When people find out that I am a professional artist and photographer, generally, the conversation automatically goes to one of two subjects:
- The kind of camera I use (how many megapixels it captures etc.)
- Whether I think film or digital is better (and which do I shoot with)
And I must confide, here and now, that I find conversations about photography framed in such a way, supremely boring and somewhat annoying. I’d much rather discuss the depth and breadth of photographic history and what concepts impact an artist’s choice of photographic method than discuss camera brands and equipment, or rehash the film vs. digital debate. I just think that photography, as an artistic practice, is more than just the camera you use. Also, why should one have to choose between film and digital? There’s no reason not to use every tool available to you.
Furthermore, in this day and age, in 2016, you can probably make a good image using virtually almost any digital camera out there, even your cell phone. The quality of an image, goes beyond megapixels and film, and rests squarely on the shoulders of the image creator.
There are several basic principles and skills you can master to get better images. Good image making, even at it’s most technologically savvy, is a creative process by which an individual is able to use what’s available to them and make the best out of it.
In brief, here are the three elements which I think are key to making good images better.
- Stop & Look
Photography is about seeing and understanding how you see, discovering what interests you. Is it color, patterns or movement – the sky’s the limit really. An important part in the practice of photography is slowing down and NOT snapping a picture but rather appreciating moments as they happen.
- It’s All About the Light
The word photography derives from ancient Greek; the root phŏtos or phŏs means, “light” and graphé means, “ drawing” or “representation by line”. Therefore, photography literally means “drawing with light” or “light writing”. Good light = good images.
Composition encompasses a lot, but basically, it’s using all the rules of photography to your advantage or breaking them all together. But armed with basic compositional knowledge you can do virtually anything when shooting an image.
These are, I think, the most basic principles of getting better pictures. If you want to know more, specifically about getting better photos from your cell phone, please join me on March 29 at 12:00 noon for a webinar entitled: Get Better Pictures from Your Cell Phone.
In my next blog segment, (March 17), I’ll talk a little about knowing and understanding how your camera works. Of course, this is also critical knowledge for getting better pictures, even on your cell phone.
In the meantime: