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Once your photographs have been taken in the field, you will download them to the computer. You will follow these steps:
Once you have selected your photos, you will start developing them. You must always keep in mind that the development of your photos has only one goal: to strengthen your photographic artistry.
You must choose your development tools and method correctly. For example, if you are developing animal photos, there is no point in using a portrait editing software. Likewise, if you develop underwater photos, using a software dedicated to architecture will be of no use to you.
The choice of tools is crucial. Today dozens of plug-ins software is available on the market. I recommend you to test them before choosing one to integrate it into your digital workflow. Each photographer has his own sensitivity. Each one will need tools that correspond to him.
Do not always listen to what other photographers tell you. Do not necessarily buy the tools described in magazines. Only tests will allow you to validate what you really need.
Personally, I only use Photoshop. There are two reasons for this technique:
Indeed, I consider that a photograph can only be developed by successive strokes.
During my photo workshops, when I explain the development techniques, I always insist on the fact that a sky cannot have the same treatment as a forest or a mineral landscape.
In wildlife photography, a coat is not developed in the same way as a plumage.
All the components of a photograph are treated differently. It would be far too long to explain the development techniques for each photographic field.
But each digital stream respects the following phases:
The purpose of the digital flow and to create a photograph corresponds to your photographic artistry and which is intended for a particular medium.
In my opinion, a photograph only exists if it is printed. During all the previous steps you have an image. As long as it is visible on a screen a picture is called an image.
Printing is a fundamental step in the life of a photograph.
You will choose the paper according to tones, colors, acidity. The more acidic a paper is, the less it lasts over time. To print, you must use a multi-cartridge printer.
The purchase of a professional printer is affordable. Today, for a few hundred euros or dollars, it is possible to have a professional quality printer in your home. The cost comes from the paper and especially the ink. The manufacturers sell the printers without making a margin of profit. It is the sale of ink cartridges that ensures their income. If you do not want to invest in a personal printer, you have the possibility to print your photos through a specialized lab.
Personally, this is the solution I have chosen for my prints in widths exceeding 60 cm (23 inches). The cost of a quality print is extremely high. If you go through an online service, the prices are affordable, but the quality of the prints will be rather poor. For black and white, the blacks will be to deep. For color, the tints will not be the ones you have on your calibrated screen.
My goal is not to describe the best labs on the market because this article is intended to make you aware of the steps of the creation of a photo, but be aware that to print a photo in large format, the price is often more than 100 € or $100.
It is up to you to do some tests to find the lab that best suits your photographic activity.
Once you have printed a photograph and laminated it to a rigid backing to ensure it will last over time, you must submit it.
If you have chosen Dibond or Masonite as a support, you can hang it directly on a wall with the wall hooks provided for this purpose on the back of the photo. I advise you to choose the right glue for your fasteners. If you chose a cheap glue, expect to unhook it after a few months. It will be the loss of your photo because the Dibond will break.
The best solution remains the framing under glass or acrylic.
Acrylic has the advantage of not being as fragile as glass. But be careful when using museum acrylic: your photos will look blurry. Basic acrylic causes reflections but your photos will remain sharp.
What I recommend is to use glass for small prints and acrylic for large prints. The presentation with a frame really enhances your photographic works but it also protects the photos for an exceedingly long time. I consider that with a quality frame the photographs are really finished.
The creation of a photograph is taking place in 6 phases:
Now you understand why creating beautiful photography is a time-consuming and difficult process. You are a long way from the simple click of a camera.
You also understand why quality artistic photography is expensive to purchase.
Now that you have read this article and understood each of the steps, all you need to do is set up an action plan to create unique photos that make sense, have impact and look like you.
Be constant, persevering and persistent because the road to excellence is long.
Are you able to describe the entire process of creating interesting photographs?
Do you feel like you are making progress in photography and creating photos that really make an impact?
If the answer to both of these questions is no, then this article is for you. I will explain the six main steps in creating a photograph.
After reading this article, you will be able to choose the right actions to create nature photos that look like you and are unique.
It is 6:00 AM in the morning. The sun is coming up. The mist completely surrounds me. I am under my floating blind in Dombes in France.
I am living an intense moment in my life as a nature photographer.
In front of me the pond is slowly awakening. I guess heron shapes: gray or purple, I do not know. I am stuck behind my camera. With my 500 mm telephoto lens, I scan every nook and cranny of the pond.
I am ideally placed with the light coming from the side. I am in manual focus because the fog prevents the autofocus from working. I am in an ecstatic phase as only nature provides me. I have been standing in the pond for 30 minutes.
It is in these intense moments of inspiration that ideas come to me. Today, I am thinking about the different phases of creating a good photo.
If I am here today, it is not by chance. Everything was prepared even though I was not fully aware of it. I think back on all the actions I have undertaken and all the steps I have taken to be present in one of the most beautiful places in the world for wildlife photography.
Using the microphone of my camera, which is placed on the gimbal head, I record this article. Once again, I think it is a fundamental one. I have a duty to share it with all those who want to progress. My joy and exaltation are so intense that I do not need to think. Everything comes naturally to me.
You are probably wondering why you should know the six steps of photographic creation.
You tell yourself that photography consists of having a camera in your hands and then going out into the field to have fun.
But you may be one of the cohort of photographers who only take their cameras out for a trip or a relaxing weekend. I think that is bad. You waste your talent and energy only on rare occasions.
Knowing and mastering the stages of photographic creation will allow you to envisage photography in a different way. When you are out in the field photographing nature, you will create more interesting pictures that have meaning and impact.
What is more, and this is the icing on the cake, you will think about photography even when you are at home or at work. Your photographic mind will always work, and not just in the field.
My method is simple.
Just read this article and then take a pencil and paper to write down actions you need to take before your next photo shoot.
Never forget that learning and knowledge without action means nothing.
Take your photographic destiny into your own hands: act!
The photographic approach is the most upstream phase for the creation of your photographs.
In my opinion, it is the most important for the photographic act. 95% of photographers, professional or not, did not attach importance to this crucial stage.
It is during this phase that you will define:
During the photographic approach phase, you have to do a photographic introspection.
You have to forget about technology, your camera, the developpements. You have to answer such fundamental questions of why you decided to use a camera.
It is during this stage that you will build the foundations of your photographic building.
If this approach is well done, you can always rethink it when you have doubts about your ability to create photos. You will always find an intellectual refuge from the sharp criticism of some people.
Defining your photographic approach well is the guarantee for you in the future to remain serene, confident, to keep your confidence to move forward.
Once all the elements of your photographic approach are in place, you can define the contours of your photo projects. It is even easier now that you have a clear photographic approach.
You will be able to define what you can and cannot photograph.
If, for example, you have chosen to photograph European mammals, it will be of no interest for you to go to Costa Rica to photograph the birds, even if they are exceptionally beautiful.
By perfectly defining your photographic projects you will not lose time by getting lost on crossroads. You will concentrate on what is important to you. You will create photos that look like you.
With your vision and photographic style, you will truly create photos that have meaning and impact.
To properly define your photographic projects, I encourage you to follow the following steps:
Now that your project has been defined, written, thought out, thought about, it is time to get out in the field.
In the previous phase, you have certainly defined the story you are going to tell to your viewers or to your audience.
You have written a story board that contains all the key elements and highlights to photograph.
For example, if you chose a topic about the deer's bugling, you decided to tell about the awakening of nature during the dawn. Then the appearance of a deer in an open space to open your story. You noted that you needed fights, a mating scene, a close-up of a deer bugling. In short, you have all the key points to photograph.
The realization of the shots requires the recognition of the field, the lights, the search for good photographic elements to highlight your subjects.
You have to choose your foreground, backgrounds, and negative spaces to reinforce your story and especially your photographic vision.
You have written the list of photos to be taken. Once they are taken, you will check the box and move on to the next scene. You must always follow your story board.
If you photograph wild animals, you must also have in mind the making of the ground blinds.
If you have chosen a photo project related to landscape photography, the use of an ephemeris type application is a plus for choosing where to stand.
In the context of underwater photography, the preparation of your dives is even more essential. Indeed, as the dive times and the number of dives per day are limited, if you have not prepared your dives, you will not have the consistency and coherence that are the strength of good photo projects.
Act now to prepare for the realization of your photos in the field.
I wake up each day with one goal in mind: to help others by giving everything I can.
I chose artistic photography to embrace my passion for the wonders of nature, to express myself, and to bring happiness to the people I meet in daily life or while traveling.
I do not know how to write novels or poems. I cannot paint or draw. I cannot compose music.
One thing I do know is how to create photographs and talk about them.
I would like to help anyone who wants to reconnect with nature.
My photographic and artistic vision can be summed up as follows:
Wavering between effervescent dreams and defined elegance, my photographic work unites both ideas in a new path through the theme of “Nature”.
I am a flexible photographer. I construct photographic media using various digital tools to design abstract pieces of art.
I define my work as a concentration of photographic shooting by revealing a fragment of a landscape or an animal scene.
As a result, I provide the possibility of perceiving the world down to microscopic details, which is accomplished through a refined image.
This photographic simplification is pushed to the extreme by my hands. Even the shooting is simplified, regardless of the surrounding environment.
Through this method, my photography gains independence and purity.
I strive to highlight the infinity of nature outside of time.
The exercise of contemplation which I encourage derives its strength from sensitive experiences, stemming from a deeply empirical and personal relationship with nature.
I bring a beautifully unique interpretation of new technology. Virtual reality is reflected through the fleeting aspect of natural elements, thus forging relevant connections between technical, immaterial, and sensual details .
For amateur photographers who long to create beautiful photographs, I propose that you seek to find peace and serenity in your daily life, your art prints and the nature surrounding you.
Unlike posters available in department stores or furniture stores, my artistic prints are unique, luxurious, concise, and will not deteriorate with the passing years.
Each photographic work is limited to 8 copies. It is signed and delivered with its certificate of authenticity. This is a guarantee to you that it will increase in value over time.
Strangely enough, when I ask photographers why they take pictures, the only answer they can give me is a long introspective silence.
Have you ever asked yourself this essential question of why you practice photography?
Answers such as to relax, take my mind off things, think about something else are quite commendable. I have nothing to object. But for me they are totally insufficient.
If you do not have a photographic Why, because that is what it is all about, you are committing one of the three fundamental errors of photography and that photographic Why must be solid.
The reason is simple. If you do not know why you are doing something, you are not close to reaching a goal and setting creative goals.
In the context of photography, without a strong photographic Why you will not succeed in creating relevant, consistent and coherent series over time.
Your Photographic Why will profoundly define why you take your camera and go into the field.
Without it, you will certainly create some interesting pictures sometimes, but it will be episodic and totally random. The photographic Why is your main strength, it is like a motto that will allow you to define your attachment to photography. It is the one that will motivate you, push you to move forward, to always go further.
The photographic Why is finally the image of your life. You have probably already asked yourself what the meaning of your life is, why you get up every morning, why you chose certain paths. Well, for your photographic activity you have to proceed in the same way.
If you have not already done so, I advise you to clearly and precisely define your photographic Why.
You will thus avoid one of the three fundamental mistakes in photography. You will only be able to improve yourself and create interesting photos for your audience.
In the description of the first two mistakes to avoid, I have given you some advices on how to find simple solutions. Reading, learning, thinking is an excellent start to developing a method.
But never forget that acting will really enable you to be effective and achieve real results.
This is not only true in the definition of your photographic artistry or your photographic Why, it is also true in all fields.
I will always remember meeting a photographer in Yosemite, California. I was taking some landscape photos when he approached me to start a conversation.
I remember I could not say a word. He asked me why I was not photographing the waterfalls that were so numerous in this region.
I did not have time to answer him that he was already explaining the technique of long exposure to create a dreamlike and unreal atmosphere with the waterfalls.
For almost 15 minutes, he gave me a lecture on the pros and cons of this photo technique by explaining the choice of photo filters, the right speed, the calculation of exposure time, the management of depth of field, the composition.
In the meantime, he had taken out his phone to show me his photographic portfolio. Not seeing any long exposure photos, I asked him if he could show me some so that I could see how this expert was applying all his know-how. I think it is always good to learn from others.
I was very surprise that he had not realized one yet. He had an encyclopedic culture on the technical subject, but he had not acted.
I could multiply this kind of example, but I think you understood what I meant.
During my photo workshops I always tell the participants that:
I advise you to always learn and deepen your knowledge, but to take action to check that you are on the right track.
If you are content to acquire encyclopedic skills on technical subjects without applying them you will be wasting your time.
That's true for:
Always apply what you have learned. Always be in action right after learning.
I hope you have understood the three fundamental errors in the approach to photographic creation.
For the record, I remind them:
I hope I have convinced you that it was essential for you to find answers to these questions or to correct your shortcomings.
You absolutely have to act if you really want to create interesting photos for your audience and viewers. You need to adopt a method by writing down all the ideas on paper or on your computer.
Then, try to come up with simple ideas to implement before you go out into the field.
Then, you will prepare your next sessions or your new photo project according to this method.
Finally, you will apply everything you have learned in the field. You will implement your strategy and methodology.
By avoiding these three mistakes, I guarantee that your photographs will be all the more interesting and will have much more impact. This is what happened to me many years ago now.
Be constant, persevering and persistent because the road to excellence is long.
You like to take pictures for photographic projects or to keep a record of the intense moments you have experienced.
However, they will remain preciously stored in your computer's memory. They will remain invisible. Why will they remain invisible? Because you have made at least one of the three mistakes that many photographers make without realizing it.
In this article I will explain how to discern them, apprehend them and avoid reproducing them.
Welcome to a new photographic artistry.
You are certainly passionate about nature photography. Whether it is close to your home or on trips to faraway places, you always bring back wonderful photographic memories.
But I am sure that when you come back home, you copy all these photographs to your computer's hard drive and then save them on an external medium.
Then the days, weeks and months go by. You have almost forgotten all those photographs. You do not pay attention to them anymore. You have already moved on.
Many years ago, I also had this forgetfulness behavior. I was like you.
But the photos I was taken were well composed, well framed. Technically, they were good. But once the exhilaration of the trip was over, I forgot that I had many underwater, animal or landscape photographs in stock. It was like that until I began to turn to professional artistic photography that I gradually understood why I had so many dormant photographic projects. I made three essential mistakes in my approach to the creation of my photographic projects:
In the rest of this article, I will detail each of these points.
But before continuing, I would like to point out that the articles in my creative photography blog focus mainly on the approach to the creation of photographs. I do not address problems related to cameras or photo development. Other sites already do. I think that the approach of photographic creation which is the most upstream phase of photography is also the most essential to create interesting pictures.
The three errors I am going to mention are related to this phase.
As always, I think that before putting in place a method of applying advice, it is important to ask why it is being done.
In this case, knowing why you should avoid the three fundamental errors in photography will allow you to:
Avoiding these three mistakes in photos will allow you to create easily and last over time
Once you figure out the why, all you have to do is figure out the how. The solution is to put in place a method that is:
This method will allow you to always follow the tags of a path that you have traced to create your photographs.
It is beyond the scope of this article to explain this method in a precise and detailed manner. It would be far too long to explain. However, the broad outlines are as follows:
The ideal is to write down all these points on paper or with a computer. Be specific. Then learn them by heart. I have respected and continue to apply this process in my professional activity.
After years of studying the photographic activity of many professionals or photographers during my nature photography workshops, I found that 95% of them did not have a photographic artistry.
The photographic artistry is composed of:
If you do not have a defined photographic artistry, you will take pictures without having precise photographic themes.
You are going to photograph the scenes without having a specific goal in mind. There will be no logic, no link that connects the photos to each other. There will be chaos in your projects.
The first consequence of the absence of a photographic artistry is that when you are going to organize your photos on the computer, you are going to choose images on technical criteria and not to tell a story because you will not have one in mind.
The consequence is that when you go out in the field you will not know exactly where to stand, how to highlight your photographic scenes, how to choose your light, how to choose your photographic elements.
You will choose points of view, compose and frame only according to the technical criteria you have learned.
But these actions will not reflect your personality. You will be doing what other photographers do. You will be no different. Your photographs will be technically very good, but they will not have the special flavor of what you have deep inside: your soul.
A good definition of a photographic artistry allows you to create different, unique photos that look like you.
Not defining your photographic artistry is the guarantee for you to be like other photographers and to make photos that have already been seen. You will interest nobody, or almost nobody.
Avoid making this mistake by starting now to define your photographic artistry to show who you really are.
Have you ever considered creating conceptual photographs from the natural elements?
Have you ever tried to show more than reality to give another vision to what you really perceive.
Conceptual photography is one of the answers to your questions and expectations.
One of my favorite areas of artistic nature photography is conceptual photography.
In this article, I will give you some elements to go further than illustrative photography.
You are about to enter a universe where only your imagination is the limit.
A few years ago, I became interested in the Bauhaus School of Art. At the time, I was looking to create artworks that were not simply beautiful and decorative. I wanted my photographs not only to make sense, but also to be useful to everyone who bought them: art lovers, collectors, designers. I liked the Bauhaus idea very much.
While doing further research, I had the chance to discover the photographer Andreas Gursky. He fascinated me. His very particular photographic artistry inspired me a lot in my own artistic approach.
I will always remember the day I admired one of his works entitled "Rhein II". I spent long minutes contemplating it. I was literally hypnotized. To this day, I cannot explain why. Then I discovered that it was one of the most expensive photographic artworks in the world. Its value was several million euros. But for me, this market value was of no important. I understood why an enlightened amateur had acquired it.
That day marked the beginning of my interest in conceptual photography. It was a real turning point in my life as an artist. Even today, when I am in the field, I still have this extraordinary creation in mind. I had entered a world where only my imagination, my emotions, my sensations have their place.
I will now give you the keys to open the doors to a fabulous world where photographic creativity reigns.
When you do a photographic project, I recommend that you always classify it in one of the two domains of photography.
This classification that I have created, and which serves as a support for all my work as a photographic artist is the result of a discussion, I had with a friend whose name is Philippe Soubirous. He is a talented photographer who has an immeasurable general culture about photography. It is to him that I owe the rule that I often use in the field. In natural light to get a good exposure at ISO 100, you need a speed of 1/125th of a second for an aperture at f/8. He holds this rule from his father.
On a trip to a distant sea, we were talking in his cabin. That day, our topic was the differences between emotional and figurative art photography. After a few hours of discussion, which ended under a beautiful starry sky, we concluded that it was easy to distinguish between two different photographic domains:
The domain of artistic photography divides itself into two genders:
Illustrative photography is used as a medium for magazine articles, advertising titles for a commercial product. As its name suggests, it is used to illustrate a written, oral or visual statement.
In this photographic domain, the photographer creates photographs in which he does not deliver messages. The images are factual. They correspond to a very precise editorial line. The photographs describe, show, illustrate or reinforce the message of the text.
In illustrative photography, the viewer is informed. These photos are not made to dream, to imagine. They are set up so that the audience can project themselves into a place described by words.
Artistic photography aims to give photographers a means of expression. They can thus convey their emotions, convey messages, express ideas.
The photographer speaks, shows his soul. He's not afraid to show what he really thinks. He does not depend on a third person to tell him what to show. He does not depend on a written or visual to be illustrated.
Only the story he chose to tell matters. It does not describe reality. This is for example the case of black and white photography.
Artistic photography is symbolic, elliptical, parabolic.
Artistic photography is divided into two genders:
In meaningful photography, the image always carries a message. The viewer will read this message. It's a direct connection that I call 1-to-1. The message deciphered by the audience is formatted by the photographer.
In conceptual photography, the photographer expresses an emotion, a message, an idea but the viewer will see something else. He is free to choose.
Conceptual photography is a photographic gender that illustrates an idea.
The idea is a representation developed by the thought corresponding to a word or phrase.
To sum up in one sentence, I can therefore say that conceptual photography is a photographic gender that is a representation elaborated by the thought corresponding to a word or a phrase.
Conceptual photography is part of the domain of artistic photography.
Before going any further, it seems important to me, as always, to set the general framework.
The term conceptual photography derives from the movement called conceptual art in the 1960s.
Conceptual art is defined not by the aesthetic properties of objects or works, but only by the concept or idea of art.
The idea takes precedence over the realization.
In conceptual art, the artist can do without the object.
From its birth, the foundations of conceptual photography were laid and will be solid. It is interested in the idea and its illustration. It is not interested in reality and the relationships it can have with it.
Conceptual photography has several goals:
From the very beginning, the creators of this photographic gender say that conceptual photography is not about making beautiful photographs but about explaining them.
This is for that reason that many conceptual photographic creations are accompanied by explanatory texts that provide arguments relating to the author's photographic and artistic approach.
Since that time, many photographers have explored this creative path of photography, but many have forgotten the foundations and main principles of the gender: they have lost their way.
If you decide to devote part of your photographic activity to this gender, never forget these main principles. They will always guide you in your approach.
As you may have understood, conceptual photography is a way to represent ideas.
You may have a lot of ideas about how you see the world, how you view social relationships, how you want to defend nature, etc.
Rather than trying to create illustrative photographs why not trying to suggest your thoughts and ideas.
Maybe you do not want to, or you cannot write prose or poetry. You are more of a visual person. You find it easier to assemble photographic elements than to put your voice into a recording or roll the ball of your pen over white paper. All you have to do is thinking and taking conceptual photographs.
To help you get into this state of mind, here is a quote that will help you.
In conceptual art, the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. The conceptual artist's goal is to make his work mentally interesting to the viewer.
As I have already written in another article, for a photograph to be successful it must tell a story. This story is told either by the assembly of the photographic elements, or by the text, or by the title that accompanies it.
Conceptual photography is not an exception to this rule. You must create photographs that have impact. Keep in mind that in this gender, the viewer invents his or her own story by looking at your photographs.
You have the possibility to explore the way to create your conceptual photographs:
But the most important advice I will give you is to keep it as simple as possible. Always keep this quote in mind.
What is well conceived is clearly stated.
Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, 1674.
When Boileau-Despréaux wrote this quotation in 1674, he was certainly not thinking of photography.
I think that quote still stands. It never leaves my mind.
Keep in mind that photography has its words, its vocabulary: its language. Learn it, implement it in the field and keep it simple.
If I had to sum up the how of conceptual photography, I would say that you just have to have an idea, find a way to implement it in your photos and then go out into the field to express it. Let your imagination wander.
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To conclude I will say that to create your conceptual photos, I recommend that you list two or three ideas that you want to develop to show your vision of the world. Write them down, imagine how to implement them. Do not forget to be simple, direct. Go beyond illustrative photography. It will only make you better and your photographs will become more interesting.
If you want to create interesting and creative nature photographs, do not look at nature as it really is. Try to go beyond what you see.
For example, for me a tree is not a simple vegetal photographic element. It is a witness of the time passing. Its bark represents the wrinkles of time.
Flamingos on a salted lake are not birds that come there to feed. I see them as musical notes on the water.
Sand dunes are not natural desert shapes. For me these are whims of the winds.
If you give an interpretation of what you see in nature, you will interest your audience. Indeed, you suggest questions and analyzes. This is what will make your photographic artistry interesting.
My best advice for this paragraph is to make your imagination running.
Let yourself go before you trigger your camera. Imagine what the nature scene you have in front of you can suggest, can symbolically represent.
Maybe, you realize photos for competitions or exhibitions. I think it is a great idea . Indeed, you set goals to be achieved over time. You are motivated. This is how you will move forward.
But I recommend that you propose and present photographs that look like you. If you create nonstop photos just for exhibition or contests you will get into a routine and you will get tired.
In my case, I had the opportunity to be selected several times for the prestigious wildlife festivals. I had carefully chosen my wildlife photo collections. I wanted them to be conform to the expectations of the organizers and the judges. I had created them. So, I wanted to show them, but they were not exactly fitted my soul, to what I wanted to show.
I decided for two years to propose photo series that looked more like me. In addition, these were series that had had excellent commercial success. Each time , these series were refused politely because I did not meet the editorial lines of the festivals.
Now, I participate in festivals which are certainly more confidential, but which correspond more to me. I feel a lot better because I really express what I have to say.
My advice is you must enter contests or exhibitions that match your photographic artistry. It will be more rewarding. You will be happy and satisfied because you will have the impression of creating something meaningful.
Never forget that your photographs are only a translation of what you see.
Of course, you have to consider that in the case of artistic photography and not illustrative photography.
You must learn to view your photos before triggering your camera.
This approach requires an effort of concentration. Remember that your gaze is capable of embracing an angle of 180 degrees even if it sees only details in 140 degrees. It is a lot if you think that you will cover at best 110 degrees with a lens with a focal length of 14 mm.
Before putting your eye behind the view finder or your camera screen, think about the photo you want to create. Imagine the message in a few words or a few adjectives. The more you qualify your scenes, the more interesting your photos will be.
You must choose your photographic elements carefully to express your emotions.
Let me give you an example. Often when I photograph deer during the rut, I like to translate the concept of natural power. I like to show determination. I also like to translate elegance.
But freedom is also an important aspect in my photographic and artistic approach. When I prepared my collection "The Lords of the Woods and Meadows” I was careful to photograph the red deer stags whose gaze was determined and whose stature was haughty. I always take the time to wait to seize the moment when the deer was three quarters to show muscles, the coat, the strength of the animal.
For my decors I found very open scenes with a large opening to show space, freedom.
Each photographic element was to translate values in which I believe.
If you want your photos to be interesting, I recommend this visualization technique before shooting.
The best advice I can give you to create interesting photos is to be as simple as possible.
Simple in choosing your photographic elements. Simple in the choice of framing. Simple in expressing your emotions. Simple in the story you tell.
Unfortunately, and this is one of the biggest lessons I learned in my job as a professional photographer: to learn to be simple, it takes time ; a lot of time.
In my case, I measure this time in years.
And even today, when I create, it is not uncommon for me to redo two or three times the processing of a photo or a collection. I am not even talking about the number of times I have to go out into the field to express a simple message.
Being simple requires long-term learning about the use of photo gear, shooting, development, printing, story creation. Nature photography is a very complex creative and technical field.
What I recommend for you to learn simplicity is to try.
If the creation does not satisfy you, you must start again. It is through repetition s that you will eventually acquire the coveted and sought simplicity.
By definition, a mentor is a wise and experienced advisor.
He is a person for whom we have special esteem and who we can take as an example.
If you can find a mentor to help you photograph, feel free to follow his advices as they will save you valuable time in your photographic activity.
Personally, I recognize that it is one of my biggest regrets in my photographic career, I never looked for or found a mentor.
Today I regret it. It took me over 10 years to figure out how to create interesting photos. It took me a lot of time to define my photographic why.
I am a complete autodidact. I learned by reading books, magazines, by following online classes. I listened to a lot of photographers who seemed to know who ultimately will not know so much.
I have been wronged many times. I no longer count failures. If a person would have advised to avoid the many pitfalls that I had to overcome, I would have grown much faster. Who knows today what I could create in photography !
This mystery will remain one of the biggest questions of my life.
It is for this reason that I created this blog dedicated to creative photography. It allows me to spread my skills, my knowledge and a bit of my know-how. So, if you really want to progress quickly in your way of creating interesting photos, go towards someone who inspires you in his way of being and his way of creating photos. You will save considerable time.
A photo, a good collection or a good series always has a story. This story will allow you to highlight your images.
When you tell a photographic story, it should be short. It must be talking about you. But be careful in the way you do it because the most important thing is that your audience needs to recognize itself in what you are telling.
Never forget that everyone is only interested in their own person. If you tell stories in which viewers cannot project themselves, you will be wasting your time. Your photos will not be saved.
In my case, there is always a story when I create. This story allows me to do make my pictures living in my mind.
To create stories:
If you choose to photograph nature, I recommend that you choose two or three themes, no more. Do not disperse yourself.
The more you will disperse the less interesting your photographs will be.
The reason is simple: you will not acquire mastery of each of the photographic field. You are not going to strive for simplicity. You will always have a hard time getting your message across to convey your emotions.
The more you specialize in certain photographic fields, the more expertise you will acquire and the more your photos will make sense.
Remember that your domains must be consistent with each other. This way you will adapt techniques from one to the others.
For my last piece of advice, I would recommend that you practice as often as possible. During my photo workshops, I often repeat that:
You should always practice whether it is in the search for inspiration, the creation of a photo project, the shooting, the development, the printing on paper, the creation of stories.
The more you practice, the more you will develop your expertise. You will become better.
You do not need to go to the end of the world to perfect your photographic expertise. A garden, a park not far from home, a small wood, a pond, a meadow are places where you can train.
Practice is unquestionably the major ally of your learning.
This training will allow you once in the field to master the technique. You will no longer wonder questions. Everything will flow naturally. Do not hesitate to take camera and go walking in nature. Make photo essays and look the results on your computer.
You will always be more disappointed by what you have not done that by the actions you have taken. Take the plunge.
To create interesting photos, do not forget:
To conclude, I would recommend that you create photos that look like you. Your stories will be even easier to tell. It is at this precise moment that you will find your audience.
The main principle of artistic photography you photograph what you see, but the way you show it depends on what you believe and how you think.
I recommend you to remember this principle. Remember it in the field. It can be used as a motto.
The impact of this principle is very, very important.
When taking photos, do not try to copy what has already been done. Take pictures that look like you. Take photos that reflect who you really are. It is just about your personality.
I used to say that interesting photographs are only a reflection of the soul of the photographer who took them.
Be yourself. Do not cheat.
This for this reason that I recommend that you define your artistic approach and your motto. These two elements which are at the base of your artistry, will create a marked path which you will follow throughout your photographic activity.
As I often say during my nature photo workshops, technique is a necessary but not sufficient condition for creating interesting photos.
First of all, you must know and master your photographic equipment perfectly: camera, lenses, tripod, flash, etc.
You must know all the settings of your camera and know how to use them in all the conditions that you will encounter in the field.
If you do not do this learning, you will ask yourself questions during the photo sessions. You will waste time. You will miss pictures that were interesting. This is what I explained in the paragraph dedicated to the part devoted to the 'T' (timing).
Then you need to master the techniques of photo processing. The more you master them the more you will take good photos in the field. In fact, you will know what the limit conditions of light you need to use to achieve the contrast balance.
Finally, in the case of wildlife photography, you absolutely must know camouflage techniques, how to approach, how to use a ground blind for well photographed wild animals, particularly in Europe.
Never forget that technique allows you to consolidate the foundations of your photographic building.
The more you master it more you will be creative and productive in your photo collections and photo series.
Once you have developed an impeccable technical skill, you must seek photographic inspiration. You must pick up ideas, concepts to compose, to frame, to choose your photographic elements once on the field.
You have to seek this state of calm and tranquility to understand who you are, why you want to create these photos and how you are going to take them.
Inspiration is difficult to define. To reach this slightly ecstatic state, isolate yourself, reflect, write down your ideas.
A good advice I often give is to read books or magazines to study what other photographers have realized. Do not hesitate to go and study missing photographers because they have often laid the foundations of modern techniques, particularly in compositions and framing . Coming back to the roots is always a good basis for inspiration.
Social networks are also an excellent support for finding inspiration. Indeed, in magazines, it is always the same photographers who are published. Some are interesting, some others less. But for magazines and publishing houses these are sure values. Many little-known photographers do interesting and exciting photographic work. They have websites and they publish on social networks. This is for this reason that I recommend this source of inspiration.
The inspiration should allow you to create your own style, experiment and think differently. You should not copy. Draw your own path. Mark it with pins that other have established e. You do not have to reinvent the wheel.
Never forget that if you want to create interesting photographs, which are meaningful and which reflect your soul, you must give a visual response.
The essential rule I always applied on the field is to create all my photographic projects with my emotions and my soul.
When defining your photo project, your photo collection or even your photo series, you must be guided by your photographic artistry and your motto . They are the ones who will define and mark out the path of your creations.
Your photographs must have an emotional impact.
You have to transcribe your emotions, what you feel deep down. This is for this reason that your compositions and your framing must be well constructed. All the photographic elements chosen in your scene will help convey the message you have chosen. Translate your emotions with a strong visual response.
Always keep in mind that it is your experiences that create your images and not the opposite.
I meet so many photographers thinking that this is their photographs that validates the experiences they live. It is a mistake.
The more you live interesting experiences, varied, different, the more you will strengthen your character, your soul. More than that, you will strengthen your motto. I believe that is the purpose of life. But that is another debate.
So, the more experiences you will have, good or bad, you will have more things to say, to explain, to feel. Your photographs will be more explicit, clear and interesting.
When I speak of experience, I do not mean to go to the end of the world to experience extraordinary situations. I often say that most people tend to go and see if the grass is greener in the neighbor's garden without looking at the tree they have at home.
Learn to create the extraordinary with the ordinary.
The most beautiful and the greatest photographic experience is to transcend the ordinary to make it extraordinary. Learn to do it little by little. You will see a noticeable upheaval in the creation of your photographs.
If you really want to create strong photos that appeal to an audience and above all create photos that will remain over time, go beyond the simple illustrative photo.
I recommend that you communicate your photographic vision. Talk. Express yourself. Do not hesitate to show your photos. If what you create inspires and pleases you, you will necessarily meet your audience because you will be able to defend your project.
Illustrative photographs have only one purpose: to illustrate a written statement. Nobody ever looks at the author of the picture except the one who has taken it.
99% of illustrative photographers do not exist. Nobody knows their names. The illustrative photo follows the information time. Today, as everything is going very fast, the illustrative photographs are forgotten as quickly as they are seen. I find that there is nothing more frustrating.
You may be like many photographers. You probably think that because you see a certain type of image, that this is the type of photography that needs to be created. It is a very serious mistake. As information is everywhere in digital and paper form, illustrative photography is everywhere. Does that make it an interesting topic? I think the answer is no.
You must certainly have within you your own universe, dreams, desires. Translate them into photography. Do not fall for ease. Even worse, copying what seems to be fashionable would be a fatal mistake. The right attitude: be yourself.
If you like to share your photographs on social networks and if you like to show you are visiting the iconic scenes of the world, trying to do within your photographic vision.
Photographing an iconic scene because it is iconic is useless. Your audience will certainly watch it. But the photograph will be forgotten as quickly as it was viewed.
The reason is simple. As I already mentioned in another article, we are all interested in only one thing: ourselves.
If looking at a photograph allows us to understand ourselves better, to situate ourselves better, to learn something new that we can take advantage of, or to learn about ourselves, we will spend time analyzing and looking at it.
I can tell you because I have already experienced that taking the photograph of an iconic scene just to show that you were there, will just interest you and your ego. No one else will be interested because this scene does not bring anything to others.
You should always use the iconic scenes to serve your photographic artistry and your emotions.
Do you want to really improve the quality of your nature photographs by making them more interesting, more creative?
Do you want to go beyond making beautiful postcards?
So, you are like me.
In this article, I offer 15 tips that I apply for each of my fine art print collections.
Take the time to read because I am revealing the very essence of photography.
This is the month of February. The temperatures are quite pleasant in Arizona. I left the studio in Texas for three weeks to create new photographs for my master photo project. For three days, I have been in the Valley of the Gods. I have only met two people since the start of this stage.
As soon as I work on new photos for this personal project, I have an extraordinary energy. I feel like the first day when I had my first camera in my hands. I am inspired. I have visited dozens of websites about the Valley of the Gods. I have read several books on this amazing place.
I decided to take six black and white photographs.
For three days, I have been driven between the buttes with my off-road car. I have not yet managed to create a single photo. The sky is perfectly blue. The light is beautiful in the middle of the morning and in the middle of the afternoon. But there is not a single cloud.
I need them to show off what I feel. I need clouds to accentuate the dramaturgy of my scenes. I need clouds to create scenes with multi planes to create depth. They will allow me to accentuate the details of these marvelous mineral landscapes.
But then, the depression announced did not happen. I have to wait until tomorrow.
I am sitting on a rock. My picnic is ready. I am thoughtful. I mentally list the essential points to create interesting photos.
They are like a mantra. Finally, I grab my voice recorder which never leaves me. This is my reminder. I speak out loud. A squirrel waiting for me to give him a few crumbs from my meal looks at me. He must really think that human beings are a strange species.
If he knew the importance of everything I said, he would consider me differently.
The rest of this article is a summary of all these points that I apply in all my photo projects.
There are 10 points you must always remember to judge your photos.
You can optionally use this method to judge other images.
I advise you to print this list and always have it with you. Over time and practice, thinking about them will become automatic.
When you create a picture of nature, you must always keep in mind the five following essential points. This is what I call the TDLSC rule.
Now, I am going to detail them.
‘T’ for the first letter of timing.
You always have to choose the right moment to shoot and take your photo. For an animal photo, it can be a behavior or an attitude.
In underwater photo, it can be the position of a fish, an underwater mammal.
In landscape photography, it can be a particular light that will highlight a mineral structure, vegetal textures or a particular reflection.
The timing is also creating a project photo to a specific period of the year when the weather is favorable.
In wildlife photography, timing is when a particular event occurs.
In landscape photography is when a phenomenon such as the northern lights are the most active.
In underwater photography , it is for example the coral spawning.
I believe that in photography everything is a question of timing. There are times better than others to take interesting photos. Be curious.
Before going to the field, for a photo project or a photo session, put the maximum of chances on your side by choosing the right timing.
‘D’ for the decor.
this is the second point of my rule. The decor is very important for the construction of your photographs. Without decor, there are no good photos.
You will certainly ask me first what an appropriate decor. Above all, it is a decor that will carry your photographic elements to enhance them.
The decor must be mass balanced, must use creepage or lines of convergence, etc. This is what I explained in the article on how using photographic language.
Never forget that the decor is like the case in which you offer your main subject.
Try to make an analogy with a piece of jewelry that you are going to give to a person. The packaging will already suggest the brand. Then, the case will whet the person who receives the gift. She has not yet seen the jewel that all senses are already on alert.
A good nature photograph is exactly the same thing. The décor is going to whet your audience's appetite so the viewers will want to analyze and look at your photograph.
‘L’ for light.
This is the third important point to consider. Whether in landscape photography, underwater photography or wildlife photography, light will create the dynamics, the relief and the depth of your nature photographs. It is what will give impact to your images. Here, I am talking about natural light.
Personally, I prefer side light because it allows me to create shadows that generates modeling.
‘S’ for the subject.
First, you will certainly ask me why I have placed so far away the subject in my rule.
The reason is simple. It is not that important. For example, in abstract conceptual photographs, it is above all the atmosphere, the colors which are the most important.
The subject in artistic and creative photography is one of the elements that will translate your emotions, your feelings, transmit your messages.
It is only a support. If you give too much importance to the subject, you return to the illustrative photography . Your subject becomes an illustration and not an interpretation of what you see.
‘C’ for composition.
While composing a nature photography is organizing all photographic elements of your scene in order to create a balanced and harmonious picture.
The choice of a good composition makes it possible to highlight the main photographic elements (the subject (s)).
This way of composing was intended to create aesthetic images, pleasant to watch.
But if you want to create interesting photos that make sense, it is not enough . A good composition should allow you to place the photographic elements to properly express your emotions and your messages.
The elements of the photographic language that you are going to use will be developed in your composition. Be very vigilant during this step.
Remember this acronym TDLSC. If you apply it correctly, your photographs will have that little extra that makes the difference with other photographers This is how you will customize your photographic creations.