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7 photography tips from the Hobbit

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Whether you took in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey over the holidays or just remember Peter Jackson’s original Lord of the Rings trilogy, one thing that stands out is the incredible photography in the films and how it captures the mysterious essence of Tolkien’s tales.

Though you may not have the advantage of taking pictures in the beautiful scenery of New Zealand, that’s no reason not to take some tips away from the movies with a little guidance provided by Digital Photography School.

1. Dramatic Lighting

You will notice that in the majority of good portraiture, dramatic lighting is often a key element. It’s not too often you’ll find ‘flat’ lighting in a great picture (not to say it can’t be done however). It will either result in the lighting that appears directly on the person or dramatic lighting between the subject and the foreground or background. For example, in the images of Bilbo and Thorin Oakenshield, there is dramatic, directional lighting on their faces. There are many ways that dramatic lighting can manifest itself or be achieved.

2. Deep Blacks and Good Highlights

You may also notice in images created by someone who knows how to process their images, they’ll have excellent tonal range. The images from The Hobbit capitalize on this. Proper images have some deep blacks and some highlights as well. This is also another way to avoid having your image appear ‘flat.’ It doesn’t necessarily have to be a great deal of each, just so long as you’re touching on both ends of the spectrum. Some photographers like to use filters or they have a style of slightly muting everything which minimizes tonal range. This is fine. There are times when the photographer can make a decision not to have a high contrast image. They still produce a great image, however this style is to be intentional and purposeful.

Full story at Digital Photography School.

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Photo credit: Fotolia

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