If you’ve been taking pictures for some time, you’ve probably already got a picture of you content (or you probably don’t photograph often enough, or for a long enough time;) ). But was it really volunteeror was it a piece of luck ?
And yes, we’ve all taken some: good pictures, but without knowing the slightest bit about it. how we did to get them. For example, this picture of a poppy on the left is one of my first images that I liked. However, the top of the petal is cut off, the photo is blurred (1/25th at 250mm, no wonder…), and I can even confess that I shot in JPEG ! (yes, me too, what do you think ? :P) However, I rather like this blur which almost gives a painting effect, and I even have a certain affection for this beginner’s imperfection.
If I wanted to reproduce this effect now, I would technically know how to do it, and I would do it. best. Only, while taking the picture, I just didn’t really control my settings, and it was pure luck to get this effect (I just thought of reducing the depth of field).
Are you basing this on luck?
Sometimes being lucky isn’t Evil. You have to accept that despite all your knowledge and practice, sometimes you can capture a good image only by chance. Only if you count anytime on luck, we won’t get much good footage, and we won’t make any progress.
You rely mainly on luck if..:
- You take a lot (too) many pictures. One hour of photos and you have 500 more photos on your hard drive.
- You don’t have the slightest idea how reproduce a photo you’ve taken.
- You feel uncomfortable, a little bit. nervous and no control over what you do when you photograph.
- You take the same picture 10 times with different settings, “just in case.”
Don’t worry, I’ve been through all those steps too. It’s only natural. It’s all about knowing how to get out of it so you can stop taking good pictures on a lucky break, and start taking them in a way that thoughtful and volunteer.
How to take pictures voluntarily?
1. Learn the basics of your camera
It goes without saying, but it gets better when you say it: you need to understand how your camera determines exposure and so on. That’s good, I’ve already explained this in several articles:
If you want to go further, you can also read articles on creative modes, exposure compensation, and brightness metering modes.
If you can understand and integrate all this, you will see that you will know how to control the exposure of a photo. And that’s the basics!
2. Learn how light works
As a photographer, light is both our best friend and our worst enemy. I had already written an article about light (my humor was particularly dubious that day :P), but after reading it and integrating it, you’ll have to experiment.
On a daily basis, analyze light sources (even if you don’t have a device on you): is it strong or weakvery directional or not, soft or hard, hot or cold ? You can really do this everywhere! In transport, during a break at work, in the street, … An excellent way to do it is by watching a movie: lights are often very characteristic in filmsbecause they are controlled in such a way as to give a precise feeling, and are therefore almost caricatural. But they’re very easy to analyze.
On top of that, think about it when you photograph, of course. Play with the light as it is, try to enhance its characteristics even more with what you know about exposure.
3. Learn the depth of field
The depth of focus is an important tool for your creativity and that modifies your photos enormously, and you need to know how it works to be able to produce this effect voluntarily, and to obtain exactly the depth of field you want. That’s good, there is a course on depth of field already all done 😉
4. Restrict yourself
As mentioned above, one of the characteristics of the “lucky” photographer is that he takes a lot of pictures, only to select a few. So, force yourself not to shoot like a madman all the time. It will force you to think about your images.
(I’ve already written a whole article on the subject: Trigger less to earn more)
Compose your image, analyze the light, make adjustments according to your photographic intention, shoot, and move on to the next image. Come on, you have the right to check that the result on your screen corresponds to your intention before moving on to the next picture 😉.
5. Analyze your images afterwards
Despite all these precautions, two things are going to happen:
- you’re gonna get some more good footage on a lucky break.
- you’re gonna miss some more pictures
In both cases, take the time to analyze why. It’s extremely important, and very rewarding. You won’t regret it.
The best way is to use the EXIFs data to see afterwards why you got such and such an effect on your image without even meaning to, or on the contrary why the final photo doesn’t quite match what you wanted to do. It’s really one of the best ways to progress in photography…I insist heavily on that. It is normal to fail, but it is useless if you don’t analyse the why so that you don’t make the same mistakes next time.
Nobody is born a good photographer. You can learn that.. You too you can learn. But I’m not going to lie to you: you’ll continue to learn throughout your life as a photographer, and you’ll only know never everything (and fortunately, there would be no more interest;) ). But on the other hand, I’m convinced that you can quickly learn to stop taking random pictures and to start taking them voluntarily.
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