my flickr photostream

Monday, August 17, 2009

Break the Rules

© 2009 Simon Hucko

Today's photo breaks a few photography "rules" - the horizon is crooked, I chopped off half of the person, the subjects of the photo are way underexposed, and the white balance is very cool (blue) compared to what it should be. Personally, I love it. It was an interesting combination of artistic intent and chance.

I was shooting mid-morning into the sun at the end of a dock, so I knew the subjects would be back-lit. I even took it a little farther by bumping up the black point in post. I wanted blue sky and silhouettes - sometimes detail on the subjects can be distracting and take away from the story of the photo (in this case, the interaction between dog and owner). I also cooled down the white balance a little to bring out the blue in the lake and sky. All of this I had more or less decided on before hand.

The crazy tilt and framing was basically an accident. Mea (the dog) came running by and I held my camera low and wide and fired away. I thought about straightening it up in post, but a. it would have cropped part of the dog and even more of the person and b. I liked the dynamic feel imparted by the lines leading up and right into the frame (which was the same way Mea was running).

It was an interesting weekend of photography - I did a lot of no-look shooting (something I've been working on), shot with the pop-up flash on my camera (horror of horrors, but I had no choice), played with different crop ratios when editing, grabbed a bunch of shots for a pano that I still have to stitch together, and even took some video with my point n shoot which I'm going to play around with editing this week (more to come on that later).

How was your weekend? Any interesting stories or photos? Feel free to share here or in our flickr group


[title of blog] on flickr


  1. I love it! Great photo! Wonderful action, bold colors and screams reality!

  2. Well you already know I love this shot. :P

    I took pics at a 2 yr old's bday party. Lighting wasn't good, but we'll see if anything came out.

  3. @Rhonda - Thanks!

    @Kristan - Oh boy, 2 year olds are fun :) Looking forward to seeing photos. Try any pan-blur?

  4. Beautiful moment and very clever use of light.
    I love the result, splendid! :)

  5. @Ilan - Thanks! I'm working on using what I've got (strong hard backlight in this case) and making artistic decisions based on it. Not always easy, but it makes for a nice challenge now and then.