Composition Exercise with a 50mm lens (Part 2)
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Composition Exercise with a 50mm lens (Part 2)

October 17, 2019

something which can work quite nicely
is and abstract we’ve got sort of soft light and there are still some little bits of shadow going on to give a bit of texture
so how about a nice blue abstract using just these lines on this pretty blue beach hut, meeting on the corner just here. No zooming, 50 millimeteres only. Think about the picture. think about where do I want to place
these lines in my view finder where are they gonna go, where is this upright going to go in the picture. first of all, you’ve just gotta move around and look at it so I’ve had to move back a bit, back a bit more, No I’m gonna move a bit closer. you see as you move back the camera is seeing a little bit more I think it works best with just three
lines these are the thoughts that are going through my head. I’m thinking three lines works quite
well so im just gonna move backwards and forwards until I’ve gotta 123 those three there, focus on the corner that’s not bad I need to move back a
little bit more because I don’t want her sort of cutting off the top edges and the bottom edges. so this is all careful thought, all moving around here we go. Now I don’t want that line straight down the middle I don’t this corner in the middle so I’m
gonna cut it off slightly to one side, so i’m just gonan move the camera a bit I’ve got my three lines focus it make sure all lines up is nice and neat
exit again because I’ve moved and take picture, yeah that’s alright I quite like that I like the way that
the these lines are not quite whoevers put it together, this groove is sort of higher than that one there. of course the great thing here is all I’ve gotta do is that and I could do a white version as well, let’s try it. this ones a lot neater and tidier, it might work, it might not. But let’s find out, so it’s the same shot, move myself around. I quite like the white one, but we shall see. mmm I quite like the white one, there we go, let’s walk on, see what else there is. I really really like this little yellow boat I know there’s potential here but i’m not sure what it is. It’s not really a shot of the whole boat because you know look where it is, there’s a bit of a cluttery old sort of a mess. This is the sort of boat i’d love to find lying on it’s own on a beach but there we go. If I just take a quick picture of it from here you’ll see what I mean it’s just 50 mm make sure my zoom hasn’t changed, no zooming allowed. it’s just kind of lost in all that mess it stands out because it’s yellow but it’s a rubbishy picture. So let’s go in close again. I like the look of these ropes hanging over the top here this is about
stretching your creative juices so I like these ropes here I like this thin rope and this thick rope. I like this paint on this sort of timber that’s a bit peely. also we have got a little bit of light coming in that way at the moment because the clouds have thinned a little. let’s have a little look and see what sort of a sho0t I can get I’m just checking to see if
I’m casting a shadow on the rope because I don’t want to block my own light, at the moment I’m not so let’s just get in close, make sure I haven’t zoomed, good I haven’t. focus on the ropes it’s this criss-cross that I like, I really really like that. I like the chain as well. If I move back a little and shoot it like that, it’s okay but is not brilliant is it so go a little bit closer, let’s go a bit tighter. Let’s just run this top edge here along the top of the picture and just get where the ropes are crossing, I like that, we’ve got blue and yellow and rope. Blue and yellow always work well together. I rather like that as it is. I wanna do something with this little bit of rusty chain because that’s also very sort of seaside-y a bit sort of mariney isn’t it. There seems to be a fraction more of light coming, so i’m gonna stand to the side, i’m gonna take a picture again lining this piece of timber with the rope and the chain and the shape going on in there but if I stand here i’m blocking my own light because the suns coming from there so we gotta kinda come round here and
photograph it from the side from this angle. let’s have a look, let’s get this camera strap out the way. just see what we’ve got, oh yes I do quite like that it’s an interesting shape now this is
not a function necessarily of just the 50 millimetre lens this is also about the angle at which you view something how often would you stand here and look
at that from that angle you just wouldn’t do it would you? this is where your creativity comes in this is why it’s great to start setting a single length zoom and walking around and looking for things. I also like this little boat here I think it’s quite interesting I just
had an idea because I think we can use the side of this yellow boat and put back one in the background just walking around looking to see how
things line up I’m quite like the thought of looking I quite like that looking along the side of this boat with that one beyond. So let’s see what we’ve got, nearly right straight of the thing, I don’t mind the handle that that metal
handle of this metal trailer is sticking out, I don’t actually mind it if I focus, it’s also about thinking where are you going to focus in your picture. I’m I am using a wide aperture but it’s where you’re going to focus, if I focus over there on that little boat, the pictures really it’s okay but it’s not brilliant and I find that handle of this trailer really distracting. But if I focus back here on this rope and look down the side of
this boat let’s just get this focus point exactly the right place, there we go and shoot it like that, I just think it’s a little more interesting. because it makes this much much stronger
in the picture now know everything I’ve been doing has
been close in but that’s purely a function of the weather and the light that I’ve got at the moment. It is starting to improve now but our time has run out. I’m not suggesting you do all close ups with your 50 mm if you’ve got some beautiful light and some landscapes and all the rest of it, go for it but keep your lens at 50 mil and think about your pictures.

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  1. Mike thank you for your great vids,you have a gift for communicating what you see and put it into a context everyone can use BRAVO

  2. The last part is really wonderfull. It seems that as you let yourself lose into the atmosphere it gets better! Really nice vid Mike!

    P/S: Theres a "refran" that says: "If your picture is not good enough, maybe you are not close enough"

    Keep on the good work! Greetings from Argentina!

  3. Hi Mike,
    Could you please tell me what kind of lens and camera did you use in Composition Exercise with a 50mm lens?

  4. Thank You. I love the bit about "as you let yourself lose into the atmosphere it gets better! " That is so true. I often find my first few shots of something aren't that great – but as I experiment and explore they get better and better. Thanks for that

  5. hi mike great video and good information thank you very much. I'm going to buy canon 600D and i like to shoot people & kids like playing in water or jumping into water and some of the creative ideas like you show in this video. what lens will be best to buy ??

  6. Hi Mike,
    This video shows how a photographer realizes the world in a particular way. A simple scene, apparently without any attractive, generates extraordinary photos in the presence of a photographer. It's like you taught us to look. I'm already getting my Nikon and leave the block to photograph details, interesting scenes hidden from who's in a hurry.

  7. Hi MIke,
    I have just discovered your youtube-channel a few weeks ago and the more often I watch it, the more I realize how well-thought-out your videos are. I love my Nikkor 50mm 1.4g and love to see, how clever you´re using it. But what I like most is that you´re not just talking about something (as so many do). You are showing us your way of photography instead and that´s just amazing and helpful.
    Thank you so much and best regards from Berlin

  8. Thank you Olaf. Please help us spread the word and grow the community by 'liking' 'G+ing', sharing our videos and linking to us on photo forums, Facebook etc

  9. Love all the videos you do. I have a canon eos 400d and love it would you recommend any specific lenses. What camera do you use by the way..

  10. Thank you. There are so many lenses out there I don't know enough about them all to recommend. I have Nikon D300 at the moment but will be getting something newer soon. Lens wise i have a 10-20mm Sigma which I'm very pleased with.

  11. Because of these video (part 1 and 2) I bought a 50mm f1:8 , and it's the best lense I have. Very sharp, vely light and it's so fun to work with. Thank you, from Portugal !

  12. Hi Mike!! I have watched countless videos on youtube and have never found quite the answers i am looking for and find myself left with more questions after tutorials! Until i found you!!!! you are incredibly easy to understand and your videos are so organized and well thought out! And lets face it, i just like you! youve got a GREAT personality and are funny. Ive been watching hours of your videos and feel greatly inspired (yesterday, 6hrs, today about 4hrs so far) … Thank you sooo much!

  13. Thank you Christine. You could put the camera on a tripod / monopod, turn it upside down and hold it in your hands and fire the shutter with the release. If you have a flip out LCD it'll help with composing the image, if not you'll have to take several and tidy them up by cropping in Photoshop afterwards. A guy on my last workshop got some great images underneath a dock using this method. Hope it helps..

  14. Especially good. Just bought a new  full frame camera along with a prime 50mm 1.8. And although at times I feel like I'm shooting with 1 hand tied behind my back , I am committed to shoot only with the 50mm until I master it  along with my camera. Watching this tutorial tells me I am on the right track . Thanks.

  15. Great video Mike! I'm fairly new to photography, I'm stuck in the sunset, sunrise and night photography mode, I just bought a 50mm lens and after seeing this video has really open my mind up on all the different photo options that are out there, thanks again!

  16. i am really enjoying your videos.  though i am not yet ready to go DSLR and currently enjoying the challenge of phone photography, most of your videos talk about the basics of photography that is applicable not only to a specific kind/type of camera.

    keep up the good work (and humor) good sir and thank you.

  17. Hi Mike, thanks for your videos. You are like the Jamie Oliver of Photography. Jamie makes food programs interesting to watch with his phrases and remarks, so do you with your photography videos.. I mean who else refers to steak as a 'humble piece of meat' hahaha that guy is amusing 🙂

  18. What a useful approach! Love the Exercise aspect of your video. What a great contribution! Hope I'll find more exercises. Thank you so much!

  19. Hey Mike, can you help us with Landscape Photography Tips n Tricks. Have been subscribed to your channel since I picked up a 600d. All that I have learn't is by watching your videos. Kindly continue doing more videos.

    Mike can we put out a HUMBLE request to you for Lighting how to's, do's & dont's.

  20. This is an awesome video! Really inspiring! I hate that I go places and don't think to take shots like this, must try harder! lol

  21. Hi Mike, Just bought a 50mm 1.4 prime lens – really looking forward to learning with it. I have to ask, are you using a crop sensor camera or full frame in this video?

  22. Very nice and interesting tutorial sir! I have a 50mm 1.8d, and after I watched this video. I was challenge more on a creative shots using 50mm.

  23. very easy to learn off mike, you make things sound and look so simple, you actually make me want to go out and take more photos using your advice 😉

  24. too bad you've past some cool shots from the coloured huts… a nice straight on view on the different coloured backsides of 3 huts would've been cool. or the coloured number detail of the top of the blue hut. also a shot of the angle of 1:26 would've been very interesting.  those 2 details don't work that well in my eyes. cheers

  25. Hi Mike, greetings from Australia! – I have a Canon 600D with the twin Lens Kit, being 18-55 and the 55-250. I was planning on heading out tomorrow to buy a Prime 50mm f1.8 lens, as I have a family wedding coming up (which I've been asked to photograph) and from what I have learnt, they are a great portrait lens and offer excellent bokeh effect. Having just watched your video, would I get the exact same shot from my 18-55 (left at 50mm as you suggested in the video) and therefore potentially waste $150, or will the 50mm Prime give a different (and improved) image due to it's f1.8 rating? Thanks in advance… oh and by the way, that sky in your video represents everything I have heard about the UK weather! Cheers :-)

  26.  Awesome video!  what ISO you used for the pictures?   nice jacket as well 😉   Thanks brother Mike for the great  demonstration

  27. Great stuff, thank you. I love the way prime lenses make you think about positioning yourself; and enjoyed seeing your workflow!

  28. Mike
    Notice you don't custom white balance much. Do you find that just using auto white balance as good. I started using the grey card and it amazes me how much difference it makes on getting the right balance. thanks!!

  29. Sometimes when I go out I only take my 50mm prime for this same reason, so you have to think about the shot more since there is no zoom fix. Sometimes you miss shots because you are not wide or tele enough, but other times you find something better.

  30. I have just got my hands on a 50mm, f1.8 prime for my Canon. With a 50mm in place, you quickly realise just how reliant you become on the ability to zoom in and out to adjust the composition of a shot.  Having a fixed focal length lens really makes have to work harder to get the shot.  I also love the added bonus of the larger aperture with this lens.

  31. Thank you so much for this video! I am an, I'd say, advanced beginner at photography, and I think this is the first time somebody has shown me a great potential of 50 mm lens, which I have only used for portraits so far. Next month I am going on a trekking trip in Svalbard and I need to limit the weight of my backpack as much as possible. I have spent the last 3-4 months struggling with the idea of taking just one lens. I guess I have now decided to go for my very light 50 mm 1.8 Sony lens, although I'd love to be able to take my 105 mm for macro photos as well – but with its almost half a kilogram of weight it will probably have to stay at home. Well, you have saved my back with this video, I guess. 🙂 Thank you so much once again, you're a great instructor! I'll share your tutorials on facebook, they're really useful.

  32. Hi Mike, I have watched a few of your videos now and I really enjoyed them. I like what you are shooting and I also like your approach (not too scientific, you do not necessarily need high end equipment etc.). And I actually love shooting with my nifty-fifty. Looking forward to see more from you!

  33. OMG how boring….you hav eto go to istanbul, there is life, people, interaction,skyline, sunset, sunrise. dont waste time with stupid yellow boats. Nothing against your strive for creative perspectives 😀

  34. Tell you what Mike… those 2 parts told me more about composing than 2 hours of Scott Kelby's instructions. 🙂 Thank you very much indeed!!!

  35. Mike thank you very much for making the 50mm lens cool and exciting. I had not used my 50mm lens until watching this video, I always want to walk around with my Canon 70-200 looking like a big deal, but taking crappy photos. You are really helping me to get rid of the ego, and just concentrate and be comfortable with being a novice. Thank you for you time, patience, understanding and your creative videos.

  36. Thank you so much Mike, I really appreciate your teaching. Especially when you explain in detail your thinking processes, I started to understand how to think, move, and see before taking a photo! 🙂

  37. Nice video Mike. My wife told me the other day that the best pictures are the ones right under your nose!

  38. That's a good one Mike! She was referring to my surroundings. looking for the obvious and the not so obvious. Oh by way I have a related question? I am currently using a nikkor 18- 200 mm lens for my pics. So If i set the focal length to lets say 50mm all the time, would this setting yield good results for street photography. Not people so much but objects, ineresting old buildings and just cool things! -Jim

  39. Wow! Thank You, I will certainly be using my 50ml lens more now.
    Where where you, was you in Kent? Cheers Jackie x

  40. I've been shooting for over a decade now. And I've seen YouTube evolve into a great teaching platform. I've recently discovered this channel. Most channels today (in my opinion) focus too much on tech specs, gear selection, limits and uses of gear, system comparisons, how to sell, and the most annoying: product predictions, rumors, and expectations. You focus on the actual photography. The art. The creative aspect. Very refreshing. Thank you.

  41. Just ordered a Canon prime 50mm 1.8. Thought to myself, where can I get some great ideas for using it, as usual checked out Mike Browne's videos, and there it was. Thanks yet again MB.

  42. I've recently bought an X-T2 with only a 23mm prime lense and I was considering to add a zoom lense to have a bit more composition flexibility.
    But after watching this move and looking at the lovely pictures you got in a lonely parking… You just revamped my love for prime lenses!

    However, what would you choose, as a good companion for a 23mm prime, between a 18-55 and a 50-140?

  43. man, i like your style, i also think this way; i am takeing photos with cirners of a fence and stuff like that; just move around and see it differently; i have a 50 mm prime lens, so…

  44. Mike, really enjoyed the information. It felt I found what I am I suppose to do with my just brought 50mm lens ❤️

  45. I like your ideas of selective focusing. The rope leading down to the boat. I think it is called perspective. Also getting down for different angles. My problem is not getting down. But getting up. :>

  46. 4:50 I really really like that shot a lot.
    For something so simple and a simple subject.
    Enjoyed both parts of this video.
    I actually had a recent trip to Blackpool and I had my lens set to 35mm (crop sensor) for most of it, trying my hand at a little bit of street photography.
    Couldn't do as much as I wanted as it was a family oriented trip, but really enjoyed the challenge.
    I think I need to get myself a budget friendly 35mm for my D7200, to eliminate the zooming all together for when I am in the mood for this kind of challenge again.

  47. I thought you would have tried taking it from the other side then you would not have had the handle in the image.
    But the option is there for others to try which is called creative control. But well composed mike.

  48. Thanks Mike, you are so good! Never seen anyone explaining the concepts like this! This should be a must see video before anyone picks up a camera! Brilliant!!

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