Sunday, September 04, 2011

Three ways to make more interesting photographs

It's not the camera, it's the photographer. I completely agree. However these days cameras are so good at ensuring images are sharp and well exposed that most of the 'technical' edge that serious photographers used to differentiate themselves from the masses is gone. Anyone can get a sharp, well exposed, professional quality image, with no more effort than pointing and pushing the button. Add to that a little knowledge and effort in Photoshop and just about anyone can produce interesting 'creative' work.

No wonder so many cameras are sold and photography has become such a world-wide phenomenon. I think it is  fabulous that so many people are enjoying making and sharing images.

With the difference between photo enthusiasts and professional photographers constantly narrowing, I asked myself what separates professional photographers from the masses, if anything. Here are three things that spring to mind...

The men's locker room at  the AELTC  where players like Djokovic and Nadal change for the Wimbledon Championships. See my photo story 
One of the key differences between professional photographers (this applies especially to photojournalists) is that they gain access to places, subjects and people that most other people do not. Gaining access is probably the hardest part of being a photographer and it usually takes considerable effort.

Pro photographers make sure they're in the right place at the right time and they will go to extraordinary lengths to achieve this.  It's simple. If you're not there, you're not going to get the shot. There's an old photojournalist saying, "F8 and be there."

Once you've gained access to your subject, you'll most likely find you're not alone. Other determined photo-journalists have been there and done that before you or they're right there next to you.

You're under pressure to come up with something new. The first thing you need to do is to get your camera somewhere different. Pick a unique viewpoint. Find a different angle of view on your subject. Lie on the floor, stand on a ladder, climb a tower, go to the other side of your subject...get something unusual.

When you're a photojournalist you don't always have the ability to control the light as you have to react to fast changing situations. However on editorial assignment, a skilled approach to lighting your subject will help you set your images apart from the work produced by other photographers.

Light is at the heart of making beautiful images.

The three steps to making extraordinary images are: get access to somewhere or someone unusual; pick a unique viewpoint and then use light to make your subject stand out.

Till soon,

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