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Kayaking Around Amalfi

Kayaking Around the Amalfi Coast

On my first trip to Italy last summer, I kayaked around the Amalfi Coast. And when we stopped on a beach, I took this picture of my friend Chris.

I LOVE this photo because of how the composition and lighting tell the story of the subject and environment.

1. Composition

(How the elements of the image are arranged.)

I saw the first "puzzle pieces" of the photo: the buildings, the water, and the beach with the kayaks.

Then, when I added Chris, I crouched down to change my camera angle, so that my subject appeared in the "blank spot" of the sky. If the buildings were behind him, he would get lost in the details.

2. Lighting

(The bright and dark parts of the image.)

Did this photo come straight out of my camera looking like this?


This is the original:

I took a "dark" photo intentionally because I wanted to preserve the details in the bright sky, and I knew I could lighten up the shadows later in the editing room.

After adjusting my exposure to increase the dynamic range of my photo, I faded the color of the kayaks, removed the logo, and straightened the horizon line.

3. Subject and Environment

(The "who" and "where" of a photo.)

The environment was easy: kayaks and the Amalfi Coast.

The subject was a little more complicated. In this case, it's not exactly Chris.

To me, the subject of this photo is the experience.

So, instead of having Chris smile directly at the camera, I told him to mess around with the dry bags, which added some action, and to look to the side, which keeps his face slightly hidden.

Bingo. It's a winner.

Until next time,



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