Maserati Granturismo

Maserati Granturismo

What’s the quickest way to improve my photography?

One of the easiest way to change your photographs dramatically is to change your stance.  Simple as it sounds it makes a huge difference.  Take a moment and think about the bulk of your photos, what were you doing? Standing is my guess.  Breaking this habit nets huge results.  Don’t be afraid to get a little bit dirty when you are out taking photos, at the same time prepare yourself, bring a blanket to get down on, a large trash bag on the ground can separate you and your camera from mud, some knee pads can be a savior, or just throw caution to the wind and do what you have to do to create your photograph (but be safe as well).  An easy example would be taking pictures of your kids, get down on their eye level and not only will your resulting composition be better but more than likely the  experience will be better for your child.

How can I create something original when there are millions of

Golden Gate Bridge with scrapped metal in the foreground

Golden Gate Bridge with scrapped metal in the foreground

photographs of my subject?

Along with changing your stance, you can change your location. There are many iconic locations to photograph, but if you want to truly make it your own, find the location that they are most commonly photographed from and go somewhere else.  Find a way to present your subject in a new way and you will make a photograph that is your own. Maybe you can find a story behind the iconic location, maybe there is a volunteer or worker that has been working there for quite some time and they have a unique perspective that not too many know about.  A photograph of that person gives your photography depth and meaning.

Rusted conditioner

Rusted conditioner

I can’t easily get to “beautiful locations” where should I go for inspiration?

Another positive in changing your perspective is the fact that you are looking at an ordinary object in an unusual way.  This will intrinsically cause the viewer to stop and think about your photo.  Using this practice can create entire worlds that are hidden to those that are just passing by as they go on about your day,  This leads to a good self-driven photo project, go to a parking lot or some other mundane space and look for unusual items, unusual angles at regular objects, contrasting colors, or whatever captures your eye and create a photo.  This is a good practice to expand your creativity and will give you even more versatility.

 I don’t have an expensive camera just a point and shoot or my smart phone.

Composition, composition, composition.  Ask any photographer what their biggest pet peeve is and more than likely they will tell you that it’s when someone says to them “wow that’s a nice picture, you must have a nice camera”.  Was Van Gogh a great painter because of the brushes he had, or is Eric Clapton a great guitarist because of the guitar he owns?  No, they are artists in their craft and that is exactly what a photographer aspires to be.  The camera does not create the photograph, that’s the photographers job.  The camera is merely the tool that the photographer uses.  If you were to give a top of the line camera to a non-photographer the images in the end might (and I stress might) have a higher quality look to them, but what is in the image will still be the same.  Conversely, if you give a photographer an inexpensive point and shoot camera they will create beautiful photographs with it.  It all comes down to the photographer in the end.  Use the camera that you have and create great photos, study the type of photography that most interests you taking special note of the composition that is used.

With all of the genres in photography it’s ultimately up to you to decide the direction that you want to go in to.  I have said this before and it will always hold true, the best way to improve your photography is to get out with your camera and create some photographs and have fun. Photography is all about creating, or better yet recreating your vision of the world.  There is beauty and wonder everywhere, you just have to find the best way to adequately capture this beauty, and that can be just as simple as changing your stance.

Ghirardelli Square San Francisco, CA

Ghirardelli Square San Francisco, CA

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