What’s in the Edges of Your Pictures?


Jude Dettman from upstate New York is a recent switcher to Macs. She did so apparently after my advice? Brave soul.

For starters, no, I do not own Apple shares. Wish I had some.

I happen to think if you don’t have a boatload of applications for photography and other graphics programs for the Windows platform, you ought to seriously consider switching.

It’s like getting 2 computers for the price of one. A word of caution here though. Some of your peripherals may have driver issues. But there shouldn’t be anything major except..

When you hit the “Eject” button to open the DVD drive, (your cup holder) it might close spilling your cup of coffee.

Anyway, Jude was kind enough to share some of her pictures from Flickr with me.

I don’t recall where I heard this first, but it must have been chant like a mantra that was repeated over and over again by photography students everywhere.

Your eye always travels to the lightest part of the picture first.
Probably explains why “Don’t go to towards the light” means imminent death to actors in movies.


In any case, that very nice tight shot of the cute frog can be improved by moving around or composing in the viewfinder so that the bottom streak of sunlight and lighter shade of green is not in the picture.

I’m an advocate for shooting most things as you would like to see the final picture instead of using photoshop in post production.

Since I wasn’t there when Jude took the picture, I can’t tell whether it was at all possible.
Sometimes it’s more useful to see a wider shot like when I showed the picture of the butterfly with the banana flower.

And then include the final picture.

Only then can I make my point. It’s far too easy to get on a high horse and say, oh..you should have

  • moved the frog and the lily pad it was on or
  • used a flash and a bellows or waited till the sun was perfect

Jude’s picture was tight enough i.e.  she filled the frame.

When you’re out and about and you happen across something like this frog, you can’t make an appointment and come back when the light is just perfect, or coax it to pose against a nice seamless backdrop, so I think Jude did a great job.

Heck, she held that 270 mm lens a lot steadier than I would have at 1/40 sec!

Here are the EXIF info from this picture

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi
ISO 400
1/40 sec @ f6.4
Focal length 270 mm
Time 3:52 pm June 6, 2009
Aperture Priority
Metering Mode: multi-segment

I can offer advice only in areas of general photography.

There are areas of specialties within photography.

Just as there are writers who can write about everything, not all of them can write funny pieces, gripping fiction or heartwarming soul searching melodramas.

A lot of nature photography deals with Macrophotography. You need special lenses and even special ringlite flashes.

Sports photography is another.

What any photographer can’t do is be good at every type of photography.

I hope I can speak for news photographers when I say they are generalists. They have to be because of the nature of the business.

Over time, some find they’re better at some types or areas like sports or portraits. The adrenaline junkies tend to thrive on breaking news.

Jude, thanks for a being a good sport and sharing your picture.

2 thoughts on “What’s in the Edges of Your Pictures?”

  1. Thanks Shane. The picture which Jude Dettman so generously shared wasn’t taken with a macro lens. I believe she just used a telephoto. Little critters like frogs can be a lot of fun to photograph. The hard part is finding one.

  2. This is a very good post Peter. I have not tried any serious Macro yet, although it seems interesting.

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