- Guaranteed for 2 full months
- Pay by PayPal or Credit Card
- Instant Digital Download
Open your eyes: learn to appreciate the wonder that is all around you
The camera is definitely a tool that can be used to capture moments in time, and record memories for posterity. However, the potential is there for so much more than that. If you think of the assembly of plastic, metal, and electronic gadgetry you hold in your hands as a paintbrush, and the world around you as paint, then untold possibilities await.
One way to investigate this idea is to use your camera as an instrument, to turn the ordinary and mundane aspects of life into something unique. For example, when you take your vehicle to the car wash and sit inside while the machines do their work on the vehicle’s exterior, what do you do? Sit and wait patiently? If you’ve got your camera with you, why not turn those few minutes into an opportunity to look through your window and consider the colours, details, and shapes that the lights, water, soap and wax make as they go through their different cycles.
While there is certainly a whole world of possibilities when considering the abstract, sometimes a scene will present itself that simply stops you in your tracks. The subject and its background are arranged in such a way, that all you have to do is look through the camera’s viewfinder and press the shutter release.
Of course if you go about your day in a hurried manner, if you’re rushing here and there, so focused on the task at hand that you don’t notice your surroundings, then your chances of appreciating the beauty around you will be dramatically decreased. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some ideas (and examples) to help guide your photography adventures:
In time, and with much practice, you will most certainly develop your own style and discover what appeals to you. At first, there may be a temptation to make several exposures, which is fine. When you look at the photos later you can use the many different images to compare them with each other. This practical exercise of discovering what you like, and don’t like, is a great way to learn. Try different techniques on the same scene and compare the results later.
With practice, you’ll be able to consider a scene and learn how it speaks to you, even before you make a single exposure. Then use the knowledge you’ve gained to minimize the number of images you make, until you end up with a photograph you’re ultimately happy with.
Lastly, consider the words make and take. One suggests theft and aggression (take), the other, contemplation and creation (make). Perhaps it’s only a minor thing, but when talking about your own photography, how do you describe your method? Are you a taker or a maker?
Ultimately, photography is about how you respond to a scene, and with the idea of being an image maker in mind, you’ll be in a better position to creatively express your feelings. Case in point, the following photograph of some snowflakes.
It was a very cold day on the ski hill when I stopped on a trail to consider some snowdrifts on my left. The bright sun was illuminating the snow in a brilliant way, and after half an hour or so, I left with a handful of images. This particular one stands out because of the visible details in the snowflakes. It’s a testimony to the power of something so tiny and delicate, for without it and untold billions of its friends, no ski hill would exist.
Homework time. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go out and have fun. In the words of a former photography tour leader, go and play. I’d love to see the results!