Friday, December 11, 2009

Making great photos

What does it take for you to make a good photo?  We can all take pictures at any time and almost anywhere.  But what separates the good photos from the great ones?  For me, some of my best photos have come when

I was freezing cold
I got up too early
I stayed up way too late
I was sweating like mad
I waited around for hours
I waited a split second
I was by myself
I was completely uncomfortable
I was far from home
I was in my home
I tried something new
I had no expectations
The light was terrible
The light was amazing
Nothing went as planned
Everything went according to plan
I had no plan

More and more I feel like equipment has less and less to do with making memorable photos these days.  (Just google "pin hole camera photos" to see what I mean) And not just memorable, but outstanding, fantastic, emotive, abstract, and on and on. The marketing giants at the camera companies want us to think if we just get that new body/lens/(insert favorite equipment here) with its whiz bangery and do hickeys, that all of our photographic limitations will be magically lifted away in a cloud of mega pixels and ccd's!  When in reality, the only thing holding us back, is our self.

When it comes to making great images, whether we think we can, or think we cant...we're right either way.  The first step is pulling out the camera.

Did I get out of the house and make an image?  Or was it too cold and so I called it a night.  Did I get up early and capture those few fleeting moments, or did I sleep in?  Did I take my camera with me in the first place?  Have I tried capturing something new, tried a new technique or am I stuck in a creative rut?  Am I exercising my artistic eye and sharpening my mind?   Do I immerse myself in the work of others?  Am I in the habit of self critique?  Have I studied enough to know the rules, when to abide by and when to break them?

But most of all, did I make any photos today?

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