Sunday, February 20, 2011

I'm Looking for the Best Photo Advice - From You!

Cool shot in Hot 'Lanta.
(Update: Thank you all for posting your comments here. Many other comments were posted on facebook and twitter. If you guys post a comment here, it's easier for other to read/learn/enjoy all in once place. Thank you again!)

Hi All,

I am looking for some advice - the best photo advice that you ever received.

But wait, I am not asking you to share a technical tip. Rather, I am asking you to share, here on the blog (rather than on facebook or twitter), non-technical advice - a photo philosophy that will help others.

Before I share with you the best photo advice I ever received, here's the best advice I received when it comes to playing guitar. It's not a technical tip, as you will read. I share it to give you an idea of a philosophy, rather than a tech tip.

The advice: Every blues guitar player wants to be able to play solo - laying down basic chords while filling in with lead. Like a one-man-band.

That advice helped me tremendously. This concept helped me think, and of course play, differently.

And here is the best advice I received for playing the piano: It's not the notes you play, it's the space between the notes that are important. Again, it was the concept that helped tremendously.

Massai kids, Kenya
Okay, here is the best photo advice I received: The camera looks both ways; in picturing the subject, you are also picturing a part of yourself. That concept made me realized something very, very important about making pictures - that we are mirrors, and that our pictures are a reflection of ourselves - and of our personalities.

Left: Old Havana, Cuba. Right, Lake Powell, AZ.
Take a look at these pictures, and you'll gain some insight into my personality. Take a look at your pictures, on your blog and web site, and know that others will gain some insight into your personality.

So my friends, post your best advice here on my blog in the Comments sections. I am sure others will enjoy and learn from that advice. Me, too!

Explore the light,
Rick


23 comments:

Ken Toney said...

When I find a good spot to shoot, I go more than once! Second time is a charm!
KT

Harold said...

It's not about the specs or the brand altogether. The question is do you the right tool for the job. A fish eye lens won't do if what you need is a 300mm which stops down to a reasonable aperture.

Sheylynne said...

The best photo advice I ever received was to take pictures from different perspectives and don't go to the same spot everyone else goes. Basically walk around before you take pictures and get down low or up high to take the picture. It makes a much bigger difference that you realize.

Laurie said...

Being aware of what is happening in the background is just as important as your subject.

Oscar Camejo (Oscar Spearman Photography) said...

"Don't just take pictures; make pictures." I first heard this from Scott Bourne via his Q&A podcast, Photofocus. Scott adopted this advice from Ansel Adams, whom he studied.

For me, it's a constant reminder to consider everything before releasing the shutter. Before I press the camera to my eye; before I adjust my shooting mode and other settings, I'm reminded to have vision; the ability to see beyond what you "see"...if that makes senses.

Scott said...

Best photo advice was from my dad (who passed away suddenly two weeks ago) when asked why he takes pictures of everything replied there is beauty in everything.

Scott

PS he really enjoyed the DVD video you did for Canon.

TIA International Photography said...

Thanks, Rick. Very interesting and insightful article.

The best advice I received for photography is to make your own rules and love what you photograph. A photographer must really have a keen interest and passion for the subject matter or else both the effort to capture it and the final image will be uninspired (to the photographer). Part of this passion also means throwing out all the technical rules of what makes a great photo. Many of the best images are those that do not conform to the standard rules of taking, or making, a photograph.

Richerd Reynolds said...

Don't be afraid of making mistakes. People make mistakes, but mistakes make people. If you're not making mistakes, you're not becoming a better photographer.

Theresa Jackson said...

What a great post!

The best advice I've received is to do what I am passionate about. The advice has come in different forms over many years and it took a long time to really understand what it meant. I get it now and following my passion has rewarded me in ways I could have never imagined.

Alice said...

The best zoom is your own two feet. Walk around the subject and search out different angles and viewpoints and discover the beauty.

Timothy said...

"it's not about the camera"

Tony Amat said...

One of the best advices I received and this was in the days of film, was passed on to me by a fellow photog when I first started and it had to do with Moments. Remember that with film, you only saw the image after processing, which was way after the moment was gone. He said to me: "Before you press the shutter, scan around the image and ask yourself, "Is this the Picture?", and if you said yes, then take the picture". You know now, with digital, you can see the image,delete,retake and it won't cost you anymore. That advice helped me get the process down much quicker at that time. Since Event Photographers deal with moments, you know sometimes the moment comes and goes and may never come back around, and we have to get it right the first time. Thanks Rick and keep up the great images and posts. Tony

robvanelven said...

I learned this from Australian Photographer Shelton Muller on his ShuttersInc podcast. "Find the light, and put them in it". Meaning, first find the light, then move your subjects into it. It is all about the light! Cheers from Oz.

Dru Stefan Stone said...

Mine was to breathe. Take time to absorb what is around you, feel it first. This advice was from a non-photographer too! But it was good advice.

Carol Cohen said...

Ruth Bernhard affected me more than any photo teacher I ever had. With Ruth it was all about seeing, really seeing! She'd preach that as you got older and matured to never forget the wonder you had as a child-"Forget labels, treat every subject with curiosity like a baby discovering its feet for the first time!"

After my first workshop session with her, I went home and saw things in my own home I never really saw before. Ruth was a wonder! I used her quotes for years as my camera club editor, and she even inspired me to write an article for our cc council titled, "Is Your Photography An Orgasmic Experience?" I had a lot of fun with that!

Marlo said...

I'm in the infancy of my photographic journey. So far, the best advice given to me was from YOU! I attended your seminar for the Ft Worth Camera Club in November 2010. Your comment was "Always look up. Always look down. Always look back." As a former Air Force pilot and current Airline pilot, we are taught to "Keep your head on a swivel - always look for danger."

Barry D Kirsch said...

For me it has to be "Shoot what you love". You will always give that little something extra in effort, creativity etc. when you are shooting something you truly care about.

Brandt Steinhauser said...

The key to a successful photography business is developing relationships, not film.

Keith Bennett said...

Show the viewer how you felt, not just what you saw.

Foto Workshops México said...

Follow your instincts, if you can't see the light, your instincts will guide you to the creative solution. And please ask questions don´t be affraid. That´s my motto.

Mike said...

I think the best advice I received was, "capture moments instead of objects." I'm not always successful at this (sometimes on purpose), but I try to remember that as I'm out shooting.

Clayton said...

See the world thru different eyes.....

Linda van Rosmalen said...

The best advice I received is a mixture of what Keith and Tony spoke about. The advice was that before even picking up the camera you should think about how you are going to convey what you see (and how you see it) and feel into a photo. Lots gets lost in translation. LOTS. It's up to the photographer to convey the scene as he/she wants you to see it. This doesn't just mean looking at the light, thinking about the angle you are going to shoot at or some of the other important aspects. It also means that you have to consider the technical aspects of making a photo, the limitations of the camera's "eye" itself. It is not nearly as dynamic as our eye!

How many times have we (I'm totally guilty of this) picked up our cameras and snapped a photo of a gorgeous landscape, a beautiful sunset, a wonderful moment and found that when we showed the photo to a friend we had to accompany it with the statement "this doesn't even begin to show what the moment was like"?

Well, I know it's long winded, but the awareness of the above truly has made a huge difference for me!

Cheers,
Linda