Olympus Creators | How I Took This Photo – Sea Sparkles & Rule of Thirds

Olympus Pen F This is one of those photos that makes me smile when I look at it, generating a real sense of contentment. I shot it a couple of summers ago on an Algarve beach on the Olympus Pen F with an  Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 lens

Why is it so pleasing to me? A few things! One, I always love to see sea sparkles in a photograph – they just fill me with joy! To get these sparkles slightly blurry, I had the lens aperture open to F2.8 (to be fully  ‘wide open’ on this lens you would be at F1.8 – being at these lower numbers is what creates a shallow depth of field, or the blurry background!). Here I’ve set my focal point on the curve of the woven bag and pair peeking out, as this is what I find most interesting about the image and where I want you to look! I also love the shape of the peach immediately behind, which is starting to blur slightly.

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Two, the picture quite clearly falls into the rule of thirds, a way of dividing an image up in an aesthetically pleasing way – the (rough!) divide starts from the bottom with the bag and fruit, then a strip of sand and then a strip of sea. You can apply the rule of thirds loosely and creatively to an image to create something pleasing to the eye. Practice with simply dividing an image into two-thirds one thing and one-third another – eg. two-thirds beach and one-third sea – to see how much more interesting and enlivening it is visually than just half this and half that!

Finally I just love the colours – again roughly three, an odd number is always more pleasing too! – which, for me, mix well, complementing each other and giving a happy lightness and feeling of care-free freedom to the image!

Settings: my ISO was 200, f-stop 2.8, exposure value 0.7 and shutter speed 1/4000.

This photograph was taken on:

Olympus Pen F with the M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 lens.

Remember you can use my discount code for 20% off – STYLO20 – at checkout on the olympus.co.uk site. Any questions let me know!

See my last How I Took… on sunsets here!

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  1. Wish I was there instead of here on a dreary cloudy cold day. I love the people in the water which are just visible in the bokeh.

  2. Hi there
    I got Olympus EPL9 please could you tell me how can I change my shutter speed.

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