May 5
Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Bill Dowling, standing on Oak Ridge, just northeast of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. Bill owns the photography studio, Bill Dowling Photography. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Bill Dowling is the host for our series on Gettysburg Photography. Bill is a native of Connecticut, and has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide since 2006. He is a professional photographer specializing in historical landscape photography. His studio is Bill Dowling Photography.

To contact Bill by e-mail, please click here to reveal his email address.

In the first Gettysburg Photography post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Bill Dowling shows the equipment needed on the battlefield to take pictures.

In the second Gettysburg Photography post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Bill Dowling shows how to use your body and other battlefield objects as tripods, a picture that he took near the “Triangular Field,” and the famous Devil’s Den sharpshooter’s photograph.

In today’s post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Bill Dowling reviews some basic compositional techniques to help you make a better photograph.

In Video #7 (Videos #1-#6 were shown in our previous Gettysburg Photography posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Bill Dowling explains how to use the rule of thirds to compose your photographs. This view was taken facing north to northwest to northeast to north at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

This is an example of the imaginary grid you can place over your photographs to help you calculate the rule of thirds and the focal points where the human eye is led when viewing an image.

In Video #8 Licensed Battlefield Guide Bill Dowling is standing in front of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial on Oak Hill. He explains the importance of filling your frame with your desired subject. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

In Video #9 Licensed Battlefield Guide Bill Dowling explains how to avoid obstructions and oddities appearing in your photograph due to not properly checking your background. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Bill Dowling is standing by the fence to the rear of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. In this example, we haven’t checked our background and a pole seems to be growing from Bill’s head. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

We’ve now corrected the problem in the previous photograph by simply moving our subject away from the fence post. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

In Video #10 Licensed Battlefield Guide Bill Dowling explains the importance of framing and demonstrates and example. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

Here is a photograph Bill has taken that demonstrates a lack of framing, where the subject isn’t clear and the eye isn’t drawn towards any particular point. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

Bill has now taken another photograph that employs the technique of framing, utilizing the tree and overhanging branch to enhance the photograph. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2011.
Here is another example of how framing can more effectively communicate a photographic subject — in this example framing is not utilized … This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2011.
… And in this one, Bill has significantly framed the cannon using the tree and branches on the left-hand portion of the frame. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

To see other posts by Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, click here.


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