Impressionist photography is lively, spontaneous, unpredictable ̶ with a will of its own. It’s a type of photography perfectly suited to exploration and discovery.
There are no definite rules in impressionist photography; each picture is different and each subject matter comes with its own demands. For this reason, it is important to have a clear vision. Try to imagine your image before you start shooting, and this will help you to compose it with ease. Take your time to observe the scene and apply different techniques to follow your initial vision until the end of your photoshoot.
The biggest challenge is to translate the beauty that we see, as we see it, into impressionist photographs.
Impressionist photography is both an art and a science. As an art, it expresses a personal vision. As a science, it relies on technology.
For this reason, it is important that we become completely familiar with our camera and lenses. We need to practise the technical aspects of photography so they will become second nature to us and we no longer have to concentrate on them. Then we can become free to create our images, using our camera and lenses as an extension of our mind and our eyes.
If the camera is the brain of photography, then lenses are the soul. They do the most work when it comes to translating your personal vision of the scene into a photograph. Depending on how they are built, lenses can see the world with different viewpoints, which is something that our eyes can’t do. This allows you to create images that carry more visual impact, simply because they show a view of the world that we are not used to seeing.
A successful image depends on developing an individual way of seeing and interpreting.
The camera and lenses that you use are clearly important, but equally, a successful image depends on developing an individual way of seeing and interpreting. This is what makes image-making so fascinating and gives it such breadth and variety.
For example: when you are photographing a sunset, you will quite likely resort to using typical ‘sunset technique’, and the results will look like everyone else’s. But if you feel the beauty of the sunset, and can recognise and identify the particular nature of your emotion, you will invent the perfect technique to express your response. The resulting image will be unique because it’s wholly yours.
Ultimately each artist with a camera will have a preference for a certain camera, lens or technique that they have become more comfortable with over time. Confidence comes with skills. Skills come with practice. The more you practise, the faster and more intuitive your process will become, leaving you time to focus on expressing your soul.