Why and How: Improving Your Photos in 15 Steps – Part 2

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Landscape in Black and White of Death Valley. Sand Dunes. Photograph by Amar Guillen, photographer artist.
Landscape in Black and White of Death Valley. Sand Dunes.

Tip # 1: Creating Photos That Look Like You

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.

Tip 2: Mastering the Technique Perfectly

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.

Tip # 3: Seek Inspiration

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.

Tip # 4: Creating Images That Have an Emotional Impact

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.

Tip # 5: Creating Images with Your Experiences

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.

Tip # 6: Creating Beyond Illustrative Images

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.

Tip # 7: Photographing Iconic Scenes with a Single Idea

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.

Tip # 8: Look at Nature in a Different Way

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Article published on Friday, April 17, 2020 . Written by
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