Is your work a reflection of the effort you put forth to improve?
There is nothing that I can buy that will improve my images! NO – not one thing! In the hands of the right photographer, someone who has put the time in (often years) striving to improve their photography any camera will do! Yes, equipment can improve the technical aspects of our images or provide different fields of view, magnification, influence depth of field or reduce noise to name just a few things. But can new expensive equipment improve our images? No!
I think we all suffer from some degree of “Gear Acquisition Syndrome or GAS” at one time or another. Think about it! The Digital Camera of today has, in many cases, eliminated our need to understand many of the technical aspects of photography and allowed us the ability to “Spray and Pray” so if we shoot enough images we are bound to get one good one. My goal is to shoot as many keepers as possible and good fortune willing to come home with some truly exceptional shots.
Many strive diligently at their photographic efforts not to be highly recognized or to become a big name in photographic circles, but for the self-satisfaction gained. Self Actualization! Let’s stop for a minute and examine this not so trivial thing called “Self Actualization”. Here is a definition from the web.
There is nothing I enjoy more than viewing and studying images of historically great photographers and contemporary one’s as well. Daily I will select one aspect of my photography that I know needs improvement and seek out articles, blogs, other photographers or books that can help me overcome areas that need improvement: learn new techniques – in camera and post processing, composition and to me the most important aspect is understanding light and all of it’s attributes. If I could do just one thing to improve my images it would be to fill the frame and make sure that the subject matter is clear and emotionally engages the viewer.
One of my favorite photographers of all times that truly impacts my heart and mind is Freeman Patterson. If you don’t know who he is I highly recommend you take the time to look him up. Even more enlightening are the books that he has published. I truly wish that they were available for Kindle. Every time I look at one of his images I learn something new. And honestly, there is a exceptional simplicity in his work that is anything but simple! Study his images to discover the complexity hidden within each of his images if you open your mind and allow his work to stimulate you emotionally before you embark on an intellectual analysis.
Another photographer, Michael Freeman, is an exceptional photographer, but also a prolific writer on all things photographic. Freeman’s images all exhibit the ultimate in composition and use of light. He is a far better photographer than those more well known. In my opinion his work eclipses most of today’s world recognized photographers in all genres! This is another Artist / Photographer whose images and books can truly benefit your photography if you make the effort to really study what he has to show and say!
Above are but a few my methods for improving my photography. What are yours?