Photo Challenge Entries

Practicing Two-Thirds


Last week Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge was about filling 2/3rds of the frame with your subject. I’m sure I could have found better photos in my archives but I wanted to practice. I waited until it (finally) stopped raining and took my camera to Flower World, a local garden center.




Unfortunately, I hadn’t charged my camera battery and had to switch to my iPhone camera, which isn’t good at creating negative space around a subject. Aloe Vera plants do not make an attractive background!


With this last one, I applied a vignette to try to minimize the background distractions and help guide the eye to the subject. I also added some stickers to make it more festive.


Some things I learned when doing this challenge:

  1. When taking a close-up of something, I should back off a little more than I think I should. I tend to try to get too close, filling 3/4ths of the frame and then struggling to get sharp focus.
  2. Garden centers can be difficult to take photos in. Because many of the plants sit up on tables, the backgrounds are often too close to get a nice bokeh.
  3. I should pay more attention to the grids on my display screen because I’m getting the centers of my subjects somewhere in between the 1/3rds intersections and the center of the frame.
  4. I really need to buy a back-up battery!
  5. Camera lenses fog up (and keep fogging up for several minutes) when going from the chilly outdoors to a steamy greenhouse. I was very glad I took my whole camera bag with lens cleaning cloths inside.
  6. Poinsettias aren’t easy to take photos of. They’re big and leafy and the red is very hard to capture. The last photo, with the pink poinsettia and the snow, was actually a red poinsettia.
  7. I’m not very good at judging whether a subject is filling 2/3rds of the frame, or 1/2 or 3/4ths! I can go into the bulk section of a grocery store and come out with exactly 2/3rds of a cup of an ingredient for a recipe but my perception of space isn’t as trustworthy.

As always, Cee has given me some things to think about and I appreciate her sharing her knowledge and providing the opportunity to practice. Thank you, Cee!


18 thoughts on “Practicing Two-Thirds

  1. Trisha, you made some wonderful points in your review. Number two for us flower loves is a good point. Actually all your points are good. To make reds better, you usually have to add blue unless it was taken under fluorescent light…then add yellow. That usually helps somewhat. But reds if there is lighting at all is difficult to capture. Make sure your flash is not used. That sometimes helps too….especially if there is already light.

    1. It’s weird the way the light looks on that red poinsettia. It does look like I used my flash but I didn’t. I keep that thing down all the time. The lighting from it is so harsh. So, it sounds like I need a better photo editing program and some skills using it to get red flowers to turn out red! I’m pretty sure Picasa doesn’t have a function to add color. Of course, I just found the “straighten” function a couple of months ago! 🙂

  2. Enjoyed viewing your series of photos, Trisha. The poinsettia is postcard perfect. A wonderful image for Christmas! The lighting behind and circling the ornament is also inviting to the eye. I was going to participate in this challenge, but didn’t have anything striking in my archives. I’m glad that you could get out, practice and share this post. Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas to you, Olga! I hope you can find or shoot something for this week’s challenge. I always enjoy seeing your entries. We’ve finally got a break in the rain so I’m going to get out there with my camera today. It’s already too late for great lighting but it will still be good to get some practice in.

  3. I love the pine cones shot.
    The pink poinsettia worked out very well indeed.
    (not sure if its relevant in a shop, but try and photograph a flower with the light coming from one side so the petals leave a slight shadow for a brightly coloured flower).

    And you MUST buy a spare battery 🙂 I bought one a week after buying my first camera, but now with each camera body (I’ve have 4 if you count my little P & S), I buy a spare battery on the spot of initial purchase (AND a UV filter to protect the lens – saved my camera lens when I had that fall back in June)..

    My Sony a6000’s battery seems to last very little time at all, so now I’ve started charging it regularly, as it’s a nuisance having to charge it while its in the camera body.

    The DLSRs are easy as you can put one battery on the separate charger if you’ve forgotten to charge it and still go out doing photography. I think I get about 1350 shots on a full DSLR battery (but only about 350 on the Sony ‘mirrorless’).

    1. I was shocked to discover how weak the Sony battery is! I could go for months without charging the battery on my Canon PowerShot. Once the Christmas shopping craze dies down, I’m going to pick up a new battery and a new memory card, since mine is nearly full and deleting photos from it is so tedious. Plus, it’s nice to have photos backed up an extra place.

      1. I erase all my photos off the memory card each day and clear it, Trisha. I have the remote 2 T back-up machine on the other side of my room as well as the iPhoto Library. I’ve a little more relaxed about losing photos (let alone material possessions) these days having had about 3-4 hard drive crashes on my old windows computer and 2 crashes on my Mac Pro.

        1. I planned to erase all the photos off my memory card after uploading them to my computer but I let it slide and suddenly it was nearly full! I think in the back of my mind is the feeling of not trusting Google and I definitely don’t trust myself to back-up to a flash drive often enough. Did you lose any of your photos in those crashes?

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