6 Photography Composition tips at Chung Tian Temple, Brisbane.
Articles Blog

6 Photography Composition tips at Chung Tian Temple, Brisbane.

October 24, 2019


Hi it’s Adam from BNE Lens. If you’re
ever in Brisbane look us up, we’ll take you around and show you how to take really
great photos. But today I’m here at Chung Tian temple. I thought it’d be a
really great spot to show you six composition tips to take really great
photos with your mobile phone or with your camera, whatever equipment you’ve
got. I’m going to show you those tips and then I’ll show you around the temple which
is also a really interesting spot right here in Brisbane. Okay so how can we take
really good strong pictures, keeping different composition rules in mind? Well
my buddy here is gonna help me out. Now this guy has the most impressive
eyebrows I have ever seen, and I’m gonna take some pictures of him. Is that OK with you? So let’s get to it. So let’s start by doing it the way that most people take a photo of their
friends – just straight on with their friend dead center in the middle. That’s
gonna look like this now this is not a great way to take photos because really
when we look at a photo like this our eyes aren’t going to move anywhere. They’re
gonna go straight to the person in the middle and stop there. What we want to do
is try and make a photo that’s a bit more dynamic that’s got some kind of
movement. That is, it makes our eyes move around when we look at the picture to
look at different parts of the picture. If we put our subject right in the
middle there, our eyes aren’t going to move away from there at all. So how can
we change that? Well tip number one is using the rule of thirds. That is that
one third of the way across the image from each end and also one third of the
way from the top or from the bottom is going to be a stronger place to place
your subject. And if you place it at the intersection of any of those thirds then
it will look even better I’m not sure why. It just seems to work.
It’s something that’s tried and tested. It just works. So instead of placing our
subject right in the middle let’s try putting him on one of those lines of
thirds. Now the great thing when you shoot with a mobile phone is you can actually
have those lines displayed as you’re taking the picture, as I’ve got
switched on here you just need to go into your menu and select grid. So here
we’ve put our subject now one third. I’m still shooting from eye level but you
can see that that image just looks a little bit stronger than the one where
he was in the middle. I mean look at these two side-by-side. OK. But the
second tip I’m going to mention: don’t always shoot your photos from eye level.
So when you shoot from eye level you’re basically just showing people the world
the way they always see it. There’s nothing new, there’s nothing fresh.
There’s nothing special about it. By changing the angle we can actually
change the view to something that’s a little bit different and that makes it
more interesting. So when you’re shooting people if you’re shooting from a
slightly lower angle then they’re actually going to look more impressive,
somewhat more important. So that’s a tip to keep in mind when you’re shooting
people. If you shoot from above photographing down which is what people
often do when they’re photographing children, then actually it’s going to look
like that person is less dominant they’re actually going to look weak and
insignificant and pitiful really, so always be mindful of the height the
angle of height that you’re going to be taking the photos from. So in this case
I’m going to position myself a little bit lower than my subjects so they look
more important. I’m gonna get a little bit lower and then shoot up. I’m still
going to put that face at the intersection of the thirds, just bring the
exposure up a little bit, and there I have my next image. You can see this
change in angle changes the way we see the subject. But there is a problem here.
If you look around the image you’ll see those bricks there. They’re going to
bring me to point 3, and that is always analyze the scene. Look for anything that
is distracting or any clutter that’s going to take the attention away from
your subject. Because in this photo our eyes are actually going to go to those
bricks because our eyes tend to go to the brighter parts of the scene. So some
of those distracting elements in the photo are actually a little bit bright,
then that’s going to be even more distracting. So you really need to be
aware of that. So what we want to do is try to eliminate any distracting
elements. So scan your scene. Analyze your scene and try to eliminate things that
are going to draw our attention away from our subject. Let’s analyze this
whole scene. Well if I try from the other angle we’ve got that sign at his feet
which is extra bright, and that’s going to draw attention away even more. But if
we look up at the buildings in the background, they actually create a nice sense of place. However that black lightpost in the background is also quite distracting
so if we come from this angle, that post is going to draw attention away again. So
I guess this is point 3b because it’s related to changing your
angle, but in a different way it’s not just about changing your height
or changing your position from left to right, but it’s actually about changing
the angle that you’re holding the camera at. Don’t feel that you always have to hold
the camera at 90 degrees either horizontal or vertical. You can actually
turn the camera and it’s going to bring a different feel to the photo. Generally
when you start tilting the camera it brings a bit more energy to the photo. So
that we’re gonna try that here. So you notice when we turn it to the side it
changes the feel and it gets rid of that black post that was so annoying.
There’s a little bit left in there but we can get rid of that quite easily in
post and now those buildings, if you look at
the photo, those buildings are actually going to create a nice leading line
which is going to move our eyes across the picture to our subject. And that is
point number four: leading lines. So in your picture have a look around.
Are there any lines that are going to lead people’s eyes to our subject? And a
little tip is that if those lines are at an angle that’s going to create a more
dynamic image as well. So this final image that we’ve taken takes a lot of
different things into account, a lot of those tips. Number one the rule of thirds.
Our subject’s face is at the intersection of two third lines. And then point two, the
angle. We’ve chosen a lower angle to make our subject seem a little more dominant,
a little more important, and then we’ve evaluated the scene and tried to rule
out anything that’s going to clutter the scene and distract us from our subject.
And finally point four we’ve used leading lines to draw the viewer’s eye
across the image to our subject at the left-hand side. Okay so that’s a good
starter. We’ve covered four different points all in the one image so let’s try
this in a different spot to see how it works with a different subject. Okay so
this time we’re still going to take a picture of a statue, but this is a statue
that is in the middle of the temple complex. So we start by taking a picture
as the average person would do: dead center, eye level, there we go. Nothing
particularly inspiring. OK, so let’s try moving a little bit closer. Now there we
go, we’ve we’ve come a little closer and we’ve gotten a little lower, but it’s
still not really working. Because number one: thinking about leading lines, the
line of that roof line across the top, it’s actually missing our subject. So our
eyes actually travel from left to right across the top of the image and don’t
even rest on our subject which is the statue. So in a way that actually
distracts our attention away from the subject. Because the sky is so
bright our eyes are going to go to that first, and they’re going to just follow
that line, and we miss our subject altogether. So we need to get even closer
and lower, and maybe we can tilt that roof level to bring a bit of dynamism to
the photo and also have it running through our subject. So let’s give that a
go. So we’re gonna step in closer here get down much lower,
okay, the roof lines leading through our subject but let’s shift that angle a
little bit, and bring up the exposure a touch, and there we have it. Now look at
that. That’s so much better because our subject is dominant. That’s what we want
people looking at, there’s movement in the image because of the roofline, and
it’s a much better picture. Let’s look at the two side-by-side I know which one I
prefer. Alright so I told you I was going to tell you six tips and we’ve only
covered four so far. So let’s get to the next one.
Photos are two-dimensional and what we want to try and do if we can is actually
create the feel of three dimensions in our images. So we want to create depth.
How can we do that well? Let’s have a look at how we could take a photo of the
main pagoda here in the temple to see the ways that we can actually add depth
to our photos. So we’re gonna start by taking a photo the way most of the
visitors do: they stand right in front of the pagoda, line it up get it all central,
that’s good. Take a photo and we’re done. But we want to add a little bit of depth.
We want something so how can we add depth? We can add something in the
foreground that feels close to the viewer so that when they look at the
image, they see there’s something a little bit out of focus a little close
to the viewer, and then look through that to see the pagoda in the background. And
that creates a sense of depth even though it’s only a two-dimensional image.
So having a look around this scene I see that there’s some trees over there, and
maybe I can shoot through those to create a feeling of depth. So let’s give
that a go. Get quite close to the trees there, focus on the pagoda, and take the
shot. Okay, so there we have a different shot. There’s nothing wrong with the
photo with the pagoda as most people would take. It it’s okay, it’s quite nice,
but if you have a look at this one you’ll see it just creates a different
take on the scene, and that’s what you really want to be trying to do with your
images. You don’t want photos that are the same as every other person takes,
otherwise what’s the point of even taking them? Take something that’s
capturing the scene in a different way that’s going to show people something
from a fresh perspective. So that’s what changing the angle changing the
positioning in the photo and also putting something in the foreground
that’s going to create this different feel and it’s also going to create depth
in the image. So it’s a way to just improve your photos and take them up to
that next level. While we’re at the pagoda let’s try taking some other
photos of the pagoda that are going to be different from the average. A lot of
people walk past these statues and don’t really notice them but I think that we
can put one of these in the photo and really change the way we see the pagoda.
But it involves a change of angle we’re gonna have to get down a really really
low so that we’re putting our statue at a similar eye level as the pagoda.
I’m gonna get right down here lying on the grass looking up, and see how that’s
gonna look okay it’s not bad but I think we can add a bit more dynamism by giving it
a bit of a tilt. Let’s try at this angle. Okay, get up,
wipe the grass off my butt, and let’s have a look. Okay. Now that’s a photo I
guarantee most people who visit the pagoda wouldn’t have taken so it’s
giving a fresh perspective on the scene so we’re looking around we’re seeing
things that are going to be interesting and we’re just playing around with
creative angles and ways to make the elements within the scene interact with
each other. You know I might try and take one more
picture of the pagoda, because I notice over near the doorway there’s some
pretty plants, and I think that if I shoot up through those that might create
an interesting perspective as well. Just wander over… The flowers on this
Bougainvillea are so pretty, and the angle looking up is interesting,
so let’s see if we can integrate the two to create an interesting picture. Alright, I’m gonna focus actually on the flowers
in the foreground, shoot up with the pagoda in the background. There you go. Yet another
fresh perspective by changing our angle and our viewpoint and also putting
something in the foreground. Okay so what are the tips we’ve covered so far? Rule
of thirds: put things on the lines of thirds and even better on the
intersection of those lines. Number two work the angles. Get up, get down, move to
the left, move to the right, and also try tilting the camera. Tip three: leading
lines. Have lines that can lead your viewer’s eyes through the image to the
subject. That’s, er, four yeah? Five: add depth to your photos by putting something in
the foreground to show the depth in the image. So that brings us to number six,
our last tip for today. So tip number six is create a frame within your image
that’s going to frame your subject. So in the doorway to Chung Tian temple is this
Buddha figure and this image is so striking. Why? Because the doorway
actually creates a frame around the Buddha much like a halo
and with the bright light coming from the background it can really make him
pop. That’s going to create a bit of a challenge, because that light in the
background is going to make the figure quite dark if it’s well exposed. It’s a
very high dynamic range kind of photo. But without using HDR you’ve kind of got
to choose what you’re going to do. You can either have the background well
exposed or have your subject well exposed. And the question is always going
to be what is your subject, and expose for that. So in this case the statue is
my subject, so I’m going to actually let that background be a bit blown out. Now I
could use HDR, which is something we’re going to look at in another video, but
for now let’s just keep it simple and make sure our subject itself is well
exposed. So I’m going to actually bring exposure right up on this image so that
I can see the details in the statue, and there you have the result. See how that
doorway frames the Buddha it’s such a striking image mostly because of that
frame. So that’s tip number six. You can put people in doorways or in windows or
anything that’s going to create a frame around them, and that will actually draw
the viewer’s eye right to your subject. So there’s six tips for how to
take striking photos and you can do it even with a mobile phone, that’s what I’ve
used today. But obviously cameras are great to use as well. I’m not really much
of a mobile phone photographer to be honest. I love using my camera, but the
best camera is the one you have with you, and if that’s your phone then use that.
But I can’t bring you here to Chung Tian pagoda and not show you around! So I’m
done with the tips, that’s your six tips but hang around and check out this
temple because it is an impressive spot and not the kind of place you would
expect to find here in Brisbane. So the temple complex actually has a tea
house as well and, it’s got some quite unique teas which I’m really looking
forward to trying. Today, I’m gonna try the goji berry tea with
longan and Chinese date. OK, so here goes. It’s really hot! Okay so it’s cooled a little bit now, so
I’m gonna give it another try. That’s actually really really good it’s
sweet, it’s fruity it, actually kind of tastes a little bit like pomegranate, but
it’s the combination of longan, goji berries and red dates. Really really good.
Really good. I’m definitely going to be back for this.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Well done on the tips video! All pics taken on mobile as well 👍 i would personally have liked the snare and hi-hat a little softer because it was a little distracting for me. Also call to action, like, subscribe and all the rest of the intro/outro would be good. Really enjoyed the asian flute at the end, and keep the vids coming 😁👍

  2. Well done Adam! Thank you for sharing. Do you still remember me? Jade and Lydia's friend.

  3. it s kind of nice tips video but i stopped after 5 minutes of the same music loop again and again, soooooo annoying, next time, just stop the music after your intro…almost 15 minutes of the same very short loop ? nop, that's my tip for you 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *