What makes a good photo?
Taru - It’s fascinating to learn about some of the different techniques you use to create new images. I really like your ‘Blue moment’ picture – it’s very atmospheric. Looking at it I can almost feel the cold and the silence. Beautiful!
It seems to me that photography, like any art form, is very subjective. What is, for one person, a great photo, will leave somebody else cold. I use Photoshop Elements as I find I can do most of what I need with that basic version. It’s not very original, but for me the most satisfying photographs I take are the ones which require very little or no post-processing. I shoot pictures on Manual mode with my digital SLR, so it’s quite easy to get the exposure or aperture settings wrong. The closer I get to a good shot at the time of shooting, the happier I am. Having said that, I also like playing around with Photoshop and experimenting with different effects. It’s nice to use a dull picture or even a small section of a picture to try to create something different and original. The picture at the top is from a really dreary picture I took a while ago when I visited the Eden Project in Cornwall.
You write well about your experience and development in photography – use of verb tenses is accurate, there’s a good range of subject specific vocabulary. As usual, I want to highlight a few areas in which you could improve.
I’m going to set you, and our fellow members of the blogosphere, a little quiz based on your post. See how many of these questions you can answer:
1. Look at the first paragraph of Taru’s post ‘Processing photos’. Find one mistake with a preposition.
2. In the first paragraph, how could you change ‘on resent days’?
3. Can you find a spelling mistake in line 5 of the post?
4. Can you write a sentence which keeps the meaning ‘Taken photos presented people, children and nature.’ but which sounds more natural?
5. Can you find a word which means ‘reduce’ or ‘get lower’ which is spelt incorrectly?
6. What preposition normally follows the verb ‘concentrate’?
7. Find the sentence ‘It should be careful with one thing.’ What is ‘it’? How can we rephrase this sentence?
8. What is missing from ‘looking a photo’?
Now scroll down to the final two paragraphs of Taru’s post:
9. What preposition should follow ‘consist….’ (hmmm… haven’t we seen this somewhere before??)
10. What is the correct word order in questions? What is the problem with the questions ‘How they are made?’, ‘What kind of colours they use? Etc.
11. The verb ‘impress’ can add two different endings to create adjectives – what are they and which one would be appropriate in this paragraph?
12. Can you get addicted with something? What’s the correct preposition?
13. ‘there is made a lot of books and web sites’ – How can you rewrite this passive sentence correctly? What should go at the beginning?
As always, thanks for all your comments. It’s a great feeling to read your ideas and points of view from all over the world. It’s funny to read more stories about lions and football – perhaps we’ve stumbled upon an important discovery. Lions like football.
Ana Paola – your writing is really good. Very descriptive. Hope you enjoyed Bloomsday!
Rabail - I'm glad you like the prepositions site. The word 'panoramic' usually describes a view, or landscape. To describe a website you could use the word 'comprehensive' (meaning with a broad range of information and a lot of detail). You asked about the use of contractions such as don't, won't and isn't in formal writing. In general, we tend to avoid using contractions in formal writing although it's fine for less formal writing such as blogs, letters to friends, most email correspondence. Its and it's? Have a look here.
Filippo - I'm glad to meet you too. Glad that some of those words have stuck in your mind. I'm an Arsenal supporter! - in fact, I work about 2 minutes walk from the Emirates stadium. How about you? What's your team in Italy? Do you like any English teams?
Hyoshil - some great expressions in your entry. I always enjoy reading what you have to say. I think remembering 10 words and expressions is pretty good... perhaps you could give YPW from Sweden some tips on how you remember them?! I've noticed that you often include them in your own writing - that's a great way to practise and really helps you to remember them I guess.. Abdisamad, I'm looking forward to your question next time. I know the book you mention and I think it's very good.
Lorial from Bali asks about the word 'having' and how to use it. Having is the present participle (-ing) form of the verb 'have'. Have is a very useful verb, as it can be used as an auxiliary (to help form a verb tense - I have been to Colombia) but also as a main verb 'I am having lunch'. It's important to realise that as a main verb it can be used to describe a state 'I have dark hair' or as an action verb 'My cat is having kittens'. You'll notice that as a state verb the -ing form is not used, so we can't say 'I am having a car'. For more on state verbs, have a look here 'Having' is sometimes used to form a 'perfect participle'. For example (active) 'Having failed his exam, he decided to give up and do something else.' Or (passive) 'Having been told he was no longer needed by the company, he stood up and walked calmly out of the room. He was never seen again...'
Gabija asked about good, not difficult and interesting English books. (but not graded readers). Hmmm. Tricky. A writer I like is Ian McEwan - he wrote Atonement which was made into a film recently. Might be a bit difficult though. Nick Hornby is a writer who shouldn't be too difficult for students. Mark Haddon wrote a book called 'The curious incident of the dog in the night-time' which you could try. Or why not try some short stories? Roald Dahl, for example. One of my favourite books when I was young was 'Danny the Champion of the World' - that's a children's book though.
Meo, I hope this blog can help keep you motivated and won't get your other half down too much!!
In my next post, I'll be returning to the subject of culture, and giving you some vocabulary related to various aspects of culture and life in London.
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