Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Secret to Perfect Photos: 8 Ways to Develop Your Photographer's Eye

Every photo you take should be a piece of art. Unique photos bring the clicks. They help us sell! I'm eager to improve, so when photographer Ferina Santos offered advice on developing a photographer's eye I lept on the opportunity! I'll let Ferina teach us from here:

When you start to really look at things, the experience becomes profound, even scary. The world becomes more full. You see things you never knew existed or thought much about. This guide may help you if you're just starting out as a photographic artist, or if you've been shooting for years but your vision is losing its strength or starting to pale. [Van's Note: The latter in Italics is me to a T!]

ONE: Revere the Mundane: Scrutinise a rusty bolt. A lot is going on there – oxidation is producing flakes of metal in various subtle hues. See the feathers on a duster, the texture and weave of a dish towel, the crazy pattern of milk spilt on a table.

TWO: Watch Photographers Work: You will pick up many mundane tips and shortcuts. Discover what they are looking at and figure out why. Ask questions.

THREE: Analyse the Masters: Find a set of pictures from a photographer you admire and start making a list of what appeals to you in each. Make the list specific, homing in on the traits you like in each.

FOUR: Watch the Light: Become sensitive to colours, shapes, textures, and shadows, and how they contrast or flow together. See how the light changes as you change your point of view. If you really like a subject, visit it often throughout the course of a day and see how it changes as the light changes.

FIVE: Listen to Yourself: Just as you did when you analysed the masters, go through your own photos and list what you do or don't like about each photo. Keep and improve the positive. Discard the negative or redo.

SIX: Start Shooting: Practice passionately. Approach a subject from as many different points of view as physically possible.

SEVEN: Abandon Rules: Master photographers know all the rules, but they don't get tied up by them. That could cause the loss of passion that should be behind every attempt to capture an image.

EIGHT: Ask for Input: Find someone trustworthy with a sound footing on photography and ask them to go through a collection of your work representative of what you like to do. Ask them to tell you what's good and what's bad about each photo. See how your “vision” is, or is not, reflected in each comment.

Ferina Santos is part of the team behind Open Colleges, an Australian provider of photography courses. A feisty nerd at heart with an obsession for media and vanity, she captures all her random musings with daily photographs in her blog, A Pink Banana.

Let's Photo-Nerd! Some of my favorite photos were taken with simple, antiquated cameras. You won't develop a good eye simply by purchasing fancy equipment, it takes time and effort. Got tips? What attracts you to certain photos?
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  1. Thanks for the photo tips, these are super helpful!

    1. Hope it helps! I'll be using these ones and following up with many more in the future.

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