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How to be a Great Photographer

There are many approaches to improving your pictures. This article summarizes eight.

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Take one camera (digital or analog) and film as needed. Put film into camera (if necessary). Snap shutter. Before snapping shutter, point camera at a subject that will give the viewer a meaningful aesthetic experience.

For someone who has no idea of what a camera is, learning how to carry out the first part of the prescription should take anywhere from a week to a month. However, the second part will take from a few years to forever. It's this part that I want to discuss.

There are several approaches to developing as a photographer.

1. Do nothing

A lot of people use their camera to record family celebrations and vacations and are content with the outcome.

2. Study web pages that have tips for better photographs

These will often help to tighten up your pictures. If you want to get a few ideas in a few minutes, this is the place to look.

3. Get your photographs critiqued at an appropriate website

This is a good way to learn how others respond to your pictures. But be careful. Not all criticism is equal. Some of your evaluators may be experienced professionals and others beginners. If you are going to rely on this method, it is important that you learn enough to evaluate the evaluators (see point 4).

4. Study the work of acknowledged great artists

By taking this route you can learn what elements contribute to a fine photograph. This takes time and study. Don't simply look at a few photos but read art criticism to find out what professional educators think and why.

One drawback here is that you won't be able to see how your work measures up. If you plan to take this route and also join a critique website (see point 3), you will be in a position to know which criticism to ignore and which to pay attention to.

5. Join a photography club

Clubs often have lectures, workshops, and juried shows. This can be a good hands-on learning experience.

6. Take a class (online or in person)

There are all sorts of classes. If you choose one that has assignments and feedback, you can be guided through the fundamentals by an experienced photographer.

7. Get a coach

At this point I have to say a few words about the difference between a competent photographer and a person who uses photography as an art form. The competent photographer will be able to produce pleasing postcard- or calendar-quality pictures that look like postcard and calendar pictures. The artist will be able to take photographs that represent his or her vision of the world. If you are after the former and not the latter, you should choose among methods 1 through 6. A good coach should help you develop your unique way of seeing.

8. Go to an art school

This, for people who have the time and the money, is by far the best. I studied at the San Francisco Art Institute. Here's how it worked. I went to a photography class two or three times a week. At every class meeting each student pinned 20-30 photographs to the wall and, under the supervision of an accomplished professional, we criticized our own and one another's work. We also took photography history classes as well as courses in other fields of art. Mine were film, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking. There were frequent guest lecturers. We never learned any rules. In fact, rules were never mentioned. But through a combination of years of exposure to all types of art, classical through contemporary, and having to produce 50-60 new photographs every week, we eventually learned what art was about.

There are many ways to improve your photography. Before you make your choice you should decide on your goal. If you have little time and just want to tidy up your pictures a bit, read the tips pages. On the other extreme, if your goal is to be an artist, there is nothing close to attending art school. Most people fall between these extremes.


How To Become A Photographer

So, you want to know how to become a photographer? Perhaps you love the idea of taking pictures. Maybe friends and family keep telling you that you have a natural eye for it, for creating just the right composition out of any situation. Well, that is definitely a good starting point. There was a time when being a photographer meant just getting yourself a decent 35mm camera and going out and snapping pictures on a casual basis. You opened a shop, placed some ads, and promoted...

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So, you want to know how to become a photographer? Perhaps you love the idea of taking pictures. Maybe friends and family keep telling you that you have a natural eye for it, for creating just the right composition out of any situation. Well, that is definitely a good starting point. There was a time when being a photographer meant just getting yourself a decent 35mm camera and going out and snapping pictures on a casual basis. You opened a shop, placed some ads, and promoted yourself. It is not quite so easy any more.

Taking Classes

These days, the first step to learn how to become a photographer normally starts in the classroom. Now, don’t think that you have to stop your current job and become a full-time student. On no, not thanks to our modern high-tech world. Simply spending a little investigative time on the Internet and doing a quick search, you can find a whole host of Vo-techs, colleges, universities, and trade schools that offer a veritable cornucopia of online classes that completely cover the subject of how to become a photographer. You might think, wait a minute, first off, how can I take photo classes online?

And second, just how many classes could I possibly need simply to learn how to point and shoot? Okay, to answer the first, do not fret. These institutions know what they are doing. The classes are fully outlined, and you are sent all the study material via snail-mail, or they can be downloaded as PDF documents. The training takes you step-by-step through every class in the Concerning the Class content. Learning how to become a photographer involves a whole lot more than simply “point and click.”

What is Involved in the Profession?

If you are going to learn to become a photographer, you need a good grasp of how to set up a shot. One critical factor in a photo is lighting. Some evening, try taking a picture of the moon and see how it comes out. Your classes will help you to learn about that. If you plan to open a small studio taking portraits, doing weddings, and other family gatherings, you will need to learn how to run a business. That is also covered in the lesson plan for learning how to become a photographer. Of course, there is also the question of just what type of photography you want to do as a personal preference.

There are quite a few possibilities available. You like celebrities, politicians, sports figures? You could spend your time chasing them around the globe. Or, if you pooh-pooh such things and consider yourself an artist, you could study to be the next Ansel Adams. His pictures hang in art museums all over the world! So, think long and hard as you study how to become a photographer. There is a lot involved in it and a lot of potential for a bright future, either as a hobby or professionally. In the end, your enjoyment will only increase through training.


How To Create A Professional Landscape Photograph

Landscape photography is widely popular. I am sure if you look around your home you will see at least two landscape prints that spoke to you. Photography is an art that has a message. As a photographer you have to find the message you want to portray. If you specialize in landscape photography you might think your task is easy to complete. As with any photography you have to pay attention to the details, the lighting, shadows, subject, and the equipment.

Black and white landscape photography is the hardest section to attain true artistry because you are not relying on the colors as much as the lights and shadows the image will create. Composition is very important. Composition in photography means to look for sharp edges, tones and textures. The basis of black and white photography is getting the camera to see what your eye sees in color; to bring the highlights and shadows forward with the angle of the picture. Typical subjects for black and white photography are buildings and water. Water gives the surrounding trees and rocks a contrast while drawing the eye. Landscape can encompass buildings or bridges among other subjects. Buildings lend to the angles and contrast you seek when trying for definition and emotion.

When landscape photography is your subject in color you will need to have contrast between the colors. If the sky is blue and you have blue water below chances are the picture is not going to have the contrast you are hoping for. Like black and white photography you need to have definition or composition in the shot. You will need to take a few minutes to set up the shot and perhaps take several frames before being satisfied. Color photography takes less skill than black and white photography so if you have master the last you will succeed at the first.

Lighting for landscape photography is natural rather artificial. This is important when setting up your shot. You will need to have filters for the sunlight if it is a bright day, perhaps a tripod to set up the shot and a professional grade camera to create professional prints. Studying your subject from all angles is also important. You want to make sure you are picking the best angle for the shot. Remember the message is brought forth by the skill of the photographer.

You abilities should be honed and practiced. Digital photography makes landscape photography easier because you can assess the photo before you leave a site. Again the LCD screen isn’t going to show you every aspect of the print so you will want to take a few shots of the same site to ensure a perfect picture.

Even being an amateur photographer you can gain professional looking landscape photography. The best way to gain great photographs is to practice with a subject. Going back to the same site during different seasons can help you hone your skills and net you an even better print the next time around. All photographers’ start at the same level, some may have innate skills and an eye for the photo, but practice will lead to the best print. Landscape photography may not require the skills of wildlife photography with panning the subject or portraits where you have to enliven your subject; however, it does require skills and practice.


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