Saturday, June 27, 2009

How big in the Frame?

Not that big in my opinion... a subject concerning the rules of composition. Well, most of us know about the rule of thirds, where we try to place the subject in the outside of center area in the frame. Sure, I follow this rule very often, it works!

There are times though when I wonder about how big does a bird need to be in the picture. Yes, we like to see them up close, full of great colours and details, but there are times when we can let the environment take over the image.

I do not have the super telephoto lens that I often dream of having right now., my arsenal is limited to the 200-400mm Nikkor lens. There are times in great / bright light when I will add the 1.4 tele-convertor, which will give me 550 mm on the D300, along with the 1.5 crop factor.

This is plenty of reach for me in most situations... mainly because I am looking for the artistic environmental shot most of the time. As in the attached images, the setting simply makes the shot. Maybe a close up "tight" image of the snowy owl would be what a lot of photographers would be looking for with this situation., I am one to stay back and enjoy the scene.

"To each his own" is what Oscar Barlow (dad) always said., and he was absolutely right., we all have our own style to enjoy and share with others. Please visit my owl galleries here...

And comment if you wish. We are also looking for short stories, adventures, photography tips if your interested in sharing with others, please email me here...


  1. Good article, Ray. I like both approaches.
    When there is a nice habitat which compliments the object (bird most of the time) then I like to show it. When the background and forground won't add any interest to the composition, I would choose the tighter crop.

  2. Good article Ray. Like Karl, I use both approaches. When the opportunity is there, and I can get a great closeup I'll go that route. If not, I'll work the background for an "environmental" shot. The interesting think is that I prefer viewing a good environmental shot as opposed to an excellent portrait! Maybe I should work on environmentals more, but it's hard to break a habit.

  3. Great piece Ray, I know we've talked about this a few times and I still wrestle with this at times. I think your comments on being prepared and envisioning the final image and Jon's piece on patience and preparedness should be tatooed on my hand as a reminder :)


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