How To Be Happy With Your Photos

7 Building Blocks of Photography 2

It's tempting to believe that exciting photos will lead us to being happy and fulfilled as photographers. But in reality it's the other way round.

Consider that being happy with our photos for the level we are at right now, will lead us to take the great photos we all crave. 

The place to begin being happy with our photography is to give up expecting to shoot fabulous images.

Have you taken leave of your senses Browne?

Yes, I know it's sounds mad but please bear with me. This is about not being disappointed with our work because that leads to despondency or possibly giving up photography completely.

I'm not for a moment telling you to be complacent and simply accept that the images you shoot are all you can hope for. I'm telling you to be honest and realistic with yourself about your skill level right this moment.

We all have expectations about how our images 'should' look. How bright and happy, moody and dark, or evocative. We know it should have been beautiful and we should be excited to have taken it. When those expectations aren't met we feel upset, let down and often blame our expensive cameras and lenses for not working properly. "This lot cost a fortune so why doesn't it take great photos?"

These massive and unrealistic expectations are helped along by camera makes all suggesting that if we buy their camera, bit of new gadgetry or whatever, then our images will be like the ones in the adverts. What you don't see is the budget for a highly skilled photographer, lighting, models, location etc spent to achieve the image with that particular bit of kit.

A photographer I know very well recently shot some video for a well known brand to promote the video capabilities of one of their cameras. The final advert will probably feature a few seconds of what was a four day shoot involving a crew of five people.

Photography is a big subject. A photographer has to be creative and able to translate their creativity into technical ability in order to capture the images. That's not something that can be learnt in a few days or by watching videos with a coffee. 

Musicians, artists, engineers, racing drivers, chefs and anyone else with a high skill level will have taken time to reach their individual level. So be realistic about how much time you have tacken to reach yours. How much practice have you done? How often do you do it? How many courses have you been on?

So I urge you to be a little kinder to yourselves and consider that what you're doing right now is what you're doing right now. If you're starting out set realistic goals for yourself. Photography techniques can be learnt and practised with any subject, anywhere. As you learn these and how to use them together you will evolve as a photographer and the breath taking imagery will begin to flow on it's own.

How Dedicated to Photography Are You?

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3 Landscape Tips

vietnam-txt-streamLandscape photography is one of those areas where patience, thinking it through and taking your time pays dividends.  We have all seen a scene we want to capture but sadly we’re in a hurry, so we leap out the car and just grab a shot without giving it too much thought.

This may or may not result in a great shot. But have you thought to ask yourself if there’s more to be had from a location than the obvious? You have to build upon an initial idea. Explore possibilities.

I was in Vietnam driving through the mountains when we came upon this amazing view of rice terraces. We stopped so the film crew could shoot some aerial shots with their drone so Simon and I took the opportunity to look around and shoot this video.

As we drove up the hill I’d noticed one of the little paths that wind their way through the paddies so we went for a walk to see what it would yield.

Almost straight away we came upon some greenery we could use as foreground, which can frame a scene and give it more depth. In some cases just finding a bit of foreground can make or break an image.

But don’t forget to look around you. It’s all to easy to miss a beautiful detail of the landscape that’s right next to you because you’re absorbed by what’s in front.

You have to concentrate and really look at a scene. In the first shot of the last scenario there’s a stick poking up on the left. I didn’t really notice it to begin with. It wasn’t until I checked the shot in the LCD it became apparent.

So how do we remove it? Well obviously there’s Photoshop but I’m lazy. A few steps to the side will change the geometry of the image. It makes things align differently so you can lose unwanted clutter from the composition.

So besides making sure the light is appropriate for the scene, here are 3 landscape photography tips to consider.

  1. Take time – think of other possibilities for the location
  2. Find some foreground. It could make a world of difference
  3. Look to the side as well as in front. You might have missed something

These things are not functions of your camera. They are functions of you thinking like a photographer.


3 Landscape Tips

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