Friday, 6 April 2012

learn photography

If you've mastered the basics of framing, shooting, and taking a photograph, try taking it further. Make it a hobby, or maybe even a career, rather than taking the usual holiday, pet, and kid snapshots. It is time to start making stunning, rather than simply passable, photographs.                                                                                                                                
1) Learn the basics, if you haven't already. Basics of photography include composition, which is essentially the placing of a subject within the frame of a photograph, lighting, and the basic workings of your camera. See How to Take Better Photographs for some introductory material.
Develop Your Photography Skills
Sometimes, a great photo opportunity will present itself to you, so be ready...2) Be ready. At least half of the time, the difference between a great photograph and a mediocre one is being in the right place at the right time, with a camera in your hand. Carry your camera with you as often as you can. Make sure to use your camera often, too. Just carrying it around does no good.
...but being there is just as important as being ready.
3) Be there. Being "ready" is not enough. As Ken Rockwell says of his early experience,

Did you catch the spoiler word in my logic, "anything that presented itself?" I was a spectator. I thought that photography involved taking pictures of things that came along. NO! You have to get out there and find things. Finding and seeing are the hard part...[t]aking a picture of what you find is the trivial part.

So get up, get out there and take photographs. Go out at every time of day, every day, and look for things. Don't wait for the right opportunity to come along (but be prepared if it does!); go out and find them. Look for opportunities everywhere you go (whether you're at the mall or on the other side of the world), and go to places to look for opportunities. If you can see something in your mind, chances are you can set it up and shoot it!                                                                                                                                                        
  1. Look for colour...
  2. Look for colour...                                                               

Look for colours. Or do the opposite: look for a total absence of colour, or shoot in black-and-white.

  • ..and repetition...
    Look for repetition and rhythm. Or do the opposite, and look for something completely isolated from the things around it.
  • ..and light...
    ..and light...
    Look for lighting, and the lack of such. Take photographs of shadows, or of reflections, or of light streaming through something, or of things in total darkness.
  • ...and emotion, and gesture...
    ...and emotion, and gesture...
    Look for emotion and gesture if you're photographing people. Do they show happiness? Mischievousness? Sadness? Do they look thoughtful? Or do they just look like another person mildly annoyed to have a camera pointed at them?
  • ...and texture...
    ...and texture...
    Look for texture, forms, and patterns. Great black-and-white photographs are stunning because black-and-white forces the photographer to look for these things.    
  • ...and contrasts.
    ...and contrasts.
    Look for contrasts. Look for something that stands out from the rest of the shot. In your composition, use the wide end of your zoom (or a wide-angle lens) and get closer and make it so. Look for contrasts of all the things above: colour amid dullness, light among darkness, and so on. If you're photographing people, try putting (or finding) your subject in a context in which they stand out. Look for happiness in unexpected places. Look for a person in a surrounding in which they appear out-of-place. Or ignore this and take them completely away from their context by opening your lens all the way to blur the background. In short...
  • Texture, colour, and shape together. Not a subject.
    Texture, colour, and shape together. Not a subject.
    Look for anything that will hold a viewer's interest which isn't a traditional "subject". As you find your niche, you'll probably find that you end up going back to taking photographs of subjects again. This is fine. Looking for things which aren't subjects will improve your photography no end—you'll soon see a different world altogether.
          Show the best of your work to other people. Which is to say, find the best of your work       and show only that to other people. Even the greatest photographers don't take superb shots every single time; they're just very selective about what they show to others.
  • If you don't think it's a great shot, then don't show it to others.
    If you don't think it's a great shot, then don't show it to others.
    Be brutal about it. If they're not great shots to you, then never show them. Your standards will increase over time, and even the ones you might have once thought were passable will probably look pretty lame to you a few months down the line. If this means that all you had for a day's worth of shooting was one or two photos, then that's okay. In fact, it probably means you're being just harsh enough.
  • You're looking at a thumbnail of this right now.
    You're looking at a thumbnail of this right now.
    Don't look at images full size. Ken points out that the most important parts of an image are those that can be seen when the picture is seen at thumbnail size. There are people out there who will pick at flaws they can only see in 100% crops of your photos. That's okay, because they aren't really worth listening to. Feel free to pass over anything that doesn't look great when it takes up a quarter of your screen (or less).                                TIPS                                           
    • Give yourself a tutorial. If you own a camera and have its manual, read the manual and play with the options as you read. Read in a place where you will not be distracted.
    • Buy a modern book on photography. Save money and buy a used book as long as it is relatively current. Sample and look at many photography books before buying. Also, look at a variety of magazines (music, people, homes, gardens, architecture, babies - whatever interests you). How do the pictures look? What are the photographers doing?
    • Make a concentrated effort to make every shot count. Typically, one shot in twenty might be a keeper, one in one hundred is good, one in a thousand is a "Wow" photo, and if you are lucky, you might get the shot of a lifetime over your life that everyone can appreciate.
    • Maybe your dad or a photographer friend has a redundant film SLR kicking around?
      Don't have a camera? Borrow one until you can buy one. Having your own camera will be an immense help.                                                                                                              

  • How to Write a Photography Critique
  • How to Take Better Photographs
  • How to Photograph Motor Racing
  • How to Take Portrait Photographs
  • How to Take Better Pictures of People for Free            CLICK HERE
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