The best images are not always the ones that you deliberately look for. Sometimes they appear suddenly before your lens and need to be captured quickly. Others need to be carefully searched for, contemplated, and tried from many different angles before getting them right. The good news is that, regardless of where you are and what you are photographing, there are always good images to be made – you just need to find them. If you believe there is beauty and interesting stuff all around you, you will see it, more and more, as you open yourself up. You just need a willingness to explore and find what is extraordinary in the ordinary things around you. Your goal is to move past what the subject is and look at it for any visual excitement it might offer. When you focus on an object you are more likely to make assumptions based on what you know about it, rather than concentrating on what you can actually see.
One way to see beyond the subject is by asking yourself how you feel about what you seeing. What does it express to you? Are you interested in the subject for its texture, or perhaps its shape? Is the light expressing a certain mood? Is the scene exciting and full of energy, or static and sad?
It is important to learn how to look at subjects in terms of shapes, lines and colours.
It is also important to learn how to look at subjects in terms of shapes, lines and colours. At first, the tendency is to see objects rather than shapes, so you have to search for a different way of looking and understanding. It may be helpful to look at the scene through an ‘out of focus’ lens. This way you will remove all the distracting details and see overall shapes, lines and colours. This may spark new ideas for an image that you didn’t consider before.
As you go about your daily activities, notice the shapes around you. Teach yourself to pick up on patterns. Simply seeing the shapes, textures, patterns and colours in your surroundings can provide great inspiration for your photographs.
Successful images depend on developing an individual way of seeing and interpreting.
Skills and techniques are obviously important assets for the image-making process. But equally, if not more so, successful images depend on developing an individual way of seeing and interpreting. Once you have practised seeing the world in a new way, you will see things that only you can see.
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