May 1, 2010


Color, composition (shapes), angle (high,low,side view), exposure, and lighting are a few ingredients for a great photograph. One of the first exercises I teach is for the photographer to notice highlights and shadows because they are very important. It is the different between a good photo and a great photo - in my humble opinion.

Observe photo A below: Great composition. The photographer spent time selecting the plate, setting up the table with crochet coaster, and lace runner. The blueberries are scattered around and the banana slices are staggered to balance the plate.

Observe photo B below: You don't see table setting or the entire meal but it looks more appetizing and I am drawn to this. Why? At this angle the light highlights the blueberries and the sauce glistens. The dish looks so moist and sexy it is impossible to resist.

Same subject but in two entirely different context. Two images are shoot on the same day. The difference is that the photographer spent the time looking for the highlights on photo B. I am certain the plate was not moved, but the photographer moved around and experimented with different angles.

If you are having trouble identifying the highlights click on the link below.
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