Canon Explorers: Martin Osner

© Martin Osner, Canon Explorer
Shot on EOS 5D, Lens EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM, Exposure 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 400
"Rock Pattern"

When I am teaching photographers I'm constantly reminding them to get as close to the subject as possible. "Keep moving in until you finally bump into it," I will joke, "then take just one step back." By becoming more intimate with your subject you will naturally start simplifying composition. I also advise to avoid shooting at eye-level, but rather to shoot from a low or high position. This takes the viewer away from their normal perspective and helps to make the photograph more interesting.

The lichen, although very small, gives this simple shot such interest. A circle is a primary shape in visual design and helps to retain attention. This is the photograph I chose for the front cover of my new book, "Fingerprint of creation, colours textures and patterns".

I shoot a lot of simple textures as found in rock formations, sometimes up really close with a macro lens or, depending on the size of the subject, with a wide-angle zoom lens. I try to take the subject out of reality so that there is nothing scalable to compare it with. This picture was shot in Coffee Bay on the wild coast of South Africa.

© Martin Osner, Canon Explorer
Shot on EOS 5D, Lens EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM, Exposure 1/60s, f/8, ISO 250
"Atlantic Sunset"

I try to shoot the exact composition in-camera rather than rely on cropping in processing later. It's a discipline that makes you concentrate harder on what you are trying to achieve and brings out the best at time of exposure.

That's the case with this picture of the clouds. This was shot in Cape Town on the Atlantic seaboard of the Peninsula. Here a cold front brought a downturn in the weather and the sky forewarns its approach. These clouds form about a day before the front hits, so I often watch the satellite images to time its arrival.

This place is famous for dramatic sunsets, and the warm late afternoon backlight helps to give the image texture.

Learn more about Martin Osner's work as a Canon Explorer.
For more examples of Martin's portfolio and details of his photography courses visit his website.

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