–An early Emperor of the Xia Dynasty in China about 4,000 years ago (Ref. – wikipedia)
(This is an old post from my previous blog)
With easily available “point & shoot” digital cameras, everyone would be claiming him/herself a photographer these days. But photography is much more than just pressing the click button and flashing lights when people say cheese. It’s a way of expressing yourself, sharing your thoughts or conveying a message in much stronger way than words can. Photography can be called a scientific art. Right from the subject to composition, focus, lighting, framing, exposure, editing … everything matters to turn a photograph into a visual treat.
“Taking exciting photographs has very little to do with buying an expensive camera or a massive array of photographic equipment. What is crucial is how the photographer sees and relates to a chosen subject and uses the various skills and compositional elements that will combine to make a good photograph.
While it may seem that some photographers have an innate ability to take superb pictures most of that ability often comes from the photographer’s passionate interest in their subject and the cumulative knowledge they have acquired through practical experience in and dedication to the medium”
–John Hedgecoe (born 1937)
(an award-winning photographer and best-selling author of over 30 books on photography)
One good photograph out of more than a dozen random clicks, doesn’t really make you a photographer, does it? I was little shocked to learn that many digital camera users don’t even know about basic things like shutter speed, aperture, ISO setting etc. Having an eye to capture the right thing is definitely necessary, but you also need to know your camera little bit. Also, reading the manual that accompanies the camera carries a wealth of information. Do not ignore the manual. This will help you to making most out of your camera and understand the basics of photography. It will unleash the real potential of your camera. The more you are familiar with the controls on your camera, the more you can concentrate on composition and lighting. Of course, photo editing software can be used to enhance the image or add some more elements.
Lighting is the most important technical aspect of any photograph but also the most ignored one. Cameras, lenses, and everything else are completely irrelevant unless you understand the value of lighting and how to make good use of it. Using flash and ignoring the natural light is the best way to click worst photographs. No amount of Photoshop or plug-in software filters can replicate good natural light. Another important but often misused element is Angle. Changing the angle is not limited to just tilting your camera. Choosing the right perspective and a different angle can really make your photograph stand apart, but unnecessary rotation is pretty meaningless. As canvas for a painter, view finder is for a photographer. It is all about selecting the element in your photograph to be able to create a unified effect. What to include or exclude, how to show one subject element in relation to others in the offered space, etc. are also equally crucial decisions.
If you’re really passionate about photography, you should put some more efforts and learn at least the basic technical things. I’m not asking you to join a photography institute but there are countless articles available on internet about photography, without any cost. All you need to do is invest a little bit of time and make better use of Google. It’s also a good idea to join a photo sharing site like www.flickr.com, where there are many good amateur and professional photographers sharing not only their amazing work but also tricks and techniques behind it. A small course in photography can also help you to learn how to use the camera (a more complicated one than just a ‘point & shoot’ 😉, but how and what you capture in it is your choice.
Wish you happy clicking 🙂