Tuesday, January 27, 2015

25 Quick Thoughts On Photography

Brownie Target Six-20 - Stallion Springs, California
Here are 25 quick thoughts that I have on photography. Ready, set, go!

#1. Cameras don't matter. Ever. Either you can or you cannot capture great images.

#2. Those that say that cameras do matter are often insecure in their own abilities. They believe that having top-of-the-line equipment somehow make's their photography better.

#3. If great gear is necessary to create great photographs, how can one explain the great photographs captured with cell phones, Holgas or home-built cameras?

#4. A "crappy" camera in hand is worth two Leica's at home on a shelf.

#5. What does matter in photography is photographic vision.

#6. Creativity and the decisive moment are essential.

#7. You should photograph whatever it is that fascinates you. The more a subject interests you, the more energy, effort and brain power you'll put into it.

#8. Photography is very simple. Anyone can do it, and it doesn't take much effort to learn the basics of how everything works.

#9. Great photography is very difficult. It takes years of practice (and mistakes) to even begin to understand it.

#10. Failure is good, just as long as you learn from it and keep moving forward.

#11. A simple camera set up is better than a complex camera set up. You are more likely to use something if you can just grab-and-go. Less is more.

#12. Less is also more when it comes to each image. Almost always it is better to include the least that you can (and still get the point across) in the frame.

#13. Don't over-complicate things. Too much complexity in any part of photography will weigh you down over time.

#14. Photographing close to home is good. You have much more access to what is around you than places that are far away.

#15. Photographing far away is good, too. It's amazing what visiting great places does for your spirit.

#16. Photography books are better than photography magazines. Books will show you how to do something or will inspire you or educate you somehow. Magazines will also do that, but they have a tendency to give you G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).

#17. G.A.S. is bad because it takes your time, attention, money and energy away from what matters most in photography, and forces you to use it on what matters very little.

#18. Photography forums are pretty much useless. The strongest personalities on them are often amateurs that live in their parent's basement, and these strong personalities typically drive out the most helpful people.

#19. It's good to have someone who's opinion you trust critique your photographs. He or she might notice something that you've completely overlooked that will make a big difference for your photography.

#20. Be careful who you listen to when it comes to critics. Some opinions aren't worth anything, and some are even destructive.

#21. A quick post-processing workflow is great. You don't want to spend too much time sitting at a computer while the rest of life passes by. Find any shortcuts you can to speed this up.

#22. Want the look of film? Shoot film. Want digital images that look pretty darn close to film? Use Alien Skin Exposure software.

#23. Don't let the number of "likes" or "stars" or "favorites" fool you about a photograph. I've had some weak images get a lot of positive attention while some strong images got almost nothing.

#24. Try and capture at least one photograph a day, and never let a week go by without using your camera.

#25. Photography rules should be ignored. Sometimes they are appropriate for a scene, sometimes they are not. Often the best images broke at least one photography rule.

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