The wonderful thing about impressionist photography is the freedom that it gives you. There is no right or wrong way to create these images, just guidelines. Also, there is no need for expensive lenses or special equipment; you only need a camera with manual control settings.
Impressionist photography is excellent for beginners, but it can provide exciting new directions for skilled photographers who can push the boundaries of traditional photography and stimulate their work and thinking. Creating images using impressionist techniques can also help photographers who have been trained using more rigid principles to approach their work with a more playful attitude.
Because of the versatile nature of impressionist photography it is an excellent medium for developing your own means of expression and your own personal style. There is freedom either to work with precision and control or to try a spontaneous, experimental approach. You can vary your techniques to suit your mood and the idea you have in mind.
Although Impressionism gives you a lot of freedom, it doesn’t mean being thoughtless. Creating impressionist work doesn’t mean just using special techniques. You still have to use your sense of composition and have a knowledge of light, colour and other elements of visual design to present your subject in the best possible way.
You don’t have to capture a lot to create an impressionist image. As the name suggests, the beauty of working in this style is that you only need to imply a subject and mood, through the careful use of light and colour.
In fact, an impressionist image works best if it tells a simple story. Your job, as an impressionist photographer, is to say just enough without overwhelming your viewers with too many visual elements. Provide only enough building blocks for them to fill in. Let their imagination go loose, and play.
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Success in impressionist photography requires an understanding of the genre and knowledge of its strengths and limitations. The essential skills will provide a good basis to work from, but remember that successful impressionist images are not only about applying techniques. Just as important is the ability to use your individuality, so you can convey what particularly impresses you about the subject you want to photograph.
If you would like to jump start your journey in impressionist photography, join my online course, Fundamentals of Impressionist Photography.