Friday Five: The Great Reading Room

Friday Five: The Great Reading Room in Bizzell Library

Last week’s post centered around a specific aspect of photography, depth of field. This week we’re taking a different approach and looking at 5 pictures all with a central location.

Don’t forget, these photos and more are available to you in all their high resolution glory in the OU Image Library. Just shoot Morgan ( an email about which photo you want along with its intended use and she will likely be able to send you the high-res version.

No.1 Establishing Shot of The Great Reading Room


Although it might not be the most beautiful picture you’ve ever seen, this first picture does a great job establishing the setting. Whether you’re shooting for a newspaper, wedding, football game or concert, always try to get a few establishing shots. They’re usually not going to be the images you put on the cover of a photo album, but you’ll want to include one or two of these in most collections or galleries you make. That way, the viewers can have a better understanding at what they’re seeing, especially when they’re looking at some of the more obscure or tighter shots (see No.4).

No.2 Lines on the table


It was around 10am when I started taking pictures inside, which means the light coming through was still at a pretty steep angle. Luckily for me, that angle happened to cast very dramatic lines across the study hall. Being able to see and use lines in your composition is a great way to add interest to your images. For instance, in landscape photography, horizontal lines naturally produce a more relaxed and tranquil feeling. Diagonal lines on the other hand emphasize more dynamic and excited feelings. Working with the lines in your images, instead of against them is a valuable trick to photographers. Check out THIS ARTICLE to learn more about it.

No. 3 Crop it!


This close up shot of the tables lined up didn’t originally have the aspect ratio you see now. Actually, the original picture was much less interesting, primarily because the image was so large it was difficult to see where the focus was at. After cropping in, it’s easy to see the sharpness of the table in the foreground and your eye lands right on that corner. It would have been ideal if there were an object placed right there though. An apple? A pile of books? A lego mini-figure? Without anything there, the picture seems a bit incomplete. But, I wanted to include it in today’s five because it serves as a good illustration that cropping can save a photo. That said, it’s always best to try and frame up your image IN-CAMERA. Most photographers would agree.

No. 4 Details, details, details.


So you’re shooting a wedding, or portraits, or a concert, or whatever… and you’re feeling stuck. “I’ve shot everything going on. I’ve captured the venue, nailed the angles, I don’t know what else to get.” While I usually find myself rushing to get everything I need done in a shoot there are the rare occasions when I find myself at a stand still. My brain can’t think of where or what to do next. That’s where I found myself after 10 minutes of taking pictures in the Library. When that time comes, I start looking at things close up. Even if you don’t have a macro lens, most kit lenses have pretty good capabilities when it comes to short focal distances. Try capturing the textures, patterns, shapes and colors close up. The image above was simply part of a decorative hinge on one of the doors.

No. 5 Framing the frames.


The last photo features a very weathered set of window panels. I set a shallow DOF and framed the frames to where they’d be perfectly symmetrical. Again, maybe not the best shot in the world, but it does make an interesting image.

The next time you have a spare 10 minutes, grab your camera, pick a single location, and challenge yourself to get 5 unique shots. If you do, let me know! I’d love to see what you’re shooting!

See ya next week!


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