One of the tools in a photographer’s composition kit is the leading line – an element that leads the viewer's eyes into an image. An effective line leads to something interesting and adds a third dimension, depth, to a photo.
In this example, our field road lined with cool-colored green corn in late August leads to warm-colored fog in the distance. The white dots in the road, little heads of ladino clover, and the longer grasses at the base of the corn rows are important because they add visual interest – colors and texture – to the line, which takes up a big portion of this photo.
Tip: Incorporate a leading line when you can. Photo by The Ashton Photographer.
One advantage of living in the country is that I can see the horizon. I can watch storms, birds, and stars as much as I want. I never get tired of staring at the sky.
I thought I had seen it all until this cloud formation hovered over Ashton one afternoon. I was walking to my barn, so all I had to do was turn, run to my house, and grab my camera. Within minutes I had preserved the scene as a digital file and, thanks to Google and Wikipedia, identified it as a mammatus cloud, “a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud.” The name derives from the Latin “mamma,” or “udder.” How appropriate for an old dairy farm like ours to be under a herd of cows in the sky!
Tip: If you see something interesting, be ready with your camera. Photo by The Ashton Photographer.
Not often a great horned owl lands on our barn at The Old Brabender Place, so when it does, I want to take a memorable photo. I spotted this one through my office window in the house, about 150 feet from the far end of our barn.
These wise birds have keen eyesight and hearing, so I didn't dare step outside to try to get closer. It was dusk and starting to get dark. The only chance I had was to take the photo through my window, with a slow shutter speed, and my lens zoomed to its maximum, 270 mm – a recipe for a lousy image if I were to hand-hold my camera. A tripod was my only answer. Fortunately the owl stayed long enough for me to set up and take two images, this one and a blurry photo of it taking flight.
Tip: Have a tripod handy when you need it. Photo by The Ashton Photographer.