I want to share how to be a photographer of sorts. Artistic ability really just takes, like this article I wrote on how to tap into artistic ability.
I’ll Never forget my first camera. It was a Kodak 110. Oops…kinda gave my age away! I saved for months for that baby….and then…I spent EVERY weeks worth of allowance having my film developed. Back then you had to leave the film…and wait a week or two to get them back! =\ We’ve turned into such a generation of instant gratification! Even then…you could buy a Polaroid and get results in a few minutes….Can you still buy those?…Anyway….I just fell in LOVE with photography! I thought I was pretty good.
I went to college and they told me I had to take a photography class…which Kinda made me mad…I didn’t want to sit in a class and have them tell me to take pictures of what they wanted!!! I really didn’t think I needed to know how to be a photographer. But…I had to have it. I LOVED it!!! It was a black and white photography class…and all manual…no auto, no color, and no digital. I ABSOLUTELY recommend ANYONE who REALLY wants to photograph well…..to take this class. You learn so many things that a digital camera can’t and won’t EVER teach you!!! And….the darkroom….is just AMAZINGLY fun!!! I actually opened a photography business because of that…and would still be doing it if my body would let me!!! While in that class I was encouraged by my professor to enter some of my work in several contests…I’m not sure if I was a pet….but he hired me to develop his professional photos…and he had RULES for that class…that he said he ABSOLUTELY wouldn’t break….and he DID with my photos! LOL =P ANYHOO….I entered several contests….and won several very prestigious awards that year!!! One of my photographs got published….and several got accepted into a gallery!!! Not bragging…just explaining that ANY of Y’all could do the very same thing!!!! TODAY….and most likely photographing within twenty-five feet from where you are right now!!!! I can’t recall….because I’m terrible with names…but one of the recommended readings for that class….was something like 100 photographs in your house. I actually think….it’s even more like 100 photos within 10 feet of you…..Now…before you go to thinking that you have to do things JUST like me…keep in mind….I LOVE close ups…always have…and if I could locate them right now…I’d show you the ones I won with….LONG STORY…but I don’t have access to them right now. Anyway…Artful pics DON’T have to be close ups….some of the most beautiful photographs I’ve ever seen…were landscapes!!! and “room” size shots! Find your own style!!! One of the most famous photographs in history sold for like $9,000.00…it was titled “The Unmade Bed”. It was an amazing photograph of just that….and it was B&W…drop dead!
To show you exactly what I’m talking about, I stepped NO FURTHER than twenty-five feet from where I am at this very moment…and these are what I got. Now…I’ve made some of them sepia…and some black and white…and you may want to look at yours different ways to see what you like….more about that in a minute. But here’s a few!
Now….I probably could have gotten 100 more photographs within this same area! And….I would hang ANY of these on my wall. Now…the point is NOT to have you go copy what I’ve done…Here’s what I’m trying to teach you. Art comes in many forms…and sometimes it’s just looking at things in a whole different attitude. If you have a hard time seeing art in ordinary objects….here’s a challenge for you. take a piece of cardboard…and cut it into a “frame” shape. Look at objects through the frame….or if you have an open back frame laying around…use that. If what you are looking at doesn’t look just right to you….step forward or backwards a few steps…and then a few more….till it looks like you like it: Then shoot it! If you have a pretty good digital camera…you can even play with the crop setting…and play that way. Most digital cameras come with some sort of photo editing software. If you’re worried….copy your photo…and work on the copy….then you don’t have to worry if you don’t like it…but most will give you the opportunity to undo several steps.
Now…art teachers will tell you these rules…about the “rules of thirds”, and rules about odd numbers. I do plan to do a post on this sometime…but don’t try to worry too much about rules….trust your eye…with the composition. To start….just shoot!
My advice to EVERYONE, if you want to learn how to be a photographer….shoot tons of pictures….and then tons more….you’ll probably throw out 200 before you get one that you like…don’t let that bother you….I promise…even the most seasoned artists have done this…and probably still do. It does get a little better with time….but sometimes, usually that “ultimate” shot….is one you didn’t expect at all!!
I want to see what Y’all do. I want to tell Y’all more…but for now…I just want you to photograph, photograph, photograph!!!