2008-01-01

First steps first

I've given much thought on this first "Photography Tutorial." Its hard to determine what is THE foundation of a good photograph.

Many things crossed my mind, but today, I have to reach back and remember what my mentors taught me...what their best advice was.

Take a step forward.

That's it. Compose your photograph, no matter what it is, and then walk one pace forward. For now, everything else can remain the same. Just keep your subject in the viewfinder and walk towards it. THEN snap the picture.

I can't tell you how many times this simple advice has, for me, elevated a fine picture into a great one. It sounds too easy and simple to be true, but yet it is the best advice I've ever been given. Too often we include what we think is important background information in our photographs. You DON'T need it. What's important is your subjects...they tell the story of your photograph, not their surroundings. Believe me, the backdrop will still be in the image, and will be all the stronger for not dominating the photograph.

So, easy enough. Tomorrow, pick up your camera and start to snap some shots of whatever inspires you. Just take one step forward...it's your first step into being the photographer you know is inside you.

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Want some personal advice?
Send me a link to one of your photos...maybe I'll do a 'critique' of it here (I'll be kind, I promise), complete with an 'after' that is yours...a free Photoshop make-over! If you don't want your photograph featured here but still want some free advice, I'm happy to help.

In the words of my much beloved Perry Farrell, "Here we GO!"

13 comments:

  1. I like this. I'm definitely trying this one out - thank you.

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  2. Great suggestion, thanks! We're in the process of upgrading from our little point and shoot to a Nikon D-40 (i.e. it's purchased but we won't receive it until my parents come over for a visit a few months from now) so I am avidly collecting tips right now. I'm really hoping this new camera will bump my photos up to a whole new level.

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  3. i once read a whole photography book about taking pics of kids. basically, it could all have been distilled down to your advice. since i started getting close my pictures have become so much better! i was recently looking back at a photo album from my childhood and everyone is so far away!!!!!!

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  4. I am excited to get started with your tips. I am not a photographer, but I do take a lot of pictures. I just have a little digital point and shoot, but it take good pictures. This will be fun!

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  5. Can't wait to try this suggestion - thanks!!

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  6. Hi -- new here. :) I agree... coming in closer is the single best thing the average person can do to improve their photographs.

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  7. To quote photographer Robert Capa, "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough."

    Great reminder. Happy New Year!

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  8. I call what you described "zooming with your feet." I heard that phrase from a friend at work, and it really works.

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  9. Any suggestions on a point and shoot with a zoom greater than 3x?

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  10. I have an ex-boyfriend who is now a cinematographer, and the best simple photography advice he gave me was to always be aware of the head-room and get rid of it! As soon as I became conscious of the "head room" I noticed how often I included so much of it, and stopped, making my photos much better. It's similar to the point you give here.

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  11. Oooh I love me some photography stuff :D

    I thought about doing something similar on my blog.... but for now I will just watch (much easier for me LOL)

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  12. Wonderful and simple. The key to all great advice :-)
    Found you through the fabulous fusster. Mrs. Alli, that is :-)
    I love photography, and like you, have always been drawn to it. I'm pining for a real camera. I shall hve it too, one day. No matter what :-). LOL, kind of.
    Great advice. I look forward to more, after all; you come highly recommended.

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  13. What kind of camera should a minor or newcomer to photagraphy start out with please help. Didnt take pic but want to take simular ones of horses and other animals, and nature.

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Brilliant observations: