Sometimes, rather than discussing specific photographic techniques, it can be fun and informative to study and comment on a photo that “just looks right.” If we spend enough time looking (and I mean really looking), we can begin to see all the individual components that add up to a really great shot.
Here’s another of my favorites, this one from Kaelin Design, a shop specializing in beautifully crafted, hand forged jewelry:
Kaelin has an interesting story about what she went through to get this shot (but that’s for her to tell). As for me, I just get to analyze another great photo. So, why do I like this shot enough to do an entire post about it? The answer, I think, is that the photo is just as artistic as the the earrings themselves. It’s not just a picture of something Kaelin happens to have for sale; rather, it’s an extension of those earrings. It’s like getting two works of art for the price of one!
But as I described in earlier posts, it’s all the little things that add up to one successful composition. Here’s what I like:
- The rotation of the image — Is it necessary? No, it’s not. Does it make a difference? Absolutely. If you are skeptical, check it out for yourself. Grab a copy of this image and rotate it about 30 degrees clockwise, which sets the background surface horizontal. What do you think? Still a great shot? Oh yeah, but it’s not nearly as interesting as the original.
- The color scheme — Look closely, it’s not black and white. These are the real colors, folks, with just enough tint in the silver to give life to the earrings. And the black background works perfectly, adding interest without competing with the subject.
- The background texture — The simplicity of the swirl just begs for a textured background. Sure, a flat background would work – it just wouldn’t work nearly as well.
- Depth of field #1 — Remember how I said that I like the textured background? I wouldn’t like it nearly as much if the entire frame was filled with it. I don’t think that you would either.
- Depth of field #2 — Perfect positioning of the earring in the background, along with great utilization of a 60mm macro lens at f/5 provide a really cool look. The in-focus earring complements its out-of-focus counterpart, and vice versa.
- The cropping — Due to the 30-degree rotation, this image really has to be cropped in a 1:1 aspect ratio like you see, and the positioning of the earrings in the frame is spot on. It’s a simple, yet very effective, technique.
I hope that you enjoyed analyzing this photo as much as I have (and maybe even picked up a few tips along the way). Next time you see a shot that you really like, take a good, long look and see if you can put your finger on what makes it special.
Until next time … Happy Shooting!