Jide Alakija

02 Feb 2009 1,282 views
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photoblog image Lessons in photography....please participate
Lessons in photography....please participate|

Lessons in photography....please participate

Yaaaay! Shutterchance is back. The guys have done a great job in putting it back and apparently it's now a lot faster.

I've been getting a lot of requests to share a bit more on how to improve photography. Though it's a very tasking option but I think now on every post I will put some helpful hints on how to improve your photography. It will be helpful if YOU could also ask some relevant questions (questions like: How did you take this picture? - is a bit too vague a question, how did you light this image? - is a bit more appropriate).

With regards to this image I've been asked a question like, "Jide, what did you do to make it come out so sharp and punchy?". My answer to that is that a lot of the time this is NOT as a result of the post production. In producing something like this so many elements need to be considered. These elements are the ingredients of the photo.

When most photographers MAKE a photo they forget to consider every element on the picture. They concentrate solely on their subject. They forget that their subject is only part of the whole frame and therefore just take the photo. A little red dot in the background will after your photo in a positive or negative way depending on how you use it.

Over the next few posts I’m going to describe different elements to consider when MAKING a good photo.

Please ask questions, I don’t want my efforts to go in vain, at least a little appreciation would be nice.

comments (16)

No questions yet. Congrats on getting SC back up. I notice the faster speed as well. Your exif isn't displaying, but I like the depth and perspective in the shot.
Jide Alakija: Thanks Ade.
it's showing now lol TC
  • Ada
  • United States
  • 2 Feb 2009, 00:40
Great depth of field but I am interested in how you got that tone...its great.
Jide Alakija: Okay I'm going to ask a few questions first of all before I answer yours. When you ask for 'tones' you are referring to the 'Tonal range' right? i.e. the amount of light and dark in the image?
  • Kay
  • United States
  • 2 Feb 2009, 00:46
Jide, I love the ingredients of your photo. Did you plan this picture with the tones in mind? Was it the light hitting the skates that inspired you?

All in all, this is an excellent photo. I love the light, and the angle of view.
Jide Alakija: I first noticed the dark background, and the light on the skates helped, but the dark background brought out the image even more....

Re: The tones....I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that word...You mean Tonal range?
  • Ada
  • United States
  • 2 Feb 2009, 05:59
Yes you are quite right..thats what I meant..
Jide Alakija: I used a combination of Dodging and burning in the post production.
Alakija fella, now you going to loose the audience you are trying to engage.

All people want to know is "How in the world did he get this image looking so sepia/toned this way or how did he get the image looking so sharp?" "I have the same camera as this fella and use the same programs as he does but why don't my images look like this?"

So enough of all this big big huge words being used and just break it down in plain English for the lay folks who just grab the camera once or 2ce every week.

So no tonal range blah, DOP, rah (the average Joe really don't care what that is) all they want to know is How and what DID you do to get image this way. I.e you use flash, was it natural light, how did you convert it to black & white, what software did you use, and then what did you do to get this funny colour? (all in layman speak).
Jide Alakija: Silly man!!!! :p
  • PhotoSam
  • United Kingdom
  • 2 Feb 2009, 10:22
What impresses me most about your work is the lighting (which in turn affects the toning)... any pointers on how to best capture or create the light would be greatly appreciated...
Jide Alakija: As far as lighting is concerned, I can only speak on how I see most images that don't 'pop-out' so to speak. When I take or make a photo, I make sure the light is in the correct location. If say I took a portrait and the light was from above the forehead will be the focus and it wouldn't look as flattering. If I had the light from the side, it would improve the image.

In this particular image, you'll notice that the main light is at the foot of the skates. That was something I noticed before I took this picture.
Jide ... I just enjoy your stuff loads. You do it your way I do it my way. I'm the novice and you're much more the professional.
I think we like to hear tips from others but in the end it's all subjective. I think the theme and shooting angle and the original light constitute 80% of the end product.
cheers richard
Jide Alakija: Thanks Richard. You are so right about the shooting angle and that is down to patience and trying out as many angles as possible.
  • emma
  • Nigeria
  • 2 Feb 2009, 13:22
think i agree wit suby & sinem for we starters it culd be a bit cloudy, but we'll like to know wat software u use and the motions of makin a good shot.

its a holy one
great contrast
Jide Alakija: Well I'm not sure if that's helpful as everyone understands things differently in their photography. It's best you ask YOUR own question.

As far as software is concerned you can see all of what I use in my about page.
  • Ada
  • United States
  • 2 Feb 2009, 14:30
Okay a little bit of dodging and burning...I get you but that did not help me one bit....lol...Answer all the questions Suby asked that would be really helpful please. Thank you.
Jide Alakija: Ada, please forgive me, when you asked for how I got the tone/tonal range I answered your question exactly how I got it. I expected that if you didn't know what I meant in my answer you'd at least google what 'dodging and burning' meant...some links below to help you


Re:Suby's comment...it has nothing at all to do with what you initially asked me for unless that is what you meant in which case I believe it is something totally different...I think you should have asked a different question such as "Did you use a flash?"

I guess what I am saying is please help me help you. I do not know what your level of photographic understanding is. I am only merely sharing what it is I know and from what I understand your question to be.
  • Jide Alakija
  • United Kingdom
  • 2 Feb 2009, 15:12
For those of you that don't know what the TONAL RANGE is all about why don't you look at David Nightingale's explanation and tutorial.

LOL Jide,

Neither should you assume everyone is a budding pro, some may have questions but bot know how to ask a master like the Alakije fella. So giving "us" layfolks a "dummies guide" to achieving the Alakija fella type shots will help.

Yes it is easy to google anything and everything, but when layfolks (those without the genius of the Alakija fella) come here and see the great Alakija fella write "Please ask questions" and a promise of sharing his knowledge, they are not wanting him to point them in the direction of google, they WANT & DEMAND to be spoon fed the information he is dangling in front of their faces.

So stop thinking like the geek you are, SPOON FEED US THIS DANG INFORMATION. smile

We is watching grin
Jide Alakija: Sorry Suby, I wish I could answer everyones questions the way you would want me to, but I don't believe in spoon feeding. This is not a service but an attempt merely to share some of my OPINIONS...

I would also like to point out that I have also mentioned in description that specific questions will help, vague questions are very difficult to answer. Anyway I'm sure that by asking more questions we will eventually get to the solution.
  • Laurie
  • United States
  • 2 Feb 2009, 19:25
I love it! There is just something about this one. I think it reminds me of my youth and simpler times when the skates hanging by the door on the porch in the winter was a common sight.
Jide Alakija: Interesting...I come from a very different era where these things are only scene in books and television. We have no ice in Nigeria.
Really excellent pic. I like this one. I get the feeling I'll probably keep coming back to glance at it again and again. I admit to being one of those wondering "How in the world did he get this image looking so sepia/toned this way or how did he get the image looking so sharp?" as highlighted by the Subster...
Jide Alakija: Sharpness is a function of a good lens. You have to use a very good lens to get a good sharp image. The toning is done using the curve tool in Photoshop. I suggest you google "toning with the curve tool"
  • fotografa
  • Snowed down under in sunny Islington
  • 2 Feb 2009, 22:39
Noice composition, ligthing and tonal range smile And much kudos on ur willingness to share some of ur knowledge. But men, you sure opened a "can of worms" on this one smilesmile

Please permit me one min to digress smile Have you ever had a "error 99" come up on any of ur Canon bodies. If yes, how did you resolve it.
Jide Alakija: I really didn't expect that I would be swamped by this one...I'm only a photographer like everyone else. sad

Yes, I'm quite familiar with that error. It's not happened to me but to Atunbi and I remember it had something to do with the connection between your lens and your camera. See the link below for a solution.

  • Padraig
  • United Kingdom
  • 2 Feb 2009, 23:23
This is a beautiful shot, it has a real calming effect, I love it.
you have mentioned the direction of the main light source but would you mind telling me in more detail about the lighting for this shot.

PS. I'll add to some earlier comments, I think that it doesn't matter how you answer the questions, be it laymens terms or with great technical gusto, I'm sure the answer will reflect the question, thanks for sharing.

Jide Alakija: Thanks Padraig.

The lighting: Very natural. The day was quite bright but there was a shade above the skates.

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