This has been a busy week. Right now I'm in Mexico enjoying the Sea of Cortez with my family ...which includes our two very rambunctious dogs.
Over the years I've found that one of the most valuable ways to learn useful photography tips is to sign up for one of the many well-run online courses available these days. Here are my favorite places to go for online courses: Learn to Take Photos (learntotakephotos.com), Equine Photographers Network (equinephotographers.org), Perfect Picture School of Photography (ppsop.com) and Better Photo (betterphoto.com).
I finished a wonderful course on Composition in photography a couple of weeks ago led by Shelley Paulson, a fantastic photographer from Minnesota. This course, offered through Equine Photographers Network, was all about composition and how to make sure your photographs have lots of punch by ensuring your compositions are as good as they can be.
One of my favorite lessons from Shelley was her lesson on Active Space. Leaving active space in front of your moving subject means that you always want to leave enough room for your subject to move into. Alternately, the space behind your subject is often referred to as dead space. The reason that this compositional technique is important is that when someone views your image and sees that your subject is moving in one direction – their eye naturally wants to move in that direction also. If you crowd your subject too much your eye has nowhere to go and your composition becomes static. I took this photo of our dog on the beach yesterday to illustrate a good example of the concept of active space.