Painting with light in Paternoster

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Luxury is painting with light. Shutterbugs will be in their element when visiting Paternoster, on the west coast of South Africa. This serene and picturesque seaside village is truly a photographers paradise. To produce perfect pictures of picture perfect scenes is always a challenge. Walk with me and my camera!

Keep the golden rule of thirds

We tend to place an object right in the middle of each photo- this can become very boring. The basic rule of thirds will make most photos more interesting and pleasing to the eye. To practice this, imagine that your image is vertically transacted in three equal parts by two vertical lines and horizontally transacted in three equal parts by two horizontal lines. Good cameras give you the option to display this grid for your use. Now try to place the most important parts of your scene along these lines.

Maintainthe balance

The rule of thirds positions your main object off-centre, but it can sometimes leave an empty open area in the other two thirds of your image. Balance your main element with another smaller or less conspicuous object in the empty space.

Follow thelines

When we look at a photo, our eyes are involuntarily drawn along lines. Search for the best line to draw the viewer into your picture, or to the main subject of the photo.

With a line like a road or the jetty jutting into the water, the line should preferably not begin right in the corner of the photo.

Look for symmetry, shapes and patterns

We are surrounded by shapes and patterns; symmetry is one of the most visually strong compositions. Some patterns are made by man, some are produced by nature all around us. These symmetrical and oblique patterns catch the eye and create beauty; they play a large role in the composition of your photos. The photo of the steps is a study in symmetry-so, this in this case it works well to position the steps in the middle of the photo.

I would not have noticed the interesting geometrical lines on the body of a large fishing vessel if I had not being looking for a pattern in the smaller elements of the boats in the harbour.

Choose a different viewpoint

The composition of a photo is largely determined by your viewpoint. Instead of always shooting from eye level, go on your knee, sit or lie down and take a worm's view. Or climb onto something a take a bird's eye view from above.

Take a look at the object of your picture from the back, from the side, from afar, from close up- you will be surprized how much more interesting your pictures can be if taken from an out of the ordinary viewpoint.

Create a focal point

By using a shallow field depth, one of the plants is sharply in focus while the rest are blurred in the background. As a result one really notices the detail of this one stem of flowers; it doesn'tdisappear in the field of Watsonia lilies.

Explore thedepths

One can create three dimensional depth in a photo by making a composition that includes objects in the forefront, the middle and the background of the photo.

Form a frame

Objects can often make perfect frames inside the artificial frame around your photo. An archway, a hole in a rock, the branch of a tree. This draws the attention to the scene inside the frame. In the photo the sides of two ships and the nautical cables frame the blue lagoon, while an unframed photo taken over the lagoon, would have made must less of an impression.

Crop to get what you want

All photo editors give you the facility to crop your photos. However, the quality of your photo will be much better if you crop it as well as possible with the camera, compared to taking a photo of the whole lagoon and then cropping it afterwards to show one seagull.

Freezethe motion

Phenomenal effects of movement can be achieved when photographing the waves of the sea or a waterfall. The less light you have and the slower the shutter speed, the more dramatic the visual effect will be.

Happy shooting!

Celine Renaud is Head of Sales forLeo Trippi.

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