The Eye of the Beholder

Legendary photographer Ansel Adams said, “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”

Your creative streak has gotten stronger, and you’ve decided photography is the way for you to express your creativity. That’s great. Let us offer you some tips and advice.

Think of Adams’ statement and remember this: You’ll always be the most important component in this equation: good photographer + good photographic device = good photo.

Before you go out and spend your hard- earned money. Think of this. If you buy a race car, this makes you a race car owner not a race car driver. Same principle with a camera, if you buy a camera you are a camera owner not a photographer.

With the advent of modern technology, your mobile device could be your first tool in the path of earning that title of “photographer.” Amazing results can be had with a phone camera as long as you take the time to think before pressing that button.

If once you’ve dipped your toes into the ocean- size pool of all- things photography and you’ve become smitten by the photo bug. Then is time to buy a camera or better photographic device.

However, no matter what camera you decide upon, it behooves you to familiarize yourself with your new equipment. This can be achieved by practice and experimentation. Eventually, you’ll get a feel for what your camera can and cannot do.

“First there was a mountain, then there was no mountain and now there is a mountain”.
– Zen proverb

When we first approach any new field of study. Especially, one such as photography. It might seem as if there’s no end in sight to all the things we need to learn. But as we become more familiar and comfortable with all the elements, rules and theories; we’ll eventually start not to notice the parts anymore but instead we’ll once more appreciate photography as a whole once more.

Whenever you bring that camera to your eye think of “making” photos and not simply “taking” photos. Very seldom do great photos simply cross our paths. The more likely scenario is that we are going to have to give these some thought and planning beforehand.

Don’t rely on post processing of filters to achieve your results. Try to make the best photo in situ. The more of a “finished” product we can manage to achieve while on the field, the less time we’ll have to spend in post processing; ergo, the more time we’ll get to be out on the field making photos.

Practice makes perfect. We shouldn’t have to wait for “great” opportunities to practice our photo- making skills. Instead, we ought to shoot anything and everything that crosses our path regardless of how mundane that subject might be. This will prepare us and help us to know what to do when those great photo opportunities do end up happening in front of our lenses.

Shoot the cliche photos: Even if we’ve seen a photo before, we need to get it out of our system. A cliche is not a cliche until we get it out of your system. Once done, then we ought go back and shoot the same situations but put this time. We need to make sure, we put thought into the matter. At the end we ought ask ourselves: How can I show this situation, person or place in a completely new and different way?

Make photos that stand out: The worst thing that can happen to a photographer is to have their work ignored. Remember all we truly want is to enjoy the photo- making process. And if we get lucky our work will eventually get noticed and recognized.

The only way you are going to get better in your photography is by making photos. Remember the word“photographing” is a verb and as such it requires an action.

Every photo-making situation carries its own set of rules. Sometimes the rule is: no rules. The rule of third does not always apply. The rule of not putting your subject in the middle of the frame does not apply to every photo. Every photo has its own merits and we should approach this situations with that in mind.

Try new things. New angles, new approaches, new subjects, new lighting techniques. But most important of all: Don’t forget to have fun while making photos. Remain curious and find your kind of beauty for as we well know. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

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