Monday, July 9, 2007

To take great photos, you must know what great photos look like!

If the only music you ever heard was "Yankee Doodle" played one note at a time, "Chopsticks" would seem like a revolution in music and the works of Mozart would be inconceivable! The same thing goes for photos.

I run a yahoogroup called Photography_Beginners. Having a place for beginners to get together to share their photos and ask beginner questions without being put down by more advanced photographers is an amazing thing. The downside, though, is that some members look no further than this one group and they have a distorted view of what a "good" photograph is. -Instead of reaching to bring their photos to the next level, they are happy to hear the accolades from their fellow beginning photographers. Their growth is therefore stunted, and I find this to be unfortunate.

It's important to look at really good photographs so you can better gauge your own work. Enjoy the art as a viewer, find works you like, then try to figure out how the photographer achieved their results. Copying other's work is usually fine -its how most of us learn! But, more than that, just seeing work that's better than your own will inspire you to keep working and hone your skills. -Find a group or forum to ask questions about techniques you can't figure out or just can't seem to master. There's always a few people who are willing to share their tricks.

A couple of good places to look for inspiration:

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