Tips in Action

After reading Becoming a Better Photographer, I found myself taking a lot of consideration throughout the week as to how I compose my photos and the elements that go into each shot. As a beginner, I feel like I’ve subconsciously used plenty of these tips before, but it’s always fun to see what you can come up with when you’re actively seeking opportunities to utilize advice. The world is your oyster as a photographer and decisions should always be your own, making the best of the moment and taking the picture you want, no matter what the setup for it may look like. I helped come to this realization from a tip from @AnnyCow on Twitter.

Taking this advice, I figured I would set up a scene and capture a picture that I had wanted to take for a while. Despite how simple the piece looks, finding the right environment, lighting, backdrop, and angle took a decent bit of time. I took this during my Photoblitz this week, and despite the time restrictions, I still wanted to put thought and time into it. This ended up taking the most time of any of my pictures to take, but regardless of poor camera quality, I’m pleased with how I executed it by taking my time and setting things up exactly how I wanted.

Another great tip I utilized this week comes from Serena E, who expresses the importance of moving your body to zoom rather than the zoom built into a camera. While some high power, expensive cameras have accessories that allow for incredibly clear zoom, iPhones struggle and muddy up pictures often by doing this. Because that is what I have been using to take photographs, I figured this tip was extremely helpful. Of course, deep down I knew that zooming wasn’t the best option for a clear picture, but on a more philosophical level, forcing yourself to get closer to the subject allows for more interaction and potentially a deeper connection to the experience and photograph itself. In utilizing this tip, I found myself in all sorts of weird positions with my body, getting very close to the subject, in this case a Kronk figurine. While taking this photo, I actually originally had stood back a decent ways, but I felt that the focal point of the scene wasn’t noticeable enough. With that, I found myself zooming in to fix the problem, but quickly remembered this advice and noticed a huge difference between actually being up close and using a zoom feature.

Though Alan Levine’s blog post had an incredible amount of resources, some more notable than others, I felt that I was drawn more to the seemingly more personal, relatable, and “human” advice. On Twitter, @BigSamThompson had a wholesome and thought-provoking tip:

While many would see this as a direct invitation to physically explore the world, seeing the outdoors and beauties of nature and people, I initially thought more introspectively. While that sounds like amazing advice, I took this as saying for you yourself to be more adventurous in many ways, such as being more creative and taking more risks when setting up a piece. Sometimes you simply aren’t sure how a photo will turn out and never end up even trying, but as we’ve all heard, you’ll never know if you never try. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and trying new things can end up in something absolutely beautiful. Though I used this tip through my assignments this week, I’d rather share a photo where I took the exact same advice and took my favorite picture I’ve ever taken. I had to get in an extremely awkward position, got my phone all wet, fell a got dirty a few times, and struggled with lighting and camera quality, but I was adventurous and I was giving my best effort. On top of that, I was also actively adventuring outdoors while taking this shot!