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Learning to see as a photographer

January 01, 2016 0 Comments

...continued from What can be taught and how

So how do you become creative, how do you learn to see as a photographer?

The majority of photographers working today will describe themselves as self-taught in one way or another, even if they have been to college or university because the only way to be a photographer is to teach yourself. If you haven't taught yourself you aren't a photographer, you're a photographic technician. Every artist has to find their own way, their own voice, their own style of expression. No one can do this for you, you have to do it yourself.

So what can be done to help the self-taught become self-taught?

What follows over the next number of posts are exercises designed to improve your ability to see in pictures

Exercise 1

  1. Choose a plain and simple object to photograph. It can be anything, a vase, a building, a bridge, a person, a flower, a pet, a valley or a hill, anything you find interesting and have access to from a number of different vantage points. The plainer the object the better, if, for instance, you choose a building, find the most boring characterless building possible
  2. Photography the chosen object from every conceivable angle and direction possible. Aim for between 20 to 30 different compositions
  3. Take a look at your work and decide which 5 out of all of the different compositions you think works the best
  4. Go back to your chosen object and re-photograph using the 5 best compositions as the starting point to produce around 20 to 30 images
  5. Analyze your work and decide on the 5 images you like the most
  6. Repeat with 5 additional different objects

Points to keep in mind

  • Use as many different lenses or focal lengths as you see fit
  • If you're photographing, for instance, a vase feel free to move the object to different places or environments but remember you are photographing the vase, not the environment 
  • Use only natural light, with no filters or effects

 

continued...

 

 

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