About this Blog

Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.

Monday, June 7, 2021

A Review of the New Nik Collection 4 - lack lustre update, or must have app collection?

Last week, with very limited fanfare, DXO launched their now annual update to the Nik Collection of plugins and standalone image filters. This ostensibly brings the suite of applications to version 4. Although in a bizarre naming twist, only two of the apps are actually at version 3, with most of them still at version 2, and some still at version 1. The last properly major update was in 2019, and I wrote about it in this article. Version Three came out in 2020 and was essentially some bug fixes and the inclusion of a miniature filter and the start of a theoretically non-destructive workflow. The new version is essentially a reboot of two of the Nik Collections apps: Silver Efex and Viveza.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Shooting Distance

Arguably, the first thing that novice photographers attempt to ‘fix’ in their images is the issue of flatness, the sense or feeling that an image is 'flat' when looked at. The way we perceive our world is three-dimensionally. Images are not three-dimensional though, hence our interpretation of the two-dimensional is often one of flatness. The complaint tends to go along the lines of ‘this doesn’t do justice to what we saw’, or ‘it looked a lot bigger in real-life’ or simply, ‘it looked very different when we saw it’.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Space - The First Frontier

For many photographers, the first mistake they make in composition is trying to fill the picture frame. I’m guilty of this myself, particularly with wildlife photography. There’s the big lens theory that you need to get a big fat piece of glass on the front of the camera so that you can fill that sensor with the leopard in a tree. For landscape photographers there’s the opposite - little lens theory - that you get as wide a lens as possible so that you can fill the frame with as much of the landscape as possible. Then with all these wonderful big and small lenses we wonder why our images look dull and uninspired. It’s because filling the frame is not necessarily the best way to create a meaningful image. Sometimes, you need to leave it empty.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The 'Rule' of Thirds

The Rule of thirds

There is a rule that seems to be taken as a biblical guidance caste down in stone as the 11th commandment for photographers: The Rule of Thirds (hereafter referred to as RoT). This piece of guidance is viewed by many as a starting point for composition. It’s muttered like a mantra at camera-club meetings (woe betide the photographer who dares not use it at one of these gatherings), and is often the first thing that is mentioned in books on photographic composition. The problem with such a strong term as ‘rule’, is that photographers will sometimes feel that they have to craft the image so that it fits the rule, rather than look at the elements and allow them to fall into place in a manner that works best for both the subject matter at hand.