A photography philosophy helps me stay focused.
Today, anyone with a mobile phone is a considered a photographer. Although I do enjoy using my iPhone on occasion, it doesn’t always allow me to capture the image I have in mind. Nevertheless, even the most expensive photography equipment doesn’t guarantee award-winning photographs. Truly, the photographer is the key component of a successful image. In fact, the composition is the most crucial element of any photograph. My photography philosophy is a set of organized thoughts I practice to help me maintain focus and achieve the best results; thus, before pressing the shutter release button, I try to concentrate on three objectives:
Frame it right!
- Clearly identify the subject. A captivating image has a target which causes the viewer to engage.
- Eliminate distractions. Perform a 360-degree scan in the viewfinder for undesired objects.
Make it interesting!
- Composition is crucial! Consider using the rule of thirds or the golden ratio. Remember, some rules are bendable and others breakable, but it’s just a guide. Think about how you want to frame your image before you press the shutter release.
- Identify leading lines and use contrast to draw in the viewer.
Deploy proper techniques!
- Camera settings are important, but understanding how they contribute to your goal is critical, e.g., your desired depth of field (DOF).
- Choose a shutter speed with forethought. Think about your desired results.
- Understand exposure modes and how to expose correctly. Check the histogram.
- Don’t forget about white balance. Select the correct settings to match the lighting conditions and consider shooting in RAW.
- Use a tripod when needed to reduce camera shake.
- Turn off lens stabilization when on a tripod.
- Learn how to master ambient and artificial light.
- Gain experience, network with others and learn from their mistakes and accomplishments.
- Relax and enjoy yourself, if you’re not having fun you’re doing something wrong!
Also, see About The Artist.