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Wow I can’t believe how many people took part in our September #1day12pics. It was so great to see. Do head over to some of the other people who took part too.

I didn’t have a perfect ‘per hour’ day but the sentiment was still there. It was mostly pretty relaxed with not much happening in the morning, then heading out for coffee, grabbing something to eat from a street market that had popped up and then heading up to the mountains for a lovely long walk. I finished the day off doing some lettering and making a poster of my new daily motto.

I did try to work a theme of shapes but it did feel a bit forced so although some did reflect it I don’t think the theme was as helpful this month as it has previously been for me. I really need to come up with a theme before hand rather than deciding what it is after the second picture!

travel | venice on film

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Before I share some bits on the Venice Film Festival and our trip at the weekend I thought I would share some film photos I took while we were on our familymoon. I am really happy with how these ones came out. I think in future all photos of Venice should be taken with film.

My favourite is the photo I took of the little boy sitting (dangerously I might add) on the edge of the vaparetto stop with his captain’s hat and mini gondola. It isn’t a perfect picture but it just feels so right.

I also love how the black and white so perfectly captures the texture of the city.

Like this? Check out my thoughts on how shooting on film can improve your photography.

learning how to compose photographs - the rule of thirds

I loved teaching my photography walk-shops when I was in London and I always felt the attendees got a real understanding for getting onto manual, but there are so many composition rules that exist that they sometimes got buried under by technical questions. With so many posts about ISO, aperture and shutter speed along with everything else (which are of course incredibly useful) I think the idea of what we are capturing sometimes loses weight. I even find myself often overthinking the technical and not getting a beautifully composed image. With this ‘series’ I don’t want to give technical blow by blow but some examples and tips.

As I mentioned a couple weeks back composition helps us to highlight our subject. When rules aren’t followed the subject might have to compete for attention with other items in the frame therefore diminishing the ‘quality’ of your picture. Obviously rules are also meant to be broken but knowing the rules means you can be intentional about breaking them.

I’ll start with the rule of thirds because that is probably the one that everyone has heard about. Put simply the rule of thirds breaks your picture up with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines and then your task is to use those lines to highlight your subject. That can mean placing your subject on an intersection point or breaking up your picture into the thirds (most often seen with landscapes)

Let’s look at some pictures…


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When shooting portraits bear these points in mind:

  • Place the eyes on (or near) one of the lines and an intersection as possible. If you are shooting faces the eyes should be the focal point as, you know, eyes are the windows to the soul and all.
  • If the subject is placed in a segment of the frame and looking to the side they should look to the side which has more space. When the subject looks immediately off to the side it leaves the viewer anxious, wondering what they are looking at.


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For objects it is important to consider what your actual focus point is going to be. Will it be the spoon or the watermelon? Which part of the picture do you want to highlight. In the third image because it is a flat plane and therefore everything is in focus the segments are used (as in landscape).



The main point to remember when using the rule of thirds for landscape is what you want to highlight or capture. What has the most interesting texture – the sky or the land? Also bear in mind if there is a specific ‘something’ in the landscape that you want to highlight.

Breaking the rules

Of course you don’t always have to follow this rule. Perhaps it is the symmetry of the image that you want to capture instead. Or place your subject in the middle or somewhere else altogether if you feel. Just be intentional about what it is you want to do.

Challenge time!

Take a look at some pictures that you have pinned and see if you can see how the rule of thirds has been used. Examine some of your own pictures and see if you naturally capture some images this way already, you might be surprised.

Then take some pictures to practise the rule. Take photos of a person, an object and a landscape using the rule of thirds.

If you would like share a link to the images (wherever they may be – flickr, instagram, your blog, google+ etc). I will choose a handful to provide feeback over on my Facebook page.

I’d love to know if you find this type of post helpful and if you would like to see more.

#1day12pics – september

1day12pics announcement for september

Hey this month is the sixth #1day12pics! I can’t believe I have done these six times already (well if you can count July)! I’ve taken photos on an average ol’ day, in Venice on my 30th birthday and Florence.

Do you know what would be brilliant? If this was the biggest #1day12pics yet! It has been so lovely seeing people from all over the world taking pictures on the selected day as well as some other days. So you know, it would be great if you could tell your friends about it, or you know, whatever.

This month the proposed date is Saturday 6 September but I will be doing mine on Sunday as I am going to the Venice Film Festival and will be on a train for 4 hours and then in movies for another 4 hours (where I am sure photos will not be allowed!) so I thought Sunday would just be easier.

Also thanks to Yasmin for mentioning the project on the radio a few weeks back! Find out all about it and listen to her piece over on her blog.

Okay so you know the deal but here is a reminder:

1. Each month we’ll nominate a day where we will take a photo every hour, all day. (This month it’s Saturday 6 September).

2. You can join in on that day, or on any other day in the month.

3. Share your photos with the hashtag #1day12pics on any social media platforms you use – we’ll be using TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

4. If you blog, write a post about your photo day and link it up at the end of this post. This works best if you link to your actual blog post with your images. You can also link to your instagram account or pinterest board.

5. Use any camera, including camera phones. Don’t worry if you’re a bit late or miss one of your photos.

6. Things are more fun with friends. Please ask yours to join in too.

Link up!

#1day12pics is a monthly collaboration between MYcreative and Emma Davies Photography.

what is the subject?

what is the subject

I find myself mindlessly scrolling through people’s blog posts and looking at their pictures, catching a line or two of text if the pictures look interesting. I don’t think that is going to change to be honest but I thought it was a good metaphor for how we even look at pictures sometimes and therefore how we take pictures.

Point, click, done.

Without trying to sound pompous, taking pictures on film (with only 24-36 frames) really makes you slow down and think before you shoot. What is the subject? What do I want to highlight? I don’t always get it right but I get a good ratio of decent to throw away pictures on a roll of film. But when I shoot on digital that ratio widens. I don’t focus on the subject all the time. Clutter gets in and I ignore the rules of composition. Now sometimes the rules need to be broken but a vast history of art exists which show us the rules work. They lead the eye, grab our attention, create an atmosphere.

I thought I would share some tips on composition over the next while if people are interested (so let me know if you are interested by commenting).

But today’s post is just to remind you to start thinking about the subject. Sometimes it is obvious. A person or a group of people, a vase of flowers. Sometimes it is less obvious. Sometimes you zoom in on the flowers – now which one is the subject, the one tilting it’s head. Or what about when you are shooting a landscape. Sometimes it is the castle on the hill but maybe it is just a beautiful scene. Even then a picture becomes more interesting and people look more intently when something captures the eye. A lone tree, a bench or a person in the distance. Even when the subject is a ‘scene’, being aware of what you want to highlight helps you to frame the picture, consider focal point and use compositional rules to lead the eye.

By being conscious of choosing your subject you can instantly start taking better photos.

If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy these tips for composing better images and an exercise in light.

buildings of trieste

Don’t you love when you come across a hashtag on Instagram that no-one else is using. It works as a great ‘filing system’. I have started ‘filing’ my images into several categories and #buildingsoftrieste is one I started to tag all my photos of the buildings I capture in Trieste. There sure is some fancy architecture around here and it is great when I want to brag to friends or family who haven’t visited yet to show them the beautiful city I live in.

I also tag my food pictures with #mycreativeeats. I love food and this is a great repository for mini-recipes (you know the kind that are just ingredients thrown together and not really recipes at all). I also just started #mypancakeclub which I would love people to share their own pancake inspiration to. Just a unique topping or addition to the mix. I love pancakes!

Moving on from my own ‘creations’. I love #notmynonni (nonni being grandparents in Italian) from @notmynonni. Italy’s elderly make up a large chunk of the population and they are such brilliant characters.

I’ve found participating in hashtag challenges (is that what you would call them) or just tagging pictures are a great way of coming across new (to me) Instagrammers (particularly in my new part of the world) and a friendly way to grow my Instagram following. Though I suggest when hashtagging don’t go overkill!

So tell me how do you use hashtags and what are some of your favourites? And also how irritating is it that you can’t click on tags on the Instagram website?!