Canon EOS 7D Mark II For Dummies
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It’s important to have a reason for taking a photograph with your Canon EOS 7D Mark II. If the subject matter intrigues you, you’ll create a good image. If you force yourself to take pictures of things that are not of interest to you, your heart won’t be in it. You can create technically perfect images of anything, but if your heart is not in it, they won’t be images that move the soul, tell a story, or convey a message.

You can convey a mood with every photograph you take. When you see subject matter that piques your curiosity, something you want to take a picture of, look and find the core of what caused you to stop.

The simple act of keenly observing the subject matter will tell you the message you want to convey with your image. Perhaps your goal is to create a picture that portrays the beauty of a breathtaking landscape, or perhaps you want to portray a somber mood if the weather is stormy or overcast.

Another mood you can convey is power when photographing a bird of prey or a thundering waterfall. Images captured during the “Golden Hour” (the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset) can portray a calm, peaceful feeling. Photograph an area on a cloudy day and you can create images that portray a somber beauty.

Light and shadow

There are a number of ways you can portray a mood when you create a photograph. The most obvious way is with light and shadow. A bright image conveys a bright, positive mood, whereas an image with a lot of dark colors can portray a serene or somber mood. The mood you portray also depends on how you assemble the elements in the frame to tell your story.


Color is another powerful way you can portray a mood with your photography. Bright warm colors signify joy and serenity. Bright colors like red signify power. Pinks and pastel colors can portray romance or love. Blues and greens portray peaceful, serene moods. Sometimes it makes sense to strip all of the color from an image to create a compelling black-and-white image where the tones get your message across.

Subject matter

The subject you photograph can portray mood or emotion as well. Colorful flowers send a message of love and romance. A beautiful landscape photographed to perfection makes people wish they were there. Waterfalls portray power if you shoot them with a fast shutter speed and stop all action. Or you can shoot them with a slow shutter speed, which shows the water as a silky mist and portrays a peaceful, easy feeling.


The aperture is also part of the equation when you want to portray a mood. Larger apertures (small f-stop values) give you a shallow depth of field and draw the viewer’s attention to the subject. A shallow depth of field can also give the image a dreamier look.

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Doug Sahlin operates a professional photography business specializing in event and portrait photography. He's shared his expertise on photo topics in Canon EOS 7D For Dummies and Canon EOS 6D For Dummies.

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