Taking a Picture vs. Creating a Photograph

Jun 30, 2007

With the increasing prevalence of cost-effective digital photography equipment, it’s easy to expect that you will be able to take “professional” quality pictures immediately after unwrapping the box. But there’s so much more that goes into the delicate art of creating an image that truly reflects the artist’s vision and captures the soul of the subject. The art of photography lies in the space between immediacy and preparation — blinding inspiration and years of groundwork.

Constant Vigilance

Being there at just the right moment isn’t blind luck. Yes, the accidentally perfect candid shot can seem like a gift from the gods — but it’s the exception, not the rule. An intentionally trained eye will continually be on the lookout for potential frames. Identifying an interesting subject, finding its angle and light, determining the right moment to shoot: all should become second nature after a while. A good way to develop this habit is to make a policy of looking — just intently observing — at least one object in your daily life for thirty seconds a day. Do this for a week or two straight and you’ll find that your eye becomes more alert to aesthetic possibilities you may have glanced over without a thought.

Intentionally seeking beauty in the world around you is no easy task — but the reward can be an image that will shine in your portfolio for years.

Maintaining a Toolbox

Finding the material is just half of the equation. The other is developing a diverse skillset that can coax the potential out of what’s in front of you. Taking part in a photography workshop with your peers—led by an expert is a great way to stay on top of your craft. The savvy photographer will know how to work with the situation, deploying the right technical skills for the job. If a technique becomes easy and reliable, you risk falling into an artistic rut. You can shoot luminous dawn landscapes for days, but if you’re unfamiliar with indoor lighting, your party snaps will probably be overexposed and flat.

Mind Your Time

“Shooting digitally = unlimited shots” is nothing short of a harmful myth in the photography community. Older cameras forced photographers to limit their snaps in order to preserve film; now, we have the ability to capture hundreds or thousands of images to convenient SD cards. Great, right? Except for one critical factor: time.

It’s a sad truth of life that the day is never quite long enough to do everything that needs doing. Whether you’re a hobbyist, professional, or aspiring photographer looking to go pro, there’s always a time burden involved in the editing process. Instead of snap-snap-snapping with the plan to sort it out in post, try to limit yourself to as few shutter clicks as possible — you will find that quality trumps quantity. Remember that the more frames you shoot, the more time you will have to take in editing. Another great reason to take part in a photography workshop is that it will develop discipline to limit your frames and focus on the most promising pictures/subjects.

Visit our homepage today to discover a wealth of resources and opportunities for the aspiring photographer. Our photography workshops and guided trips can help you hone your skills, develop a unique style, and boost your artistic potential.