Excerpt for LGBT Erotic Paranormal Romance Searching For the Stripe on Tiger Island (Tiger Shifter Series Book 1) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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LGBT Erotic

Paranormal Romance

Searching For The Stripe

On Tiger Island

Tiger Shifter Series Book 1


Terry Anderson

© 2016

Table of Contents

Chapter One:

Chapter Two:

Chapter Three:

Chapter Four:

Chapter Five:

Chapter Six:

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Chapter One

James was finally here. It seemed like all of his troubles had melted away as soon as he was on the vacation of his dreams. Many people dreamed of going to Paris, to Italy, to Germany, but he wanted to see Thailand. It had natural beauty, and to him it was better than any island resort. It was something that he had wanted more than anything in the world; to just lie back and relax. The problem was, it seemed to be very lonely.

It was much more lonely than he had expected it would be. He was sexually frustrated and still frustrated from his job. He didn’t want to start his vacation like this, but he wanted to do something. There was a lush jungle out there, and they said there were paths near the resort that he could explore. There were even groups that went out during the day, but James didn’t want to go with other people. He wanted to go by himself, find things for himself. It was all about exploring.

He got dressed in a tank top that showed off his muscles, with some shorts that would help him to move, and James knew that they did well for his ass also, making it seem shapely. With a smile on his face he started out.

He knew as soon as he got onto the path that the sandals he had chosen might not have been the best option. They were hard and kept kicking up dirt. It frustrated him, and he certainly underestimated the humidity that would be in a jungle vacation. All he could be thankful for was that his hair curled when it got sweaty, and he had put on enough scent to know that he didn’t smell too bad.

Of course, he knew it was probably the scent that was actually causing the bugs to bite him. The trek was beautiful, and yet at the same time it was miserable. He had brought a little food, hoping to have a snack in the wild while he enjoyed the natural Thailand atmosphere, but he just ended up shaking his head. It wasn’t exactly his dream vacation so far.

He wondered if he’d see more beauty in the area if he actually had someone to share it with, and that’s when he heard something behind him. It startled him. When James looked back, he couldn’t see anyone, but he felt someone nearby. It made his heart start to pound, and he looked around frantically, remembering that there were many things out here that wouldn’t be good to run into, but then a man stepped out of the foliage, and he was a hunk.

He didn’t have a shirt on, but he had pants that hung low on his well-tanned hips, with a six-pack that was more chiseled than James could have imagined. His heart was still thudding, but now it was for a different reason. He could feel a wet sweat gathering between his thighs, and he knew that this man was breath-taking. The only thing he worried about was why the guy was out here, and shirtless to boot. There had to be a reason, but he couldn’t think what it could be.

James quirked a brow at him, and his smile never faltered. The man looked him up and down, and James felt like he was looking through him, or at least through his clothes. It made him blush, and what the guy said next answered his question about whether he could speak English.

“Hello. You’re out rather deep. You’ve been off the main path for a while. Are you lost?” he said, and that’s when James realized that the dirt path beneath him didn’t seem to be there anymore. Instead he had wandered deep into the jungle without even realizing that he had taken a wrong turn. His heart was pounding, and his head spun. He could have been lost out here, and James cursed himself for being so stupid.

“I’m glad you found me,” he said, and it came out more like a whisper. He didn’t know who this man was, and that scared him a bit, but he really was a life saver. And besides, he was utterly handsome! Being in the jungle at night would be hard to survive, and something caught in

“You would have been fine,” he said, and that smile never left his face, but the man cocked his head at him. James couldn’t help but to laugh at the idea. He’d never be able to survive in the forest.

“No, I would have been dead.” He laughed a little as he said it. It was ridiculous to think that he would have gotten back on his own. The man stepped closer to him, and James saw that he was barefoot, which puzzled him even more.

“You have a fire in you. I know you would have been fine,” the man said, and smiled at him, as if there was nothing in the world he believed more. James’ heart began pounding again, but for a different reason.

The man was handsome, and the way he looked at him made his heart leap from his chest. There was a part of him, the one that seemed to purely be lust and sexual frustration, that wanted to reach out and have this man hold him to his tight, chiseled chest. James tried to shake the thought away, knowing it couldn’t be healthy. He tried to remind himself that this was a stranger, but it was hard when he was looking at him like that.

“I’m James,” he said, almost breathlessly, and his own tone made him blush. The man chuckled again.

“Raul. My name is Raul,” the man said, eyes gazing over James. There was something about this man James, that set him on edge. Every part of him, including his inner beast, seemed to want to push him against a tree and claim him, but he tensed to stop himself. There was the thought of kissing him, biting his lip, clawing down his back that made Raul want to think of nothing else, but this foreigner was not his. This was something that Raul always had a hard time remembering when he ran into a foreigner here. It was like time had stopped between them.

Chapter Two

“You really are far from the path,” Raul said softly, huskily. It sent a shiver through James. The attraction he felt toward this man was something he was having a hard time denying to himself, and he couldn’t help but to blush.

James could imagine his hands clawing at his back as he pushed him against a tree and kissed him. Kissed his neck. Kissed his chest and even lower. The blush only deepened at his own thoughts. It was like electricity was filling the air between them.

“It’s late,” Raul said as he looked at the sinking sun.

“You should head back. I can take you to the path.” James nodded at his words. They were kind, and something he appreciated. He meant it when he said that he wouldn’t have survived the night. He ached for the soft bed and comfort of his luxury resort. He reminded himself that he could have met an awful fate with some beast out here, but he could also look at Raul and wonder just what fate he could have met in his arms. They walked in silence for quite some time before the path came up again.

“You can get back before dark if you hurry,” Raul said, and his breath was right there. He was standing so close to him that James could feel the heat radiating from his body. James was far too aware of his own heat radiating between his legs, leaving a light sweat seeping through his bikini briefs, threatening to make his knees too weak to walk on, as thoughts ran through his mind without hesitation.

“Thank you,” James said, and Raul responded to his voice, tensing again. It was the voice of an archangel to him. It seemed purred out. It was beautiful, soft, and hesitant. He wanted to reach out and claim him, but he stopped himself.

He watched as James walked down the path some and reminded himself that this man was not of his kind and could never be. Just as Raul was about to turn around and disappear into the jungle which he called home, James turned around. There was a question on his face, but it seemed like James was having a hard time forming the words that he was thinking.

“Will I see you again?” he finally said softly, unable to find any other words. Raul knew he should growl at him. Tell him no. Tell him that he would be leaving the area, but there was a part of him that couldn’t say those words, and it wasn’t just his cock that was hardening in his pants.

“Yes. Tomorrow. On this path. At noon,” he said, and with that he turned away refusing to look back. It was James’ turn to look at him retreating before turning away to actually walk back himself. He didn’t know what to say. It seemed like they were both all too aware of the distance that was between them. Breathless, he found his way back to the resort. He made his way to his room, and he ordered room service.

He knew it was just a vacation, but something about it seemed different than this morning. There was something that ached in his chest, and the light sweat between his thighs couldn’t be wished away. Not that he wanted it to go away. After eating, he still couldn’t get those dark mysterious eyes out of his mind. They haunted him every time he blinked or closed his eyes for a moment.

The sun was far below the horizon, and the moon was starting to rise. He wanted to race back to the path despite the danger that the jungle posed, but he couldn’t do it. There was something about it that wouldn’t let him. He knew that Raul wouldn’t be there until noon no matter how much he called out. All he could do was to hope that he’d be there tomorrow like he said. James tried to go to bed, but his clothes seemed too restrictive.

They seemed too tight. He eventually shed them, left them on the floor and opened the window to let the cool but humid night air in, to caress his skin. He fell asleep with those eyes in his mind and a moan just escaping his lips. His fingers had found their way to his sensitive cock and the sweat around his balls.

He thought about all of the things he wished Raul had done. The thing he wished would still happen, and with soft moans escaping his lips, he started to fall to sleep. All he could remember were those eyes and that something lay beneath them. It was something different from the men that he had seen before. It was something dangerous, and he wanted that danger more than he knew.

Chapter Three

It was late in the morning when he woke up, and there was still an ache between his legs. He had found no release. He went to the bathroom after slamming the window shut. James tried to sink into the water in the bathtub, hoping to be found looking a little fresher today.

He put on a jasmine scent, and an outfit that was both breezy and sexy. He felt naughty, so he decided to skip his briefs. He looked at the clock, and realized that he’d soon be late. He hadn’t even eaten yet, but James didn’t care. All he cared about was seeing that man again—the man who had haunted his dreams all night—and that’s exactly what he was about to do. He started out to see him, and soon found himself on the path. He didn’t know when to stop, but he eventually fell, after having tripped on a root.

James felt everything fall out from under him, and his breath was taken away as he finally rolled down the hill and slammed into a tree. He could feel the cuts on his arms and legs, and the scrapes on his hand. It caused him to cry out, and what caused him to cry out even more was the giant snake that seemed to drop down from the tree. It was watching him, and he had no idea what to do.

He shook. He couldn’t believe his bad luck. To die here. As if it wasn’t bad enough that Raul probably wouldn’t be there. It would be just his luck to die on vacation. He never expected the roar to split the air and in a flash, there was a tiger that ran by him. A snake hung from its mouth. James’ mouth nearly fell open, and he shook even harder.

He wasn’t sure which he was scared of more. The tiger surely didn’t comfort him, but when he looked at its eyes he didn’t realize why it wasn’t attacking. There was intelligence behind those eyes, and the way it looked at him was more like it was looking through him. James closed his eyes, and leaned his head against the tree praying it would go away or that he wouldn’t see whatever horrible fate that was coming his way.

Instead he heard a roar and a groan combination that made him open his eyes. The dead snake lay on the ground, and the tiger that had been there moments before seemed to be blurring. It was like it was shifting. He pressed himself closer to the tree, watching intently, unable to comprehend anything that was happening.

That’s when the tiger started to change into the shape of a man, and not just any man. It was the man that he had dreamed about all night, and soon those dark mysterious eyes were staring at him as he got up from all fours. There was still something feral in his gaze, and it scared him in a different way. James was also scared at the way a thrill ran through him.

He wanted to scream. He wanted to run, and yet he wanted to be taken against the tree, right then and there. There was something thrilling and it was equally terrifying. His heart was pounding, and Raul could tell. James was half crouched over, just as the tiger was, and as he got up Raul held his hands up to show him that he meant him no harm. Raul realized now that he had probably ruined any chance of whatever he had hoped for. It made him growl again, but James just shook. However, James did not move. It left Raul puzzled.

“I won’t hurt you” he said finally, breaking the silent tension that was between them. It made James shiver, and he closed his eyes. Just as he was about to turn and run away, hoping he’d forget about him, James opened his eyes again.

“I know.” It was all he said, and it was like a whisper that hung in the air between them. He had no idea what else to say, and this time Raul’s heart stopped. It stuttered.

James didn’t know what he could do, and Raul didn’t know what he should do. This man was not a part of his world, and yet he didn’t run. There was something that James wanted. It was something Raul wanted also. He could now smell James’ arousal and his fear. They mingled together, and the scent that it caused, mixing with the heady scent of jasmine from his body spray, was too much for him. With his reflexes, he was crouched over James in a second.

Chapter Four

Raul’s lips crashed down on his, and there was nothing more for them to say to each other. Every unspoken word of desire was said in that kiss with their lips moving over each other hungrily, and he growled again. Raul bit James’ bottom lip, claiming him as his tongue forced its way into James’ mouth, caressing over his lips, and wrestling with his tongue. His hands were on James, roaming over his shoulders, down his arms, to his shirt as he pulled it over his head and nearly tore it in the process.

The deep, guttural growl that emitted from Raul sent another shiver of excitement through him and he closed his eyes as he moaned into the kiss. James didn’t know if what was happening was real, but he was beyond caring. Raul’s naked form was pressed into him, and he started to unbutton his pants, as if he couldn’t wait any longer either.

There was something between them that wouldn’t be satisfied with his kisses, no matter how good they were and how breathless they made James. It was like everywhere he touched sizzled with unshed passion and desire. James’ eyes met his dark, dangerous ones and Raul’s claws started to sharpen, even in his human form, as he made short work of James’ pants, surprised and happy to see that there was nothing underneath.

His aching cock couldn’t take any more of this teasing, and he spread James’ legs as he leaned against the tree, kneeling before him. James looked at him, and for a moment Raul was able to reel the beast in just long enough to look into his eyes. He couldn’t find the right words to ask permission, but James gave it with a slight nod and a moan of desire.

Raul lined his cock up with his waiting asshole, pushing the head past his sphincter and back as he started to push into him, slowly. Every inch of him was fed into his tight, hot asshole as James cried out, feeling every inch of it as Raul pushed in slowly. James wanted to beg him to take him faster, harder, but his words were gone. His breathing was hitched as Raul started to wrap his arms backwards around him. Raul held him close to his chest, not caring about how his claws dug slightly into him, clawing at his back.

James couldn’t help but to arch up as Raul started to fuck into him. It was too much. His cock was hard, throbbing inside of him, and it curved to hit that spot on his prostate that he felt like no man had ever touched. He felt himself being pulled closer. James wrapped one leg around him, moaning as his back was pressed to his chest. He could feel his own heartbeat and almost swore that he felt Raul’s beating as well.

“Please” he groaned into him, with Raul nipping at his neck, wanting to make him feel as hot as he made him feel. James knew that there would be no next time. There would be no tomorrow, and if it wasn’t for this man that was pumping into him there would be no today.

So instead he tried to grind back against him as he slowly kept pushing in and out of him. All he could hear was a purr that seemed to rumble from Raul’s chest. It seemed to vibrate through him, and pushed him even closer to the edge. He knew of the beast that lay right under that skin.

He knew of the animal that was now taking over the man he had been as attracted to as he felt the claws dig into his back as he pushed into him, marking him. James had never wanted anything so badly in his life. He was starting to move his hips, meeting every thrust. It was too much as he groaned. James got an idea as he pushed Raul onto his back, and Raul, in his surprise, let him do so.

James’ knees were on either side of him as he straddled him, with Raul’s cock still deep in his asshole, throbbing hard. He could feel his heartbeat as it throbbed inside of his asshole, and he grinned down at the man. James’ hands were now on Raul’s chest, clawing his own way down his chiseled features as he started to lift up and down on Raul’s cock. James lifted up until he could barely feel the tip of his cock in him before slamming back down, grinding down at his hips when their bodies met.

James wanted every inch of Raul inside of him. Raul’s eyes fluttered closed as his claws dug up the earth around him as he tried to relax, letting James take the lead like no man of his kind ever would. James rode him, grinding and moaning in ways he’d never heard before. He could tell that he was enjoying every inch of him, and he started to thrust back into him every time he came down on him. He groaned, but that groan turned into another guttural, husky growl as the animal inside of him protested at his lack of control, and despite the fact that he was enjoying every moment of it, Raul could take no more.

Chapter Five

Instead he pushed James up. He was on his knees with James’ legs wrapped around him before James even knew what was happening. His head was spinning as Raul gripped him tighter with his legs, and he fucked into him deeply. It seemed like he was even deeper than before, and his arms wrapped around James again, holding him to his chest.

“You want this,” Raul growled into his ear, and then started purring again as he nodded, kissing his shoulder. He licked the spot that he had nipped, as if nothing about him bothered him at all.

The way James’ tongue danced over his flesh made another growl force its way out and he had James on his back before he even knew what happened. He peeled his arms away from him, holding them above his head as he took him like the animal that he was. He started to fuck him harder, faster, but no less deeply. He made sure to pull out to where just the head of his cock was in his tight asshole before pushing back in, fast and hard, until his balls slapped against James’ ass cheeks, and he growled with each push.

Each sound he made pushed him closer to the edge as his legs tightened around James’ hips and his grip tightened on James’ wrists. It was almost bruising, and James could feel the claw marks that still marked his back, marked him as Raul’s. He wanted to be his, but there was something about this passionate, rough session that told him it could never be.

He refused to hold onto that thought as Raul pushed faster into him with no abandon. He could hear that animal inside of Raul, clawing to get out. The image of the tiger that had saved his life was flashing before his eyes, but the man that was pushing into him was also the man who had led him back to safety. James started to climax, clenching and spasming around him as his name spilled from his lips, filling the air with his screams of pleasure in that one word.

It made Raul growl out, a roar that filled the air as he started to fill James, pushing all the way into him. He could feel him clench and unclench around him, tightening more than he thought that he could as he groaned, his hot seed filling him and spilling onto his thighs as they both lay there panting. He was still over him, but every muscle in him had relaxed, and Raul had relaxed his grip on his wrists, which grip had been so tight, he was regrettably sure it would leave a bruise.

He looked at the beauty under him, and cursed that he would never truly be his. Not like he wanted. Not like the tiger in him wanted, and he started to slowly pull his softening cock out of his wet, warm asshole before sitting up against the tree as he looked at him. James lay there, dazed, satisfied and finally fulfilled. There was excitement and bliss coursing through him, and Raul felt the same.

For a while they sat in silence, both recovering from the orgasm that they had shared just moments before. James didn’t know how long they had sat there, but the bliss that they had shared started to wane, and Raul looked at him. James finally sat up, looking at the man named Raul.

James knew that no matter how impossible it seemed that he had just been fucked by a man who could shift into a tiger, there was a part of him that wanted to laugh, but it was no laughing matter. There was a beast inside the man he was looking at, and the chemistry between them was undeniable, but it also hit him that it was impossible.

They couldn’t find any words between them, and Raul got up first. He held his hand out to James, who took it hesitantly as he started to get up. His knees shook, protesting moving so soon after such a relaxing bliss that had settled through him, but he made his legs straighten. He knew that he needed to do so, but he didn’t know why.

James looked into his eyes, and there was an anger and sorrow there mixing with the arousal. It mimicked the ache in Raul’s heart, but this was James. From a different world. From a different species. From a different country at the very least, and as they started to gather his clothes, Raul was gentle, helping him to save what wasn’t ripped and looked presentable. James smoothed his hair down, looking at Raul. He didn’t have any pants to put on, and James could see that his cock was already stirring back to life.

Chapter Six

James wanted to do something about it, but something seemed wrong between them. It wasn’t that there wasn’t passion there. This was his vacation, and he had hoped for a romance, but he had hoped for one that wouldn’t steal his breath like this. One that wouldn’t make his heart ache as much as the spot between his legs as they started to walk back to the path.

It was when they found the main path and Raul helped James to navigate back up that hill, getting close to the resort, that they stood, pausing. They both looked at each other again, and James could swear that there was longing in his eyes. He also knew that it was mimicked in his own eyes.

“Will I see you again?” he said, looking at Raul, but Raul just shook his head.

“No.” He said. The word came out more forcefully than Raul had wanted it to, and it was more hurtful than James had realized. He could see his cock starting to throb as he looked at him, and James knew that as soon as he turned down that path, he wouldn’t be able to turn back.

The moment his back was turned, this man that sparked such heat inside of him would be gone. The marks on his back would eventually fade, and it would seem like a dream that was too impossible to be true. He knew that Raul must ache as much as he did, by the way he looked at him, ignoring his arousal as he had gotten him back up, ready to go to the resort.

There was a part of James that just couldn’t leave yet. He didn’t say a word as he faced Raul and sunk to his knees. His hand wrapped around the base of Raul’s cock. He started to stroke him up and down, and he groaned, looking at him questioningly. This man must know it could never work, and yet he wasn’t going to leave him yet.

James wanted a few more moments of passion and to make sure that Raul understood the passion that still burned through him despite their recent mutual orgasm. James didn’t know if it was more than mere lust or the fact that he had saved his life, but he didn’t want it to end. James wasn’t going to let it end just yet. He took the head of Raul’s cock into his mouth.

James started to suck and lick at the head. His tongue danced around the tip of his cock, teasing the underside of the head as Raul purred, wrapping his hand in his hair, pulling him harder onto his cock. James started to take it inch by inch, tasting his cum on the flesh as he licked and sucked on him. He moaned around him as he pulled his hair, causing him to throb.

James didn’t care if anyone saw, and he knew he was too far from the resort still for it to be likely. He started to suck on him, bobbing up and down on his cock. Raul couldn’t help himself as the beast inside of him clawed to the surface again, starting to pull him up and down on his cock by his hair as he groaned and gagged when he forced his way into his throat.

James groaned and moaned around him, setting fire to his desires and making that roar pierce the air again as he throbbed harder. With each moan, Raul pushed him further, made him wilder, as he fucked into his mouth with no abandon, and James was starting to sweat all over again.

Soon, Raul exploded into his mouth. He swallowed every drop of it, and as Raul slid his cock, softening once more, out of his mouth, James looked at him. There was that fire he had seen between them on that first day, in his eyes.

“Tomorrow. At noon.” James said, as he turned away, going back to the resort, and despite his defiance and his tone, he only hoped that Raul would show. They could sort everything out later, but this was his vacation.

It would be as magical, raw, and terrifying as he wanted it to be. Raul watched the man walk away, and he was split on coming back. Rationally, he knew he shouldn’t, but the beast inside of him had already made up his mind. As he transformed back, he knew just as sure as he was returning to his kind, he’d be back tomorrow at noon.


More About Terry Anderson

This is the last book in this series, so it completes the boxed set. But you can find information about our other books in the following pages, or you may click on this link to go to our website with links to order other books. (The following pages were set into a .jpg file so any links on those pages are not active, and cannot be copied and pasted, though they can, of course, be manually entered.)

Find our website at: http://www.terryandersonauthor.weebly.com

Visit our friends at Crossroads Publishing of Florida, who publish mostly non-fiction how-to books, at their website, at: http://www.cpubfl.com

Terry Anderson is a modern person, very private, who identifies as a male but is pretty much pansexual. Terry rides a small motorcycle, and drives a compact pickup truck, gardens, does home repairs and vehicle repairs, and is looking into going solar. Terry was educated at a well-known private school, and dropped out of college because he just couldn’t get into it. Terry has been writing for small publications and websites for about a decade, and has recently decided to write erotica. There will be revisions of these same story lines for those who prefer other casts of characters, such as straight with a dominant female, and perhaps straight with a dominant male, and there will likely be lesbian versions as well, all somewhere hopefully within the next year.



John Waaser was the perfect person to write this book. As a student, both at Mount Hermon School for Boys and at Northeastern University, where he studied Mechanical Engineering, he was elected Vice-President of the camera club for two years running, four years total, where his principal duties consisted of coming up with the topic for each meeting, and securing the educational material for that topic from top companies such as Eastman Kodak and Ansco. It also fell to him to find someone to proctor the discussion, which about half of the time, he did himself. He later became a freelance photojournalist, and for two decades, he principally photographed motorcycle races, and other motorsports-related activities, including an occasional road test and other features. As a journalist, he showed an ability to take a highly technical subject and break it down so that ordinary people without a technical background could understand it. He took any number of portraits of up-and-coming racers as well. He did a few portfolios for models, and he photographed a few weddings. He spent about a year as assistant editor of a biweekly tabloid newspaper, where he wrote copy, took photos, set advertising, and laid out the pages. He owned Adpho Graphics, a photo studio and advertising agency, in the early 1970s. His personal hobby has long been night-time available light photography outdoors, where he frequently hand-held exposures of up to 30 seconds. He had his own photo lab at one point, where he processed film and prints including both black-and-white, and color negatives, and color transparencies (slides) as well. He constructed a film dryer and an enlarger stand with variable height easel shelf, and published articles and photos of their construction in “Popular Photography” Magazine. For several years, he was listed on the masthead of “Cycle World” Magazine as their Eastern US Contributing Editor. He has owned a computer store, and has owned digital cameras since they had VGA resolution or less. He now owns an Olympus E-PL1 camera with two lenses, and carries several phones and/or tablets at all times. He also taught an adult education second-year photography course at a local community college for two semesters, while one of their regular professors was on a sabbatical.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: General Discussion

Chapter 2: What is the relative size of the subject?

Chapter 3: Location for the shoot

Chapter 4: Subject location within the photo

Chapter 5: Lighting

Chapter 6: Background

Chapter 7: Foreground

Chapter 8: Viewpoint

Chapter 9: Color

Chapter 10: Special Considerations for Portraits

Chapter 11: Fireworks!


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Chapter 1: General Discussion

I felt it important to discuss composition before even telling you how to operate your camera. For one thing, the owner’s manual for the camera has more specific information in that regard, and you should consult that and practice using the camera until you are quite used to the functions of that particular camera. But the biggest reason why I thought composition was the most important first lesson, is that a technically perfect photo that lacks good composition is of no interest to anyone. I have sold photos for good money, that were lacking in technical perfection. I once sent a 120 roll-film transparency to “Cycle” Magazine, without magnifying it to see if it was perfectly sharp. They loved that photo, and ran it as a full-page inside color photo. When I saw it in the magazine, I was shocked. It was blurred very badly, possibly due to focus, maybe camera shake, or a combination of factors. I was absolutely ashamed to see that photo in print, yet they probably gave me about $300 for it (they paid ASMP—American Society of Magazine Photographers—rates, which were quite high, much higher than I was used to getting.) I questioned why that photo was run as a full-page photo, and they said that they loved the fact that three riders going around a tight 180-degree downhill curve at Bryar Motorsports Park in Loudon, New Hampshire, looking like they were stacked one on top of another, was unusual, and they just loved the photo, and thought it was deserving of full-page status in spite of its technical faults. There could be all kinds of reasons for technical problems, but when a shot is one-of-a-kind in terms of composition, and all of the elements come together perfectly, technical perfection is not an issue. People will love it. That is why composition is the first lesson in this photography course.

And composition covers any number of areas. The subject and how it is posed, is one big one, but the foreground and background, the lighting, and the color balance all enter into it. What leads the eye to the subject? What separates the subject from the background and the foreground? Is the lighting good? Is the subject at the best angle? Do shadows, or blocked up highlights, detract from the overall view of the subject? Is there a bunch of unimportant flotsam and jetsam around the subject to detract from it? The perfect photo must be carefully staged. A few small things might not detract too much, even though some will notice them. Case in point: the cover photo of this book. I should have stepped a little to the right, to center the sun into the dip in the tree line at that point. I did not notice that in the screen on the back of the camera while shooting, but I sure did notice it in the finished picture, when I blew it up. But that’s not a really major problem, and I was able to select the sun color to brush over the few twigs that were in front of the sun, and you would never know that they were there. I used a free app (well, I paid for the pro version, but you can certainly start with the free one) on my Android tablet to do that. The app I used was Photo Suite by Mobi Systems, who also make OfficeSuite and File Commander, both of which I have loaded in all of my Android devices. And I cropped the picture (using the tools in Microsoft Publisher, a free download when you run Office 365), and made some other changes that brought the sun to the center of the photo, even though the subject should ideally be one-third of the distance from the two closest edges for a balanced image. But I was more concerned with the cloud formation at the top, and I wanted it to frame the photograph, coming down the sides the same amount on either side. So I lived with the sun in the center. These are choices you sometimes have to make. I had dozens of photos of that sunset, and this was the most appealing one, to me. So I went with it, and lived with the minor faults that existed or that I created, in cropping it. It’s also closer to the bottom than one-third up, but it’s close enough, and I wanted enough dark cloud up at the top to permit me to use white lettering. I had plenty of dark area at the bottom. I still have had numerous comments about how much people liked the photo on the cover. I have noticed that when shooting sunsets, where you point the camera is important, in determining the exposure. Your camera will have a way to set the exposure from the meter, to give you the best image, and then move the camera to get more foreground or background into the image. Usually this involves simply holding the shutter release partway down, short of actually tripping the shutter.

Composition is composed of many areas of concern. There is the position of the subject, the position within the photo itself; whether the subject is leading you to something else within the photo, or to someplace outside of the photo; lighting; shadows; color values; and a number of other things, which we will go into shortly. The more technical ends of photography will be saved for future books in the series.

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