…and why every photographer should master this technique

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Shot by Peter Gróf, 2020.

Today, the quality of the photograph is often measured based on the technical brilliance of it. Exposed correctly, focused well, edited to perfection. I’ve recently had a feeling that mastering these is all you need to capture the audience. Sometimes it’s true.

Regardless of your photography niche, adding the long exposure technique to your arsenal of skills will expand the portfolio variety.

Shooting with slow shutter speed, or “long exposure” on the streets adds a different dimension to images. They’ll become nostalgic, mysterious, more art-like rather than a pure documentary.

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Shot by Peter Gróf, 2020.

How long is long?

Slowing down the shutter speed to a certain speed will most certainly yield blurry images, or at least a part of them will be. …


On patience, humility, and knowing that sometimes, it’s good to put the camera down.

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Peter Grof, 2020.

If you’re like me, someone who looks at photography as a hobby or creative outlet, then a full-time profession, you might sometimes experience other priorities taking over in life. Interventions with your job, family, health, and other hobbies or something as unexpected as this year’s Covid-19 outbreak, can put a break on your creative endeavors. Just like it did on mine.

Hobbyists are more prone to being distracted from their art than professionals. Disclaimer: you can be professional and hobbyist at the same time, but for this argument’s sake, let’s consider a professional someone who earns money as a primary source of income from photography.


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Shot by Peter Grof, 2020.

A “gear head”. Whether you consider yourself to be one or not, at some point, you will have to consider a new gear purchase. I try not to be one, but when it comes to my gear, I can get very obsessive about choosing the right tool for my photography.

Gear decisions can be hard. For some, crippling even. Camera manufacturers ask us to make choices daily. They are endless. The more choices, the more contemplation, the more time, the more work on our side.

How does one decide correctly? It is, after all, a lot of money we spend. How can you make sure you spend your hard-earned cash in a way it’ll help your photographic career? …


Tackling the disruptive times by adjusting one’s own trajectory.

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Shot by Peter Gróf, July 2020.

In his 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Harari states that in the near future one of the most valuable skills a person can possess is the ability to constantly adapt to new disruptive changes. Biotech and infotech ages are to disrupt almost every single aspect of our lives. Many jobs will become obsolete and we’ll have to learn new skills fast, to stay competitive in the job market. Assuming it still exists by that time.

Art has always been considered purely a human domain and no amount of new technology or AI can beat natural human creativity. This is not true anymore. AI has already written pop ballads, mimicked styles of great painters, or informed creative decisions in filmmaking. How far AI can and should go is still to be determined, but one thing’s for sure — it will disrupt the art world as we know it, and we’ll have to adapt. …


Time to step back, look around, and appreciate the journey of an artist.

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Shot by Peter Grof, 2020.

Do you know the weird feeling when you go the opposite direction of a frequently traveled road? How suddenly everything looks and feels different? How sometimes, you even have to stop to make sure you have not lost yourself?

I go running almost every day. I have a route I take frequently, a forest road. I decided to run it backwards the other day. During a few moments, I had to stop, look around, and make sure I was going the right way. This lead me to realize how important it is to look at things from another perspective. More importantly, how we, as creators and artists, should self-reflect, look back, and appreciate the work we’ve already done. …


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Weddings. Shot by Peter Gróf, 2017–2019.

Becoming great requires practice. Without it, you won’t be able to write a novel, race a sports car, or bake a loaf of bread. At least not well enough. Without practice, you won’t create great images either.

Evermore sophisticated cameras enable us to become technically great photographers at a very fast pace. While it’s easy to make technically perfect image today, it’s harder to infuse spirit into them.

There will be little emotion, no story, and a weak connection to the subject. No amount of technical greatness can surpass capturing the decisive moment.

“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” …


Identify the right time to stop exploring and start focusing on your photography niche.

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Shot by Peter Grof, 2017.

During my last street photography session, I focused on shooting black and white, deep contrast scenes. I prepared myself, got into the right mindset. I dialed in exposure and started shooting.

Keeping my head around the main subject isn’t very hard. Actively looking for the composition I plan to capture has become second nature.

Now and then I run into a scene I’d like to take. Not black and white, not deep contrast either. Perhaps its a color. Maybe a gesture, maybe not even “street photography”.

This is when I…


PHOTOGRAPHY

And 20 ideas so neither suffers

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Shot by Peter Grof, 2017.

We know the drill. We lead busy lives, full of things to do. We work, shop, raise children, have marriages, mortgages, and other commitments. It seems for a person past their student years, there’s very little if any free time. For many, it becomes hard to have a time-consuming hobby as photography. It’s not easy, but it can be done.

We all have 24 hours a day. However, some people seem to have more. We see them thrive in so many fields. They are professionals for whom anything they touch turns to gold. They work, collaborate, publish, are creative, help with a charity, travel all the time. …


Three strategies for an empowered creative life.

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“To those who think, create, and progress! To those who don’t.

And to those who’d like to!”

Creativity, progress, innovation, and ability to focus are the most important and valuable resources of today’s workforce. In any line of work, one needs to deliver on at least one of the above, better yet on all. The ability to be productive, to innovate or focus for long periods, leads to promotions, fulfilling careers, and personal growth.

Crafting and developing those skills is hard to master. Our productive lives are destroyed by an endless stream of interruptions, constant decision making, obsessive checking for new email, and social network updates. …


Simple, no-nonsense guide for interesting compositions

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Let’s make this one quick, relaxed and fun. This short, three-minute read I‘ll give you three actionable steps for advancing your street photography!

In this genre, the composition is the key. Mastering it requires countless exposures, long days photographing and a specific mindset. I can’t offer any shortcuts, you’ll just have to do the work. However, I will give you three positional tips to make it easier. They’ll improve your composition instantly. While one can learn a lot through study, the best way to improve is practice. …

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