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Ideas To Inspire You To Think Outside The Box
Last week on my way into town traveling 70 mph I saw what I assumed was a photograph. I was even compelled enough to turn around to get another look to see if it was indeed something worth recording. Someone had plowed their field and the snow had not melted in the bottoms of the rows. These created dark and light patterns in the sector that I believed were interesting.
It made me consider all the times I see an image and, although I may even have my camera with me, I keep driving. Photography helps us see. Diane Arbus said, “I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.”
In our busy lives we are always looking but, very often, we are not seeing. A minimum of we are not actively seeing. Most of the time we are in our head and it decides what we see. Our mind is filtering out every moments reality and replaying some distant memory it has become accustomed to. After we put the camera up to our eye we begin leave a mind full of thoughts and are available to start seeing selectively. The viewfinder limits our would to only what we want.
It is said that a beginner photographer will use a large angle lens to get essentially the most into their photograph. As they begin to understand what interests them they begin using longer and longer lenses to then begin to isolate their subject. Even when they switch back to a wide angle lens they still are very specific in what is include in their photograph. You’ll be able to often tell how developed an artist is by what they include of their art-and what they don’t.
Everyone has a different perspective. A real artist can demonstrate their perspective of their work. As they mature they begin developing style. I look for this after i look at art.
I put together some ideas to assist the photographer see.
I actually found this list from something I wrote a while back to help me think outside the box.
– Search for lines and angles. Buildings, bridges, and man made objects are geometric and their lines make for interesting images.
– Patterns and symmetry. There are patterns everywhere and photographing them with a novel perspective can make for interesting images.
Light and shadows. Using light and shadow is what photography is all about. Look for unique ways in which light plays on a landscape or object.
– Balance. In composition we need a balance between objects in our photograph. If a picture is heavily weighted it draws the viewer to that part sacrificing the rest of the image. Similarly, voids in an image can be distracting. The whole image must work together to keep the viewer engaged.
– Unique perspective. Most photographs are taken at eye level because we see at eye level. When photographing something low get down to its level. Don’t forget to lookup or down to see if there is something a bit of different. I’ve been known to climb on things to get that different perspective. By shifting to an unusual perspective we immediately make our image unique.
– Color. The usage of color or the lack of it can assist make a photograph. The usage of complementary colors within an image helps to balance it and could be very pleasing to the eye. The opposite can also work if tension is the purpose of the image. Monochromatic (one color) images convey mood and feeling.
– The silhouette. We end up getting a silhouette after we don’t want by shooting a subject that’s back lit. The camera’s meter reads the bright background and the topic get less than needed exposure. It may possibly still be an interesting photograph if we would like to show shape but not detail of an object. Any subject that is lit from behind and has little light illuminating the side facing the camera can be silhouetted.
– High key/low key. High key images have mostly light tones like a bride in a wedding dress against a white background. They convey a joyous or happy feeling and are typically low contrast images. Low key images have mostly dark tones and express more of a dramatic darker mood. Hard lighting creates drama by hiding detail in shadows.
– Time. By stopping action we will see things we could not see at normal speed. Everyone has seen the photograph by Harold Edgerton of a bullet stopped in mid flight as it exits an apple. Many camera exposures are faster than we will see and stop the action of our world. Through the use of slow shutter speeds we can also blur our world creating very interesting images, whether it is stars streaking across the sky or water falling over rocks.
– Water. Water is a subject all its own. Moving water could be stopped or blurred into a surreal image by the photographer’s choice of shutter speed. Still water can reflect an entire landscape or a simple form. Even a small puddle can reflect the whole world. Ripples in water distort objects and offers them unique form.
– Go up close. Just about everyone can improve their photographs by moving somewhat closer to their subject and filling a bit of more of the viewfinder. Those that get intimate with their subjects are drawn to macro photography.
– Try a portrait. Portraits can be of any subject. What makes it a portrait is that it is staged. By staging your photograph you’ve gotten to offer it thought. What is the subject going to be Where is it going to be What kind of background What kind of lighting What sort of mood Do not forget your depth of field.
– Using focal length. Play with your zoom when looking for your photograph. Change from pulse on off switch wide angle to telephoto to see if something unique strikes you. This allows you to alter perspective without moving.
– Photograph what excites you. My creativity tanks when I am forced to photograph something that doesn’t excite me. When I’m depressed it seems there are not any images anywhere. If you find something that excites you you have a better chance to get a good image.
– Try something new. We never learn anything different if we keep doing the same thing. We are creatures of habit so go ahead, close your mind and open your eyes.
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