The manner in which some are innately drawn to athletics, or an instrument, that was the way I was drawn to this craft. Completely enamored with the creative and interpretive elements — especially the freedom one has with storytelling via the final composition — photography has always made my heart flutter.
What began as an attraction, blossomed into love… and some twenty plus years later, it has evolved into a rewarding relationship. My mate photography and I have come a looooooong way… and with each collaboration, we continue to become better partners.
I jokingly term it a relationship, but the reality is that photography can be incredibly intimate. As I encounter and chat with others that adore the art form, there tends to be a common bond we have with our cameras. An affectionate, special and personal connection… as if the camera is an extension of ourself. For me, my camera can easily be categorized as such. It is my third eye. My third expressive eye.
I know what you may be wondering. My response: nope.
By no means am I a professional photographer. An amateur at best.
If I were asked to speak before a group and explain aperture… or ISO number… even shutter speed — I would most certainly fail miserably. Haha — my photography knowledge is extremely elementary. While I do have a general understanding of some of the technical terms/components… emphatically, I say that it is only basic AND limited! A few books, an attentiveness when surrounded by photography peers, countless Google searches and a considerable amount of trial and error is truly the breadth of my resume. But, where I fall short with formal education, I’m confident that my artistic abilities and an intuitive expressive third eye, easily compensate.
Definitely not bragging… just sharing.
You know how a person can be described as playing an instrument by ear? No formal training… just a natural gift to be able to convey song via an internal understanding… a rhythm, eh? Well, often I feel as if that is applicable to me with regards to photography. Especially when it comes to capturing an image/creating a compositing via my camera. I sort of get lost in the moment — I thoroughly enjoy the process and the mode of expression photography provides.
I must be doing something interesting… for as of late, I have received an enormous amount of feedback regarding my pictures. Absolutely flattering to receive such complements. But most interesting, are the “how to” questions that get feed my way. What is funny (and always the norm) is that when I do provide a response, I ALWAYS feel the need to put out a disclaimer –as if to remind the inquirer that I have no technical training — maybe even really saying, “you’re asking me??”
Haha… my expressive third eye, must not be too shabby, eh?!
So… in true kishafwd fashion, I’m thinking, why not share my top four tips when taking a picture!
Can’t stress this enough… embrace the natural light. There is nothing better than an image illuminated by natural light. Especially the light coming in through a doorway or window. I will say that taking pictures outside, completely exposed in the natural light can be a little tricky — those damn overhead shadows can be soooooo annoying — and as an amateur, I am STILL trying to figure that out! But, if you are like me… you too have found that one of the best places to capture the natural light is via your kitchen window!
Opt for unique framing. My pick? Close-up and off-center! Your subject centered perfectly in the middle of the frame is not always necessary… and truth be told, for candid shots, it can become boring. Why not include a little negative space in the mix and have your image far left or far right in the frame? For that matter, why not even take it a step further and play around with the perspective? Taking the picture from an unexpected angle can add an unforgettable interest. One that makes the storytelling via your camera even that more profound!
It’s simple. Pay attention to the background. (Hmmmm… I really should be stressing this to all of the youngin’s snapping self-portraits of themselves with dirty laundry on the floor… or better yet, the toilet in the background!) Bottom line, a careful eye to what lies in the background, behind your subject is always a MUST! Trust me… it matters and can truly make or break your picture.
Click, click, click away! Don’t just snap one shot… take multiple shots back to back. Haha — I am always forewarning those in my pics to be ready because I am going to take at the minimum, three pictures in a row. Why? It insures that I get the shot. There are bound to be errors and mishaps — poor focus, shaky hands, the subject’s eyes were closed, someone wasn’t ready — you get it? It might seem redundant… but when I am viewing my images on my computer, I find it incredibly useful to have multiple images to choose from for the event/project. Like I mentioned earlier… it insures that I get the shot!
So there you have it.
Not overly complicated or complex.
Just a few pretty basic tips that can easily be incorporated into your picture-taking ventures. As a photographer my growth continues. Daily I am learning… practicing… learning… practicing — always working on my skills, with the hopes of one day being proficient.
Hey… I am digging my camera and the direction in which my expressive third eye is headed. I think that I am on to something kiddos…
And all I can say is look out!