Taking amazing photographs requires good equipment and the skills to use them. This statement, while true, is incomplete. Great photography also requires knowing what to aim your camera at, and how. This ability is sometimes called creative vision or having a photographer’s eye. It makes the difference between the ordinary tourist photo and the striking photos published in books and on the web. Those who don’t have it, feel they must search far and wide for the extraordinary. On the other hand, those who have it, see the extraordinary all around them. And they can prove it with extraordinary photos.
So how can you develop an eye for photography? It’s an ongoing process, but these tips will give you a head start:
Understand That the World Is Four-Dimensional
Yes, a four-dimensional world sounds a little crazy, but hear me out. Everyone understands the three dimensions of length, width, and height. The fourth dimension, if you look it up in a physics book, is time. That means an object, tree, building, landscape, and even people appear differently depending on your viewing angle and viewing distance (the three physical dimensions), and the time of day or year (the fourth dimension). Don’t just walk around until you see something striking. Choose a subject that seems promising and view it from different angles and distances. Come back later in the day or when the weather is different, and repeat the exercise.
Understand the Effects of Lighting
Outdoor lighting effects depend on your viewing angle relative to the sun, and the time of day, weather, and the season. Low angled sunlight can produce striking shadows or rays of streaming sunlight. This kind of light can produce dramatic and even emotional effects in your photos. However, don’t limit your photography to sunny weather. Overcast days produce diffuse and scattered light that’s perfect for studying the texture and color variations of things. Even something as ordinary as toadstools and moss at the base of a tree, make beautiful subjects on overcast days.
Look for Lines
Lines can be either straight or curved. A winding path is a curved set of lines that compel the eye to follow its length. Streets, railroads, and fences are straight lines when viewed from the proper angle. The ceilings, floors, and walls of long hallways consist of multiple lines. Some of the best photos consist of lines that direct the eye to an interesting subject. Lines aren’t an absolute necessity for good photos, but you shouldn’t pass them up when they’re encountered.
Finally, study the photos that strike you as exceptional, and analyze exactly what the photographer did. For more information and photography tips, contact us.
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