I'm the editor of Smart, a magazine for women in southcentral Pennsylvania. I said "I do" to my wonderful husband in 2002. We have two adorable children who have taught me much about life and love. With the birth of my second child, I bid farewell to my dreams of having a clean house, folded laundry and family dinners on weeknights.

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Take Great Photos, Win Prizes!

It’s summer time, which means lots of picture perfect opportunities.

Longtime York County, Pa., photographer Bil Bowden has learned a lot over the years, and, lucky for you, he’s willing to share his secret: The Best Rice.

Bil broke down 11 steps for good composition of a photo (the first letter of each step spells The Best Rice), which is a good thing because Smart magazine is holding a summer photo contest again this year!

This year, we want to see your hot dog photos. Whether it’s a shot of your pampered pooch floating in the pool or sailing on your boat, send it in!

Just send your pics to Smart Editor Kara Eberle at keberle@ydr.com. You can also send your photos via snail mail to 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. Include your name, age, address and a daytime phone number.

Your photo could appear in an upcoming issue of Smart magazine!

Here are Bil’s tricks…

T. 360 Degree Rule: When looking at a possible subject of a picture, try to imagine it from every angle, walk all the way around it — 360 degrees. This can mean time, too. Imagine the subject being shot in the morning, afternoon or late at night.

h. Human Interest: The old man with plenty of character lines and a personality we can feel; the little girl cuddling her kitten. These are the pictures that “grab” us for no good reason other than emotion.

e. Expression: A graduation picture, empty of anything but solemn faces, stands little chance of being noticed. Put a grin, scream, tear or laugh on one or all those faces, and bingo, it’s a winner.

B. Balance: Generally, a face, runner, boat or anything suggesting direction should be facing into the picture.

e. Entrance and Exit: This is the “old farm road leading into the barn” picture we’ve seen in the art shops. It’s a road, river, sidewalk, step, fence or footprints that take us right into the main center of interest.

s. Simplicity: Don’t try to get everything in the picture. The simpler we keep the picture, the easier it is to view. Generally, the less in the picture, the better it is. Especially when it comes to people.

t. Thirds, Rule of: Divide a film frame into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The intersections of those lines are strong places to put the photograph’s subject.

R. Rhythm and Repetition: Utility poles, fences, people, cars or other objects lined up to give a design make interesting pictures.

i. Interest, Center of: A pretty scene can be an eye-catcher at first. But it loses appeal after the eye wanders from point to point if the photo has nothing on which to anchor itself.

c. Contrast: We’re not talking merely black and white, but also big and small, tall and short, fat and thin, dry and wet, pretty and ugly, hot and cold.

e. Eye-Level Syndrome: This is a photo fault that shows every picture at our eye level. Bend down or climb a step or two to get away from everyone’s normal point of view.

— BIL BOWDEN, Smart photographer

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