Why and How: Mastering the 6 Steps of The Creation of Photographs – Part 1
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.
The Little Story of this Article
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.
Why Mastering the 6 Steps of Photographic Creation?
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.
How Mastering the 6 Steps of Photographic Creation?
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!
Step #1: Define Your Photographic Approach
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:
- Your photographic artistry.
- Your photographic why.
- Your motto.
- The text that will justify your photographic activity.
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.
Step #2: Define Your Photographic Projects
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:
- Write down your ideas on a piece of paper.
- Watch that they are consistent with your vision.
- Start thinking about the story you are going to tell for each of them
Step #3: Get Your Shots Right on the Field
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.