Photography News Issue 28 absolutephoto.com
22 Camera Club of the Year IN ASSOCIATIONWITH
Masterclass: Patterns & textures David Noton The skill with this theme is in seeing patterns & textures in the world around you and isolating a great composition. Canon ambassador David Noton is an expert so we asked him for his top tips
Canon EF 100mmf/2.8L IS USMMacro Exploring miniature landscapes is great fun and very rewarding, especially if you use a macro lens. Such lenses focus very close to give life-size reproduction, making them ideal for this subject. Of course, the medium telephoto focal length is also handy for isolating patterns in the broader landscape too. The EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USMMacro is an L series lens so top- David’s patterns & textures kit
It is all too easy to get obsessed with capturing the big picture and ignore the exquisite shapes, textures and patterns in the landscape, both within the scene or in miniature right in front of us. The biggest challenge is actually seeing those patterns. It’s all about tuning our photographic eye to the potential of these subjects, and that means ignoring all the distracting clutter that surrounds us and just concentrating on the graphic elements of the image. The best pictures are always the simplest, no matter what the subject, but that’s especially true when photographing textures and patterns. Photography is after all the art of knowing what to leave out. We have the potential to make perceptive, bold, graphic compositions using nature’s patterns and textures, if we can see them. And, of course, it goes without saying that the right light on our chosen pattern will lift it from the ordinary to the sublime. As soon as we peer through the camera’s eyepiece we start to isolate detail. Often, although not always, long lenses are just the job for isolating detail. My two telezooms, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II and the new EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.5L IS II, have done sterling service in this regard, but the ubiquitous 24- 70mm f/2.8L II is handy for details too. For real close-up texture work however, you can’t beat the EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USMMacro. To make the most of patterns and textures you need to study the compositions carefully. Really use the viewfinder to explore the margins of the frame to hone the composition down to its simplest and most striking arrangement. Tight framing allows the viewer to imagine what lies beyond the margins of the frame. I then double- check my composition using the
quality optical performance is assured, and it has the benefit of IS technology, so if you don’t have a tripod available
shooting at relatively slow shutter speeds for sharp images is still possible.
The polariser filter It’s the single most versatile filter a photographer can own and ideal for pattern work. Whether it is cutting down glare off foliage or eliminating scattered light in a blue sky, the polariser is often worth its weight in gold. The important thing is to rotate it and look for the effect that works best for the composition – don’t assume that you need the strongest effect for every shot. High-quality polarisers are available from Cokin, Lee, Hoya and Vue among others.
two-dimensional representation of live view, and I often find myself zooming in even tighter. A solid support is really important and a good steady tripod is a photographer’s best friend, especially when shooting patterns and textures with long or macro lenses at smaller apertures. Not only does it allow you to extract the very best image quality and sharpness, its use also encourages us to be more disciplined, analytical and measured with our compositions. One filter I use a lot is the polariser, which can really help to saturate the colours by cutting down glare, particularly of wet vegetation. It absorbs light so again the tripod is really important. My best advice is to spend time looking for patterns. I have been
known to spend a whole afternoon on a beach captivated by the beauty of the rocks. I try to make pictures as close to graphic art as possible with the bold use of colour, shape and form. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon. In truth pattern and textures play a role in most compositions. The art of photography is all about making appealing patterns out of the complexity of the world around us, and that applies to virtually every genre of the craft, whether it be wildlife, nature, landscape, travel, sport, reportage, still life or even food. No photographer can afford to ignore the potential of textures and patterns in a subject. And besides, it’s fun.
The art of photography is all about making appealing patterns out of the complexity of the world around us
A practical and inspirational guide from behind the lens of an internationally recognised landscape and travel photographer, Photography in the Raw examines the fundamentals of how to improve as a Photography in the Rawby David Noton
photographer; how to read the light, be in the right place at the right time and make the most of a situation to produce the best picture possible.
Images Study your composition carefully before releasing the shutter to make the best of patterns is David Noton’s advice – which is how he got these beautiful shots from Buckinghamshire, Iceland and South Africa.
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