Wordy Wednesday #32: Running with the Wind

Faczen Image Review

Our image today comes from the portfolio of Glenn Springer. Glenn was kind enough to offer this up for review from The Imaging Forum community (TIF).  You can find out more about Glenn on his website. As thanks for his submission, Glenn will also receive a free combo pack of the 49 Photo Tips Vols I and II for his generosity (not that he needs it)! Thanks Glenn!

Faczen Image Review

#1 – What rule of composition were used and why?

Believe it or not, in looking at the overall composition, my instinct tells me that the Rule of Thirds is in use here. Look at the feet and where they are positioned in the frame. Look at the legs and you can see how the forward leg almost perfectly lines up with the right third. The horizon is tilted a bit, but that also is roughly going across the bottom third. Lots of evidence here to support the contention that the ROT is in use.

#2 Are any rules of composition broken?

Focus! Traditionally, we say that you should be keeping your subject in focus, but here is a great
example where the focused compositional approach is eschewed and it works! The motion blur in the runner really evokes the sense of motion.  You still know it’s a runner, and the blurred viewers in the background still give a sense of depth. It could be a marathon race, or just a single jogger, but you know that someone is running.

#3 What camera/lens combo was used?

In pulling Glenn’s EXIF data, this shot was taken with a Nikon D300 and a 12-24mm lens. His shot specs were 1/15th Tv, ISO 100, and at f20.  His aperture was set wide open at 12mm.

#4 What lighting was used?

The EXIF data from the image reports a flash did not fire, which makes sense given the shutter speed – so here, again, it’s sufficient to say that ambient lighting conditions were used.

#5 How was it processed?

This was taken straight from the camera (or for an acronym (soof – straight out of camera), so there has been no post production on the image.

#6 Did You Like It?

Even though I didn’t get a chance to see how Glenn would process this, I did like the “raw” nature of the photo. The brightness of the running shoes against the neutral concrete I think works in this image. The sense of motion is obviously very compelling here, and what drew me to the image to begin with (Glenn shared several with me to choose from for review…)

Based on the motion of not only the runner, but also the background (see how the bokeh was moving a bit too?), it seems like Glenn was trying to move with the runner and that resulted in movement all over. I really like the sense of motion, but the jitteriness of the background ultimately brings more tension to the image than I personally would like.

I do like the composition a lot though, the motion, the color, and the composition overall work great for me. Thanks Glenn for sharing!


Got an image of your own you wouldd like me to review in the Wordy Wednesday series?  Send me a link to the photo – it can be from your own website, from FLickr, or you can email me a full size image.  Please make sure the image does not exceed 1000px on the longest side. You can send images to me at jason <at> canonblogger <dot> com or upload them here directly using the brand spankin’ new handy dandy uploader:


The Photographic Alphabet


With such an abundance of acronyms in the world, it’s no surprise that the photography world is also full of them.  Whether we’re talking about AF (Auto-Focus), PSDs (PhotoShop Document), Tv (shutter priority), or anything else, the alphabet soup can get pretty confusing pretty quick.  Do you know what a MUA is?  What about OOF?

There’s a ton out there, and while any list is bound to miss some, it’s always interesting to see what’s out there to learn about the field.  Take a minute and check out this laundry list of photographic acronyms with varying degrees of popularity.  How many do you know rote?  There’s 24 total (I couldn’t think of any for Y, or Z – even some Google research turned up a doughnut there!), so make sure you score yourself (and we’re using the honor system here, so try not to research the acronyms/abbreviations…you either know ’em or you don’t! 🙂  ):

01.  A-DEP 14.  NR
02.  BG 15.  OS
03.  CMOS 16.  PPI
04.  DOF 17.  QR
05.  EV 18.  ROT
06.  FF 19.  SLR
07.  GN 20.  TIFF
08.  HSM 21.  USM
09.  IR 22.  VR
10.  JPG 23.  WF
11.  K 24. Xd
12.  LCD ***
13.  MF ***
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Portrait Lighting Basics – Part Two

Lower Angled Lighting

Previously on the blog, I took a look at various lighting positions and their impact on portrait lighting.  We looked at scenarios where the light is in front of, behind, and off to an angle on our subject. Check out the photos and results here.  Now that we’ve found the best position in that regard, it’s also helpful to consider the angle of the light.  Will it be better coming from below, at eye level, or above the subject?  Some of the things we’ll look at include the quality of light, amount of shadows, and even catchlights in the eyes.

Let’s start with the light coming from the lower angle:

Lower Angled Lighting

See how the quality of light hitting my face looks really nice, but there are some pretty substantial shadows as the light trails off to camera left.  Shadows are not necessarily a bad thing, depending on what it is you want to accomplish, but it’s worth noting the degree of shadow when lighting from a lower angle.  Last but not least, look at where the catchlight is hitting my eyes.  This reveals the location of the light, but also gives a little bit of added interest to any portrait.

Next up, let’s see what happens when we move the light to at eye level:

Eye Level Lighting

Here, the light is able to wrap around and reduce a bit of the shadows on the backside.  This may have to do with the fact that there are some white cubboards behind me in the garage/studio too, but this is a known behavior of light spilling over from this angle.  Note also that the catchlight is now near the middle of my eyes, but off to camera right.

Finally, let’s take a look at the results when lighting from above:

Lighting From Above

Here, the shadows are also lessened due to light spill, and the catchlight is also re-positioned.  Note that in all the setup shots I am using ETTL and not really dialing in the light at all, so in all scenarios the quality of light is a bit harsh for my own tastes.  Discussing ETTL versus manual settings is a separate discussion though, and here I just want to help illustrate what happens to portraits when you start moving lights around.

 Which setup do you like best?  Does the quality of light change for you?  What about the catchlights?  Make sure to subscribe for future articles just like this one on learning the fundamentals of lighting! (Hit the link on the sidebar or click here: