I’m getting a little better at capturing the images I want to keep. This has been an uphill struggle. I see photography I like and I’m often struggling to try to do replicate it. I buy books, I buy expensive equipment, I take classes, I ask pro photogs for tips, etc. I take one step forward, two steps back. But at least once in a while I get something I like. And that’s all that matters eh?
Take these two recent shots I grabbed of Kingston this past weekend. I like them. I tried every recent tip I could remember at the given moment. Here’s a rundown of stuff I’ve been told. This is not an indictment of what’s right or wrong…just stuff I’ve observed and been told. The whole concept is very dodgey to me…nobody will just come right out and just show you how to do any of this.
- Take as many shots as you want. As it turns out, one secret of pro photographers I’ve seen is they simply take a billion shots and just pick and choose a handful of the better ones. Of course the better they are, the more gems they get, but the concept is that you take so many photos there’s GOT to be a good one amongst them. Like my best friend once told me, “the sun shines on a monkeys ass once in a while” (Hmm, not sure that applies here as I intended but it sounds good)
- I don’t know if this tip depresses me or not, but as it turns out, even pro photographers rely heavily on post production work. Here I’ve been told that the goal is to get the perfect shot IN-camera without any Photoshop work, but from what I’ve seen, every successful photographer I know does all this post work. I’m like “well, shit, even I can do that!”
- It’s been my observation that high contrast, strong color work is what’s trendy lately. I know my father who’s a purist, hates this kind of look, but I find it appealing for now. I know a photographer who charges top dollar for this kind of look.
- Spend big bucks. Yes, I know…a good photographer can get a good shot using a crappy camera. But certainly buying equipment yields you more opportunities to grab the right moment. Whereas a crappy camera really relies upon your ability to be a good photographer.
- Now this last tip that I’ve observed is the set that seems to be the hardest set of skills for me to understand or master. Lighting, and using aperture priority. I’m getting better at it, but it’s still a lot of blind luck. I paid a pro photographer once to do my family photos and watched as she focused everything manually on aperture priority and managed to get perfect shots. Envy!