I went on a photography retreat a week ago, in a location I had never been to before, with amazing natural features and unique architectural/cultural features as well. It should have been heaven for me. In many ways it was, with the most mind blowing feature being the ability to see the night sky without interference from city light pollution.
But I discovered that when some things are not what you expect, or not particularly pleasant, they can affect your entire outlook on an otherwise “stellar” experience. I didn’t appreciate just how much emotion factors into my photography. Continue reading “Photography is a State of Mind”
Twice a month, we have the pleasure of listening to amateur and professional photographers talk about their work at our local camera club. It’s typically entertaining, sometimes thought provoking, but truthfully, only rarely compelling.
What do I mean by compelling? For me, that means photography with a clear message, obvious story and emotional reaction. Compelling may show human beings, other lifeforms, places on earth (or not on earth), human activities, the impact of human activities and on and on. But in all cases, there’s has to be something about the work, the way it is presented that is different from what I’ve seen before.
While the familiar can also be compelling – for me, any shots of mountain ranges or oceans, for example – the unfamiliar is another way to get my attention.
In a recent visit, a pro photographer by the name of Dave Sandford definitely got my attention. Along with stunning photographs, Dave told story after story after story and backed it up with undeniable proof. That proof was video. Continue reading “How to Produce Compelling Photography – Shoot Video Too”
Does your photography move you emotionally? Do other people comment on how it moves them? Is there a “wow” factor?
Experienced photographers who share their knowledge with new photographers spend a lot of time talking about composition and the “rules”. Leading lines, rule of thirds, negative space, etc. help to teach the eye what to look for when evaluating a scene. But they don’t spend a lot of time talking about why these rules matter at all.
I can only find one answer: it’s an effort to disrupt the composure of anyone who views the image. To get a reaction. Most often positively, sometimes with delight, and sometimes deliberately negatively. The “rules” provide a roadmap for the senses, and by extension, for the emotions. To be truly successful as a photographer, you have to tap into that emotion – yours and your viewers.
Continue reading “Composition and Composure”