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The Impressionist Way Inspiration for Impressionist Photography

LEARNING TO See
sunset colour and people

Photography is all about light and without light photographysimply doesn't exist. You'll find some of the most exciting light when the sun is setting. So for your next photo shoot, I highly recommend that you head west to use some creative techniques, experimment with the impressionist approach to photography, and have fun! After all, having more than one way of seeing the world around you not only helps to turn your imagination loose, but also to expand your field of artistic options.

Impressionist art aims to capture the fleeting effects of nature, the atmosphere of a particular time of a day. The evening light, playful and ever changing, is perfect for capturing impressionist styles of photographs. You can get some very different results taking photos over the course of only 15 to 30 minutes. Even when the sun's disc disappears below the horizon and the colours change again, new opportunities for great images arise.

Your goal is to express an emotion or mood. To accomplish this you should only suggest detail, rather than focus on it, and emphasise shapes, light and colour and the relationship between them.

"The true impressionism is realism. So many people do not observe. They take the ready-made axioms laid down by others, and walk blindly in a rut without trying to see for themselves. "-- Childe Hassam

Impressionism is not a definable technique as such, but a way of seeing and engaging the viewer in the interpretation of the subject and mood.

An important aspect of improving any photographic technique is to experiment. You will learn so much faster from studying your own photography and trying to resolve problems that arise when shooting. It's a matter of letting curiosity lead to discovery, and trying new ideas just to see what will happen. Integrating an original discovery in your work makes you, without fail, a better photographer.

When you are experimenting, it is important to keep in mind that whatever you do won't deliver a specific outcome. Instead, go wherever an idea takes you and explore what you see happening on your LCD screen at the back of your camera. The essence of photography is a mixture of spontaneity and control. If you are relaxed and are having fun, you will be more open to ideas and you will work more creatively.

Your camera is nothing more than a tool. The end result is determined by the skills of the person using this tool, so it's important to understand your camera, how it varies from your own eyes and what it can and can't do.

Once you've mastered some basic techniques and controls of your camera the possibilities of what you shoot and how you shoot are endless. You will enter into a fascinating world where the only limitation is your sense of adventure and creativity.

As I mentioned before, there is no strict formula to create an impressionist photograph. The only thing that matters is what you want. Don't worry too much about other people's opinions. Always listen to your own vision. Follow your heart. Remember that the only thing that is original is you; your taste, your feelings, your unique experiences.

If you're not quite sure what your vision is, you may ask yourself what you like aboutyour own photographs. There will be always some aspects of your photographs that you really like, more than anything else. It could be a certain look, colour, composition or use of light. Once you are aware of what excites you in your own work, you can do it again intentionally. With this as a guide you become free to explore the world of impressionist photography, to work with light, and create highly unique images that other people will want to look at and enjoy.


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