject... like i did in the shots with the guy who was 6.5 feet tall.

hahaha... kathy. i have friends who feel the same. come to think of it, i'm not a fan of mine so much either. actually, it's more my hairline that i am not a fan of. so i don't mind cropping it out. =)

georgia b. said...

oh, and thanks, skoots1mom!!