Merced Camera Club, Getting The Picture
Getting The Picture

This is a monthly (or so) feature of our site, in which Merced Camera Club members provide their thoughts
about the creation of some of our favorite images.

August, 2010

"The Old Barn" -Carlene Cunningham

How itís done:

I enjoy landscape photography and I usually look for the picture within the picture. I like to look at the large scene and then try to find the smaller images in the scene. This old barn is along Highway 140 in Catheys Valley. I have passed it many times and always thought it would make a nice image. I thought it needed to be in the spring time and done fairly soon before the barn fell. I didn't want to place the barn in the center of the image but there was an open field to the right of the barn. I tried several different compositions but using the old and majestic oak to fill the open space seemed to work the best. Also, the semi-overcast day really helped with the lighting. If you are trying to show an old dilapidated barn you don't want bright vibrant light. When overcast it eliminates the harsh shadows which would have really hurt this image. The dull lighting helped to give the picture kind of a moody look.

It is usually best to keep the main center of interest out of the center. The image normally is more appealing to the eye if composed this way. Composition is critical if a person wants to enter images in competition. Knowing how to compose was one of the hardest things for me to learn. When trying to compose this image I had to get closer than I wanted to eliminate the fence along the road. One thing I probably should have tried to do was to move a little more to the right and see if I could have gotten rid of the tree on the left that is covering some of the corner of the barn. You want your center of interest to normally be placed in one of the crash points. The rest of the image though has to add to the story of the main subject. Don't include something that has no involvement with the story.

To me, the old oak was part of the total foothill scene and did not detract from the old barn which was the main subject. The old barn alone without the tree would not have been as dynamic ( At least in my opinion). This image was taken with my Canon 40D with a Tamron 28-300 lens.

The Birdie

Getting The Picture Archives

"Patriotism," Tom Frazier

"Baby Blue Eyes," Robert Dayton

"Stark Existence," Jim Cunningham