“A picture is worth ten thousand words.” – Fred R. Barnard, 1927.
How true that is. Much like anything that has wheels, pictures move you. They invoke thought and feeling. You can’t escape good photography. You’re enveloped in it. That’s what I want to do in photography.
Some have that perfect eye for photography, others learn it. The one thing in common that we all share is that we all love photography. Do things that make you happy, relaxed, patient. The best pictures often are taken when you’re standing still. Don’t move around too much, let the world move around you. Capture that moment; because when it comes down to it, that picture you took stays the same, even though the scenery and the people in it change. You’ve successfully froze time — and that’s a powerful thing.
I use almost exclusively Adobe Lightroom CC. Yes, I’ve done the Photographer’s Plan for $10/month. That plan also includes Adobe Photoshop (which I’m yet to explore). Adobe Lightroom has some very powerful tools to bring the most out of your photos. You can literally change the mood of the photo in Lightroom. I use resources like YouTube to help guide me and teach me how to use Lightroom to its fullest potential to get the most out of my photos.
This is one of the first pictures I’ve taken with my Nikon D3400. I cringe when I look at it. The post-processing work is way overdone. You see your first photos and you think “Damn. I need to work on that.” Never stop working and honing in on your craft. Never stop improving. Then you’ll realize you’re loving photography more and more every single day.
Just like a disease, photography really is a bug that you can’t get rid of. You can’t help but to just simply keep shooting. You can’t help but to just keep purchasing (new lens, batteries, bodies, etc…). It’s that same bug that infected me with cars and motorcycles. That deep-burning passion to constantly hone in. To make absolutely perfect, then make even more perfect. It’s a never-ending cycle. You never truly stop. That’s the God-honest truth.
Slowly but surely, as you become more aware of different settings on your camera, as you become more fluent in your post-editing application, as you learn the eye of photography, your work grows. You take so many pictures, it’s not even funny. Bad photos, good photos, photos that you can’t stop looking at. “Damn that’s a nice picture.”
Photos that you take are ones that reflect your personality and mood. It’s a snapshot of that very moment in your life that you’re sharing with the rest of the world. If you’re feeling dark and sad, your photos will reflect that, even though you shot during the day. If you’re up and happy, your photos will also reflect that, even though you shot at night. Feeling mysterious? You can convey that. Feeling ambitious? Your photos will show that, too. That’s the amazing thing about photography.
Everybody has their own escape. Some people escape with video games, some people escape with booze, some people escape by listening to music. Me? My escape is traveling, cars and photography.
You’re not going to get perfect shots every time, and that’s okay. That’s actually good. I never get perfect shots every time. Out of thousands and thousands of raw photos, I am proud of maybe 20 of them? You shoot, shoot and you shoot some more. Let yourself grow. Let yourself explore. Let your emotions out. It’s all is told though your photography.
Angle is everything. Everybody can take pictures at eye-height. In my opinion, those are the pictures that are forgettable. You already see things at eye-height. Explore your surroundings, explore your vantage point. As you can tell, most of my photography is done low to the ground. As one of my customers and friend said “You can put a thousand photographers in a room and have them take a picture of a single object. You’ll get a thousand different pictures.” Be different. Do different.
In the example of the Volvo above, the Volvo was parked at an angle right next to a gravel parking lot. Taking a picture down low expands the horizons and makes it look like it’s traveling in an isolated rolling field filled with cut grass.
You’ll never stop learning photography. You’re always going to learn. To help you get closer to where you want to be, I use YouTube (accounts like Peter McKinnon are amazing tools) and SkillShare to teach me a thing or two. I’m not ashamed of not knowing. Knowledge is power, and with power, you can achieve anything.