Many years ago, when the only things that were digital were your fingers or your watch, I won a photographic magazine’s cover girl competition. Not me personally you understand – one of my photographs.
A couple of weeks later an excited young photographer and his girlfriend, who just happened to be the scantily clad subject of the winning photograph, arrived at a posh Park Lane hotel for the prize giving. I don’t remember much about the event apart from one rather disparaging comment from the editor. ‘Your picture won because you were the only one who left space for the title.’ This was probably not the most tactful thing to say to an aspiring young photographer about his first competition win.
Taking better photographs depends on a lot of factors. I recently took part in a critique where a photographer put up a technically perfect but aesthetically boring picture of a nude. He commented that he had no concept or message when taking the picture but would like to do more ‘artistic’ work. I suggested that if he worked on having the former then the latter might naturally flow. Continue reading →
Please note: All images and text are copyright Simon Pocklington. The PDF is free to download but no distribution or reproduction is allowed for commercial gain or via any website run for profit. If in doubt and to avoid a large claim for damages contact the author prior to distribution via the contact page on this site, www.viewfinders.org.uk or www.viewfinders.zenfolio.com
A lot of people feel that they are missing something if they do not know about the technical aspects of photography. They worry what all those f’s and hundredths mean; is there some black art to which they have not been initiated? What you should be worrying about is composition.
When I type on this computer keyboard words appear on the screen. I know very little about the technical process that makes this happen and it has very little effect on the quality of my writing. If this is rubbish it is because I typed rubbish (no comments please). If the computer has enough capacity to do the task, I have the right programs installed and I know which buttons to press, that is all I need to know.
Modern digital cameras have brought photography to the same level. Automatic exposure and focusing systems have freed even professional photographers from a lot of the technical aspects of picture taking; letting us concentrate even more on the picture.
Yes, I know there are times when human intervention into the automatic controls is required – more on that in another post.
The biggest single factor in producing a ‘good’ picture is not technical expertise, it is not even the subject, it is how you place that subject in the picture – the composition.
Composition This link will open a free downloadable illustrated PDF on composition. Please note: All images and text are copyright Simon Pocklington. The PDF is free to download but no distribution or reproduction is allowed for commercial gain or via any website run for profit. If in doubt and to avoid a large claim for damages contact the author prior to distribution via the contact page on this site or www.viewfinders.zenfolio.com