Monthly Archives: June 2014

Photography Tip Look for Reflections

Here is a general photography tip, look for reflections to add depth to your photographs. Reflections can add a new dimension to your images and can make a bland image compelling.

Below is an image I made at Albert Park Lake in Melbourne, Australia. This shot was taken early on a Saturday morning. There was no breeze, very still water, and high cloud. The cloud meant that the light from the sun was diffused and soft. The birds white color stood out against the darker color of the water. There were no distractions in the background or on other parts of the lake. The shape of the birds neck was very interesting, and the image was made much more compelling by the reflection of the bird in the water. Great!

Bird Reflections

White heron reflected in a lake

But it’s not every day that you get nice still conditions, a lovely still lake, no distractions in the background, and a cooperative heron!

So, where can you find reflections to add a new angle to your images?

My favorite places to use this technique are reflections in lakes, city buildings windows and building facades, puddles, trains and ferries, and sunglasses.

While this example is a wildlife image, this technique works equally well for other subjects. Think about these:

  • A bride reflected in the window of a wedding car
  • A street scene reflected in a city building
  • The Sydney Opera House reflected in the window of the ferry as you travel across Sydney Harbor
  • A football game reflected in a sideline puddle
  • The New York skyline reflected in your best friends sunglasses
  • Busy commuters reflected in the train window

The possibilities are endless.

It doesn’t matter whether you are shooting with the latest DSLR, your point and shoot camera, or your camera phone – this technique will still work well.

You can combine this tip with the tip to fill the frame with the subject for double the impact.

To help make average photographs outstanding, look for reflections.

Have you taken a great shot using reflections? What was it?

Portrait Photography Tips Fill The Frame

Do you want to improve your portrait photography? An almost universal rule for taking more compelling portrait images is to fill the frame with your subject. That means getting closer to the subject (or zooming in closer) so that the subject entirely fills the frame.

It doesn’t matter whether the subject is people, animals, or objects – fill the frame with the subject for more interesting images. This can feel a little funny at first, particularly as you move in closer than you normally feel comfortable. Push through the discomfort – it will be worth it and your portrait photography will benefit.

I find the best way to do this is to stand much closer to the subject than you normally would. If you are feeling uncomfortable, like someone is in your personal space, then you are in the right spot.

Why does this work?

Filling the frame with your subject creates more compelling images because:

  • it focuses the viewer completely on the subject, and
  • it removes any distracting background elements

Show me an example!

Portait where the subject fills the frame

Portait where the subject fills the frame

Here is an example of a children’s portrait.

It was shot indoor, with a large glass window behind me. The window was not in direct sunlight, so it was producing very soft natural light across the subject. The room contained furniture and children’s toys. These are normal elements in a home with children but they have the potential to distract your viewer if you include them in your image.

In this case, although I was using a 24-105mm lens, I didn’t need to use the zoom right to the 105mm end of the range. I was close to the subject and managed to fill the frame completely with the subject. The result – a simple compelling portrait photograph (which doesn’t show the clutter and mess in the room around them.)

This is one of my favorite portrait photography tips.

How do you find standing close to the subject and filling the frame? Do you find it more effective to position yourself close to the subject, or a little further back with some zoom?



Urban Wildlife

Do you feel like you have to travel to exotic places to create great images?

My commitments in my home town (Melbourne, Australia) forced me to find photography opportunities close to home – and I’m glad they did.

Urban Wildlife

Grey headed flying fox

In Melbourne, there are opportunities to shoot architecture, city life, sporting events, city scapes, and lifestyle images. I’ve also found some outstanding wildlife urban wildlife locations, even in a city of 4 million people!

Here are 2 shots from some of my favorite places.

First, there is a large colony of grey headed flying foxes at Yarra Bend – roughly 7 kilometres from the city centre. They are spectacular animals and are relatively easy to photograph. This shot is taken with a 70-200mm lens and a fast shutter speed (1/8000s at f3.5) to freeze the action. I love the way you can see the veins in the wings. Spooky.

Second, at Albert Park Lake, there are cockatoos and corellas which visit year round. This shot was taken next to the golf course – a regular haunt for the cockatoos! Albert Park Lake is just a short walk from the city centre.

Urban Wildlife

Cockatoo in Flight

What are the great urban wildlife opportunities close to your home? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear what opportunities you are finding.

End of Financial Year Sales

The end of financial year is a great time to get competitive prices on your business equipment. Many retailers offer very attractive deals at this time, to attract buyers who are making a purchase before the end of the financial year.

Here, in Australia, the financial year ends on 30 June – so there are 2 more weeks to take advantage of those attractive prices.

I buy all of my photography equipment through an Australian based online camera store.

Examples of their current specials are:

  • Nikon D610 DSLR for A$1933 (recommended retail price A$2499)
  • Canon EF 16-35mm lens for A$1744 (RRP A$2165)
  • Manfrotto 028B Studio Pro Triman Tripod Legs for A$387 (RRP A$499)

What is the best end of financial year deal you have ever had?


Welcome to Beyond Here

Welcome to _MG_6868sBeyond Here – you are reading the very first blog post.

My name is Craig Dingle. I have set up this blog to be a resource for people who want to improve their photography, or who want to start a photography business. You can read more details about me or the background to Beyond Here.

I hope you enjoy Beyond Here! Thanks for dropping by.

I welcome your comments, and suggestions for blog posts. Please email me at