The Scene


The Scene is the first step to great photography and it occurs before you even pick up the camera. It entails the photographer walking through the scene and visualizing the photograph with the story and emotions that it will evoke. Four major components make up the assessment of the scene:

Picking the subjects – Understanding the key subjects in the photograph and the interest that will be generated. The photographer understands the hierarchy of interest of subjects from eyes/faces/hands to children/people/animals to things/places and uses this hierarchy to generate an original photo.

Identifying the dominant elements of a photo – The photographer can look at the scene and determine the dominant elements in the resulting photo. By walking through the scene, one can discover different shapes, toned and forms as well as understanding the unique textures, patterns and colors. Other distinctive attributes in the scene include 3D depth, perspective, depth of field and scale.

Understanding the lighting of the scene – The photographer needs to look at the lighting in the scene. What is its direction? Is the lighting coming from the front, back or side? Of from multiple sources? Is the environment a high or low-key environment and should artificial lighting be used to change it? How can low-lighting, silhouettes and shadows be used for dramatic effect?

Organizing the photo properly --- The photographer then needs to think about properly organizing the photograph. What needs to be included in the photo to make it in most simple impactful statement that fills the frame? How can the photo be framed in order to have the eye move through the photo? What are the key background, foreground and main subjects in the photo and how should they be situated vis a vis the rule of thirds? Finally, when should the conventional rules be broken in order to achieve that decisive moment?


Lessons from the Scene


           The Art of Portrait Photography

           How Do I Make My Photos Look Professional? (Part 1)

           How Do I Make My Photos Look Professional? (Part 2)

           How Do I Make My Photos Look Professional? (Part 3)

           How Do I Make My Photos Look Professional? (Part 4)  

           Tips When Hiring a Photographer by Stanley Leary

           Are You Adding Context to Your Photos? by Stanley Leary

           A Memory Jogger or Communications by Stanley Leary

           No Setup Photos by Stanley Leary

           Sometimes a Detail Tells the Whole Story by Stanley Leary

           Anatomy of a Sports Photography Assignment by Stanley Leary

           Thinking in Images - Nine Tips for Communicating Visually by Stanley Leary

           Top Five Food Photography Tips for Your Thanksgiving Holiday

           Work the Situation, Work the Lens by Rick E. Martin

           Four Elements that Separate a Good Photograph from a Snapshot by Stanley Leary 

           Three Questions for Better Travel Pictures by Jim Austin

           Guidelines for Portraits, Headshots and Mug Shots by Stanley Leary

           Learning the Universal Language by Stanley Leary

           How Much Is Enough? by Stanley Leary

           Learning to See Light by Ginny Felch

           Elegant Light Fleeting by Ginny Felch

           Different Visions by Ginny Felch

           Mental Visualization by Ginny Felch

           Free to See High Dynamic Range Images, Part 1 by Jim Austin

           HDR Part 2, Techniques by Jim Austin

           HDR Part 3, A Historical Perspective by Jim Austin

           HDR Part 4, Radical Thinkers by Jim Austin

           HDR Part 5, Judging Unique Characteristic of Honest Photographers by Jim Austin

           HDR Part 6, New Thinking to Handle HDR Tools by Jim Austin

           Are You Shooting Enough Photos? by Stanley Leary

           Giving the Subconscious Time to React by Stanley Leary

           Stop Selling Nails by Stanley Leary

           Taking an Interest in People Is a Reward in Itself by Stanley Leary

           A Slice of Life by Stanley Leary

           Tips for Finding and Keeping Clients by Stanley Leary

           Building Business and Making Friends by Stanley Leary

           Creative Photographer by Stanley Leary

           Digital Photography – A Real Stimulus Package by Stanley Leary

           Ten Steps To The Family Christmas Photos by Stanley Leary

           Understanding Light by Stanley Leary

           Photographing Your Passions by Stanley Leary

           Group Photos by Stanley Leary

           Seeing Storylines

           Making Snapshots Better by Stanley Leary

           Have Camera, Will Travel by Stanley Leary

           Photographing Children by Stanley Leary

           Photography is more than the HOW by Stanley Leary

           Fine Tuning by Stanley Leary

           Are All Your Eggs in One Basket by Stanley Leary

           Great Sports Photography: Tricks and Tips by Stanley Leary

           Anatomy of a Sports Photography Assignment by Stanley Leary

           The Digital Communication Age We Know Information by Stanley Leary

           How to Make the Most of a Mentor by Stanley Leary

           Are You Passionate about Something by Stanley Leary

           Tips for a Better Profile Photo by Stanley Leary

           Do Your Photos Provide Context for Your Subject by Stanley Leary

           Photography Ought to Be Fun by Stanley Leary

           Surprising Yourself, Will Surprise Others by Stanley Leary

           Race Cars and Photography Subjects Have a Lot in Common by Stanley Leary

           Relationships Help Shape Excellence by Stanley Leary

           What is the Universal Language? by Stanley Leary 

            Fighting the Creative Blues during the Christmas Holiday by Stanley Leary 

            Understanding the Culture by Stanley Leary 

            Where Does Your Eye Go First? by Stanley Leary 

            Focus on the Subject by George Hsia 

            Use Foreground and Background to Provide Context by George Hsia 

            Composition Perspective by George Hsia  

            Shaping Light to Light Metal by Stanley Leary

            You Need a Battery Tester by Stanley Leary

            Can It Get Any More Competitive? by Stanley Leary

            Photographers Need to Be Guided by the Light by Stanley Leary

            Love to Buy-- Don't Like to be Sold by Stanley Leary

            Outside Photography: Best Time of Year by Stanley Leary 

            Holidays Are Celebrated with Visuals by Stanley Leary 

            Two Types of Photos by Stanley Leary  

            Workshops can be better than New Equipment by Stanley Leary  

            Photography Ought to Be Fun by Stanley Leary  

            Only Photography Can Capture the Microexpressions by Stanley Leary