Crop Factor Explained

One term that you’re certain to come across when
researching your next DSLR purchase is ‘Crop
Factor’.

This is a slightly complex topic and many long articles have been written explaining it – but to keep it simple let me attempt a short explanation.

While normal film cameras take 35mm film (it is a
standard for the industry) there is much variety
between manufacturers on image sensor sizes. The main reference point that people therefore use is the 35mm one which is considered ‘full frame’ size.

If you compare the size of the film in a normal SLR
(film is 35mm) to the image sensor in most DSLRs
you’ll find that the size of the DSLRs sensor is
generally smaller (unless you get what’s called a ‘full frame’ DSLR).

Until recently ‘full frame’ cameras were largely in the realm of professional DSLRs and all lower end
cameras had smaller sensors.

If you take a photo with a smaller sensor and the
same lens it will only show a smaller area of the
scene.

To illustrate this I’ve show how different cameras
with different image sizes will see an image.

crop-factor

Black – Full Frame
Red – 1.3x Crop Factor
Yellow – 1.5x Crop Factor
Green – 1.6x Crop Factor

When you enlarge images to the same size from
different sensors the ones with the smaller sensors will be enlarged more – making it seem bigger.

As a result – when you fit a lens to a camera with a
smaller sensor the lens is often said to have a larger equivalent lens size.

I’ve included a table below that shows the
equivalent lens sizes for different crop factors. The
column on th left is the lens focal length on a full
frame camera.

crop-factor-conversions

So what crop factor does your DSLR have? Here’s
some of the most popular ones.

1.3x – Canon EOS 1D/1D MkIIN
1.5x – Nikon D40/D50/D70/D70s/D80/D200/
D2XD2Hs Minolta 7D/Fuji S3 Pro Pentax *istDS/
K100D/K110D/K10D
1.6x – Canon EOS 300D/400D/20D/30D
2.0x – Olympus E-400/E-500/E-300/E-1

This post was submitted by DPS reader – Shane.

Culled from Digital Photography School

7 Essential Accessories for Your First DSLR

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If you read my post back in September about “Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS)”, you know that I’m a firm believer in making smart choices about
photography-related expenditures. It’s so easy to
get hypnotized by all of the shiny new trinkets and
pieces of equipment that if you aren’t careful you’ll
find yourself at the bottom of the rabbit hole with
lots of great gear, but little else to show for it. That
being said, if you are one of those lucky individuals
who just got their first DSLR over the holidays, there are seven accessories which should be at the top of your new wish list. I usually hesitate to use words like “essential,” but sometimes it’s the little things that pack the biggest punch.

Spare Camera Battery
Camera battery technology has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. While I can’t really tell you the last time a battery actually died on me during a shoot, I can tell you that they do seem to
occasionally sprout legs and play hide-and-seek.
Seriously, though, I can usually make it through an
entire 12-hour wedding shoot, with charge to spare on a single battery. As a strict adherent to the not putting all of one’s eggs in a single basket, though, the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing there are back-ups is huge.
As a side note, it’s also a good idea to have a system for keeping track of what’s charged and what’s spent. I keep my batteries in a “Think Tank DSLR Battery Holder”. Contacts down means charged, and contacts up means spent.

Camera Bag
Finding the right camera bag is no small task. Trust
me– I have eight…and I can quit any time I want. If
you’re looking for your first, though, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to purchase a bag that is bigger than what you think you need. Once you start accumulating the items on this list, as well additional lenses and other accessories you decide you can’t live without, you’re going to start running out of room pretty quickly. The “Think Tank Retrospective 30” or “City Walker 20” are great “starter size” bags.

External Flash
If your new camera has a built-in, pop-up flash,
please promise me you will never use it. It is, by far, the single-most unflattering light source ever
created. With my apologies to natural light
photographers everywhere, a solid understanding
of off-camera flash is one of the biggest steps you
can take towards elevating your photography to the next level. The first rung of that ladder is an external flash like the Nikon SB910 or Canon 600EX. There are other “off brands” available, like the Yongnuo, but they tend to have fewer advanced features and only work with manual settings. Make sure you have lots of AA batteries on hand. Unlike camera batteries, speedlights tend to go through batteries pretty quickly.

Reliable Tripod
For a long time, the generally accepted wisdom was that you get what you pay for. I once read an article where the author suggested that spending 10% of your camera’s price tag on a tripod was an
appropriate guideline. By his rationale then, your $
2,000 camera should never go on a tripod and head combination that costs any less than $200. I
suppose it’s a viable approach– we often equate
higher price with higher quality. The flip-side of the
coin, however, is that several tripod companies
have entered the market over the past couple of
years, bringing with them less expensive, high-
quality options. But when do you cross the line
from “inexpensive” to “cheap?” A comparably sized tripod (with head) from 3 Legged Thing, Manfrotto, or MeFoto can vary in price from $195 to $400. Test a tripod in person whenever possible. See how stable it is with your gear mounted on it. If you don’t feel secure, try a different one.

Shutter Release
A tripod is a good first step towards eliminating
camera shake. Another is using either a cable or
wireless shutter release. This is going to be essential for long exposures, sharp macro photography, or even just getting yourself into the photo with family and friends. Be careful when purchasing, however, because many releases are tailored to specific camera makes and/or models. This is another one of those areas where you can spend a little or a lot. If all you need is something to trigger your shutter, don’t be afraid to spend a little less.

Extra Memory Cards
Regardless of whether your camera uses CF or SD
cards, at some point one of two things will definitely happen. You will either run out of space on your card or it will fail. Remember that not putting all your eggs in one basket thing I mentioned earlier? Same applies to memory cards. The cost has dropped considerably over the last few years, even among the major manufacturers like Lexar and Sandisk, making back-ups and peace-of-mind more affordable than ever.

Something to Keep Your Lens Clean
Clean glass is essential to good photography. While there are lots of options available, two of my
favorites are the Spudz Microfiber Lens Cloth and
the LensPen. Both are inexpensive, high-quality,
non-chemical alternatives to keeping your lenses
clean and clear.

There’s a lot to learn when you get your first DSLR. A few essentials beyond the camera and lens can help make the learning curve much easier to navigate.

Culled from DIY Photography

How to Get Amazing Images from Shadows

Photographing shadows is often overlooked as a creative subject for our photography, and we can understand why. Any photographer, or photographic professional, will tell you that photography is all about light. That’s true. But we see beauty in that little ugly duckling called shadows.

We’ve been involved in photography for almost half a century, and one thing has always amazed us; many folks don’t truly understand what a shadow is when viewed in a photograph. We’re not saying that people don’t know what a shadow is “period”. There probably isn’t a single one of us who didn’t stand on a playground when we were children and marvel at the late afternoon sun casting our long shadow across the pavement.


Playing Together by ozjimbob, on Flickr

But as it relates to the photographic image, a lot of folks seem confused about what a shadow really is.

Let’s Point Out What a Shadow Isn’t


Shooter by Jhong Dizon | Photography, on Flickr

This is not a shadow. This is a silhouette.

So What is the Difference?

sil·hou·ette
silo͞oˈet/
noun
1

  1. the dark shape and outline of someone or something visible against a lighter background, esp. in dim light

shad·ow
SHadō/
noun
1.

  1. a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface.

We’re sure that many old pros from the photography world are scoffing at us right now. They’re probably thinking that everyone knows the difference between a shadow and a silhouette. But, believe it or not, many beginners in photography don’t know the difference.

So, let’s talk about the difference.

Silhouettes have a fixed shape that mimics the object blocking the light. Shadows are not fixed in shape. A shadow will change in shape, definition, and color based on the positioning, quality, and color of the light creating it. It will also change characteristics based on the object that it falls upon. This opens up room for a lot of creativity.

The Characteristics of Shadows

Every beginning photographer is taught about the qualities of light: soft light, hard light, broad light, spot light, etc. Shadows also exhibit similar characteristics.

A shadow can be deep in tone and have a hard defined edge.


It’s ‘cos you’re gone now but your heart still remains.. by Neal., on Flickr

Harsh direct light creates deep shadows with hard defined edges.

A shadow can also be broad, soft, and with a feathered almost imperceptible edge.


Winter Road by Pavel P., on Flickr

Not only does the quality of light affect shadows, the distance of the light source to the object casting the shadow will change it’s characteristics, as well as the distance of the object casting the shadow to the object the shadow falls upon. As you can see, working with shadows opens up an almost infinite window of opportunity.

A shadow can be twisted and manipulated by changing the shape of the object casting the shadow. A shadow can be almost translucent. A shadow can be colored! You can do a lot of cool things with a shadow.

The Common Use of Shadows

When photographers, (or all artists for that matter), think of modeling a three dimensional object onto a two dimensional medium, they think of highlights and shadows. It’s these two elements, which are created by light, that help us to see in three dimensions.


Where on Earth by mbowman64, on Flickr

This photograph is a perfect example of how highlights and shadows emphasize three dimensions. Picture this in your mind, if the photograph had been taken at noon, with the sun directly overhead, the sand dune would lose all of it’s three dimensional qualities.

What if We Use Shadows in an Uncommon Way?

How do we do that? We make the shadows- the subject of our photograph!


ninja cat by Robert Couse-Baker, on Flickr

This is a perfect example of the shadow becoming the subject. Sure, this is a picture of a cat, but it’s the distorted shadow of the cat that brings interest to what could have been an ordinary photograph!


which way? by jenny downing, on Flickr

This is a somewhat abstract, but very interesting, use of a shadow as subject matter.

Shadows Will Be Our Subject- Now What?

Let’s look at some ways that you can put shadows to work  in expressing yourself.


Dragon Shadow Puppet Scares Bear by Dan Zen, on Flickr

This photographer took the idea of using shadows, as subjects, to a whole new level. He actually created his shadows by making the objects that were going to cast the shadows. What a creative statement!  Does that spark some ideas?

Photography is about expressing yourself in an artistic medium. Applying that to shadows could mean hunting down interesting shadows that already exist. It could mean creating shadows that weren’t there. It could even mean you manipulating existing shadows to satisfy your creative vision!

Did you know that Shadows can be Colored?

When light is directed at a translucent object some light is blocked and some of the color spectrum passes through; this creates colored multi-tone shadows. An example of this would be a stained glass window. Here’s a cool idea. Collect different types of colored glass and use them to create colored shadows in a scene that you select. Here’s another cool point. If you create shadows of several different colors and intersect them, a new color will be formed where they overlap.


color shadows by martinhoward, on Flickr

Colored shadows are created by passing light through colored translucent objects, or by putting colored gels on the light sources that create the shadows. Just remember, if any white (full spectrum) light hits your colored shadow it will erase the color.

Shadows can Accentuate Details

Perhaps, you have a subject that  you’re looking for a way to direct the viewer’s eye to a certain detail. Why not create a shadow?


Shadows by Pablo Miranzo, on Flickr

There is no mistaking that the photographer wanted to direct the viewer to the young woman’s beautiful eyes.


A Prism of Shadows: Self-portrait in Front of A Brick Wall by DerrickT, on Flickr

This photographer used some carefully placed shadows to direct the eye, AND, create a mood.

Shadows can Convey Emotion


Free Daddy and His Little Shadow Girls at The Skate Park Creative Commons by Pink Sherbet Photography, on Flickr

This shadow photograph screams “Joy!” We don’t even have to see the children’s faces.


The Umquhile Shadow-Paraphernalia With Hands-on Ripening by DerrickT, on Flickr

The dense black shadows, and their placement around the eyes, emphasizes the feeling of sadness, or depression.

Shadows and the Abstract

The ability to stretch and distort shadows lends itself to interesting and beautiful abstract images.


Flickr contacts by kevin dooley, on Flickr

This curved shadow between two walls is a beautiful abstract form.

A New Perspective

Even when there are recognizable objects within a photograph, the use of strong shadows can provide a creative element that strengthens the composition.


Autumn Cycle by moriza, on Flickr

The repeated form of the bicycle- strengthens- what would have been a rather ordinary photograph.

We hope that you feel inspired to seek out shadows, create shadows, alter shadows, and highlight them in your future photographs!

Culled from LIGHT STALKING

Using Shot Lists Will Make You a Better Photographer

When I first started shooting, I would spend absolutely no time planning my shots. I would focus tons of time and energy into every other aspect (location, wardrobe, mood, etc) but in some weird turn of events, it must have slipped my mind that the end goal is “The Shot.” How that slipped my mind still baffles me. Instead of putting in the effort to plan what my actual finished images would look like, I found a model, found a location and showed up on shoot day with a plan to wing it. I would put together shots on the spot and when I was ready to move on to the next one, I would. To be honest, I am glad I started off this way because I believe it gave me a strong ability to think on the spot while on set which is something I often put into practice but as I started to find more value in preparation I began to plan every aspect of my shoots in order to have the most control of my final images.

Now, instead planning to wing it, I create with a complete shot list and I already know what my finished shoot will look like before I even step foot on set. This switch was a huge change in the way I do things but it puts me in a better frame of mind on shoot day and keeps me more organized and effective than I ever was.

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This is what my a page of my pre-shoot planning looks like. Yes, I know that your 5 year old sister can probably sketch better than I am. That’s why I am a photographer. Even though they don’t belong in a museum, these sketches help me keep me organized on set and often times, sketching out a shot will spark an idea for something else that I may not have had otherwise. You may have noticed that in the top left corner, I have a little check box to mark after I get the shot and in the top right corner I have written down the lens on plan on using depending on what mood I want to draw out. Organization keeps me sane.

Shot lists are just about the last thing I work on before shoot day. At this point, I already have almost all of the visual details worked out (wardrobe, location, mood, hair, make up, etc.) and just need to plan what my finished images should look like. This is where my trusty journal comes in (these journals are my personal favorite). My shot lists started as a few scribbles and notes of things I wanted to remember to shoot and now include a full rundown of shots (some are even sketched out) that I want to bring to life. These are all shots that I had visualized and loved. I had already seen the outcome in my mind and all I have to do is create them.

Making these shot lists left me with a shoot that was practically already finished and ensured that I didn’t have an image in my head that I might forget to create. Even though this means you have a complete shoot built out, don’t feel restricted. It is absolutely okay to go off script. I always bring a shot list to my sets but I spend about 50% of my time completing the list and 50% going off book. This means that even if 100% of my unplanned shots are complete failures, I still have a complete shoot because of the images I had visualized before hand and brought to life.

Shot lists come in all shapes and sizes. If you are shooting a test or personal work, you have the freedom to include anything you want and leave out what you don’t. The joy in test shooting is that it is absolutely free of pressure and restraint. On the other hand, if you are working for a client, they may have a shot list already made up for you that includes a list of images that work for the advertising or editorial campaign that you are shooting for. If that is the case, easy peasy. You have the list and you are set to go! If not, you have a bit more work to do.

When I am working on a shot list I typically spend about 5-10 minutes freely writing every possible shot that comes to my head. The good, the bad and the ugly (and sometimes the hideous). I get everything out and then begin to narrow it down into a list that I feel fits exactly what I am aiming for. Typically, I break my lists down into three sections; Must Haves, Details, and Extras. The Must Have list includes the images that I would be absolutely heart broken if I forgot. These will be the shots that drive the shoot in the direction it needs to go.

For example, in my recent Mountain Fitness shoot these would include the shots of my model running, stretching, posing, etc. Next up is the Details list. These are the shots of things that draw more attention to the smaller aspects and can help solidify the shoot as a whole. In that same shoot, these would be the shots of the model tying up her shoes, putting up her hair, her shoes on the ground or even one of her foot prints on the trail. Last up is the Extras list. These would include all of the other shots that I would want if time permits. When on set, I am under the schedule of the sun. Since I shoot in almost all natural light, I need to budget my time so I don’t run out of light with items still on my list. This is why I have an Extras list. If I have a shot in my head that I want but isn’t crucial to the shoot, it goes here. If there is still light left after completing the Must Haves and the Details list, I move on to the Extras. Having this well organized shot list keeps me sane, organized and effective on set.

8335381973 ce7b1e5eb1 b Using Shot Lists Will Make You a Better Photographer8336441230 d263fab38f b Using Shot Lists Will Make You a Better Photographer

It is pretty much a given that most photographers are visual people. That means that when a spark of inspiration hits, we already know what we want our finished images to look like. This is why shot lists are just about the easiest part of our planning process. This is also why we don’t have any excuses for not building them out. Consider yourself encouraged to spend a little bit of extra time to plan your shots and I promise you that not only will your shoots seem less chaotic and stressful, but you will come out on the other end with images that make you proud.

Culled from FStoppers

Using Your Histogram to Get Better Photographs

One of the most powerful tools for photographers that has come about with digital photography is the histogram – that little graph you see on the LCD screen of your camera after you shoot an image. Yet many people don’t know anything about the histogram. This is a huge oversight, as a histogram can be massively helpful in enabling you to take better images in almost any shooting situation.
What is a Histogram?

A histogram is simply a visual representation in graph form of the tonal information that your camera records when shooting an image.
How Do I Read a Histogram?

Histograms are actually quite easy to read once you know what you are looking at. The left side of the histogram represents the shadows and the right side represents the highlights.

Memory Tip: If you cannot remember that, just think “black and white” – black is first, therefore on the left and white is second, therefore on the right.

The different colours in the images in this article represent the different tonal values. Therefore a high peak of one colour means you have a lot of that tonal value.

If a peak is jammed up hard against one side of the graph or the other then it means that the camera has rendered the shadows as pure black (left side) or highlights as pure white (right side) – this is sometimes known as clipping. This is to be avoided if possible as it means you are losing detail in those areas.

NOTE: The histogram on the back of your camera will be monochrome unlike the images below which are from post-processing software. Don’t let that confuse you, as it’s the shape we are trying to draw your attention to.

Terrible: Indicates Underexposure and Loss of Detail in Shadows

Terrible: Indicates Underexposure and Loss of Detail in Shadows

Terrible: Indicates Overexposure and Loss of Detail in Highlights

Terrible: Indicates Overexposure and Loss of Detail in Highlights

Note: Often, only a part of the histogram will be up against the edge while the rest is more centered. Any part of the graph up against the edge indicates that some of the detail has been lost.
When Are Histograms Important?

If you are planning on doing post-production on your images in a program like Photoshop or GIMP, then you want to capture as much information as possible. The histogram can tell you whether you have done this or not – oftentimes much better than the LCD image itself.

In general, it is better to “shoot to the right.” That means that you are ideally wanting to get a histogram that is predominantly on the right of the graph (without being pushed up against the edge). The image may even look overexposed on your camera LCD screen. The reason for this is that the highlights, which are represented on the right part of the histogram, capture a lot more information than shadows. If your histogram is to the right, then the image file is storing a much larger amount of information about that image than if the histogram is to the left. The right hand side of the histogram holds 90% of the raw data – the left side of the histogram only 10% – it is not an even spread.

That means, if you “shoot to the right,” you have more information to work with when you get to Photoshop. In turn that means you can do more work on the image before you start to get the negative effects of noise and other undesirable outcomes.
When are Histograms Less Important?

If you don’t plan on doing any post-production, then you are most often looking for a classic “bell curve” shape for you histogram. This generally indicates a good exposure with an even spread of highlights and shadows that will probably stand ok on its own.

Note the Relatively Even Bell Curve Shape

Note the Relatively Even Bell Curve Shape

What Does This Mean for Shooting?

If you are “shooting to the right” then that means getting more light into the camera (assuming your histogram is too far left). The easy way to do this is to overexpose the image by a stop or two.

 

A Histogram to the Right Allows More Flexibility in Post Processing

A Histogram to the Right Allows More Flexibility in Post Processing

This Histogram Would Make Post-Processing Slightly Less Flexible

This Histogram Would Make Post-Processing Slightly Less Flexible

You might have a few problems when doing this when shooting very bright subjects. Use your judgment there, but remember that it can be easy to blow out too many pixels in such a situation, in which case you need to reign it in a little. If the histogram is crammed up against the right side, you’re probably going too far.

All in all, using a histogram doesn’t need to be rocket science. Once you are comfortable with it, you will probably use a histogram far more than the image on your LCD screen to judge the exposure of your images.

Culled from LIGHT STALKING

Tips to get good photographs on the street

In preparation for the Street Shooters NG’s first photo-walk holding today, I’m sharing these tips on how to get good photographs on the street.

1. As evident as it might seem, always have your
camera ready in your hand. Not in your bag, not
hanging on your shoulder, but held firmly in your
hand.

2. Get the shot at all cost. Shooting in the streets involves a certain amount of adrenaline as it is never easy to intrude in a stranger’s life. Leave all fears aside and go get the shot, even if it involves being yelled at, crossing a road, climbing on a bench or crawling on the ground.

3. Don’t get frustrated. The odds to stumble on a
great scene during the few hours you’ll dedicate
weekly to shooting are pretty low. Don’t fall to
frustration and “click addiction”. Patience is also
part of the game, so accept it. Time spent on the
streets is the variable that most impacts your keeper rate. Technique and talent only come afterwards. In the end, it is probably better to come back home with a few average shots than dozens of lousy ones that will just increase your frustration level.

4. Avoid unwanted elements in the background.
Don’t get obscured by the subject. What happens behind the main elements of your scene is often what will make a shot go from good to great. You can detect an amazing scene but ruin it as soon with the elements in the background, be it a back pack, a passer-by, a car, or a badly positioned street lamp. Therefore once you have spotted a good scene, pay at least as much attention to the background than to your main subjects.

5. Watch out for your own shadow.
In general, it is easier to shoot with the light coming from behind you, but that also means that a little friend will always follow you: your shadow. Even at times when you think it is not there anymore, it will suddenly appear over your subject just as you raise your camera. To avoid it, make sure your shadow is never in the 90 degree radius of where you point your camera towards. Your shadow can take many forms, don’t let it fool you.

6. Keep an eye on the elements about to enter your frame.
You are ready to snap and suddenly a big truck
enters the frame as you click. Shot ruined. All your
senses need to be ready, not only for what happens within the frame, but also what is around it. Use your left eye and even your ears to anticipate these intrusions.

7. Don’t be a butcher.
The parallax and inaccuracies of the frame-line
system of range-finders might lead to cut feet, arms or even heads, which are important parts of the picture. Ways to avoid it is either to frame wider (and crop in post processing) or to adjust your position to offset the parallax and frame-line inaccuracies.

8. Make sure there is enough light on your subject.
This is one of the most recurrent mistake on
street photographs, i.e faces that are partially in
the dark. It is obviously not always a given to have
the perfect light condition for a scene, but faces
covered with shadows will usually ruin a picture. Try to move around so when your subject finally enters or looks towards the adequate light zone, you are ready to trigger.

9. Avoid fundamental mistakes like over/under exposure and loss of focus. You might not have to worry about over/under exposure if you are shooting in RAW because it can be corrected in post-production. Also shooting in auto focus means the camera does the work of focusing for you, so you don’t have to worry about that too. For those on manual focus, the use of the zone focus technique will minimize the risks.

10. Always shoot RAW. Apart from the reason mentioned above, shooting raw also makes editing and correcting mistakes easier. But the main advantage of a raw file is that it is larger than JPEG and hence allow for ample enlarging of the image. You never know which of your photos might need blowing up to billboard size, so it’s always adviceable to shoot in raw.

11. Finally, pick those points whose trap you constantly fall into (and the ones that might not be included here) and think about them before every single shot you take (I often tell myself buzzwords
like “depth” or “background” before I click). Do it
again and again, until it becomes second nature
and intuitive. Obviously, these points represent
generalities. Rules are made to be broken and one
might use distortion, over-exposure or, why not, his own shadow as part of a style.

10 Things Henri Cartier-Bresson Can Teach You About Street Photography

1. Focus on geometry
If you look at the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, he applied geometry to his images poetically. If you look at the composition of his images he integrated vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines, curves, shadows, triangles, circles, and squares to his advantage. He also paid particular attention to frames as well.

2. Be patient
When Henri Cartier-Bresson would talk about “The Decisive Moment” he said sometimes it would be spontaneous but others times he had to be patient and wait for it. Regardless he was very methodological when he would go out and shoot, and would only keep his images if every element of his image (people, background, framing, and composition) were perfect.

3. Travel
Henri Cartier-Bresson traveled the world and shot in places such as India, all of Europe, the United States, China, as well as Africa. When he traveled the world, he was able to capture a different slice of life and learn more about the local people he was with. For example when he was shooting in India—he stayed there for around a year and immersed himself into the culture.

4. Stick to one lens
Although Henri Cartier-Bresson shot with several different lenses while on assignment working for Magnum, he would only shoot with a 50mm if he was shooting for himself. By being faithful to that lens for decades, the camera truly became “an
extension of his eye”.

5. Take photos of children
One of my favorite photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson is of a little boy carrying two bottles of wine under his arms, with the triumphant grin of a champion. When I first saw the image, it struck me in the heart as it reminded me of my own childhood. Henri Cartier-Bresson was a master at taking photos of children in their natural playful state, creating images that convey beautiful nostalgia to his viewers.

6. Be unobtrusive
When Henri Cartier-Bresson would shoot on the streets, he would stay as low-key and unobtrusive as he could. I even read that he would cover his chrome Leica in black tape and even sometimes with a hankerchief to make it less noticeable when he was out shooting. Most of the images that he
captured his subjects were oblivious of the camera, and thus truly candid.

7. See the world like a painter
Before Henri Cartier-Bresson got into photography, he was actually first interested in painting. Once HCB discovered photography, he applied the same aesthetics in classical painting into his images. For HCB composition was extremely essential, and his images reflect that of romantic painters before him. Interestingly enough when he was much older, he actually denounced photography and focused the rest of his life in drawing.

8. Don’t crop
Henri Cartier-Bresson was vehemently opposed to cropping. He believed that whenever you took a photo, it should always be done in-camera. If his
framing or composition was a bit off, he would disregard the image.

9. Don’t worry about processing
Although Henri-Cartier Bresson knew how to process and develop his own film, he never did it by himself. He would go out and shoot and send his photos to people he trusted, who would develop it for him. This gave him a huge advantage because it would allow how to spend less time in the darkroom, and more time out shooting.

10. Always strive for more
Henri Cartier-Bresson never had much of an emotional attachment to his images. In the documentary I watched of him, they tried to surprise him by printing and showing him all of his classic and earlier work on the walls of the gallery they were interviewing him at. However HCB looked at them with little interest and told them that once he took a photo, he would simply move on and look for the next photo.

Culled from: Eric Kim’s Blog