In today’s world everything is digitally experienced. Photos, videos, animation, graphics etc. and anything or everything has numbers of platforms to enjoy it. Smart TVs, 3D players, virtual reality gears, smartphones, ultra high definition tablets, smart watch, you name it and get it. Where does all the content for these platforms come from, who provides it and how it’s processed, is the one question comes to many of us and the answer is “PHOTOGRAPHY”.
I am Sid, Technology geek by profession, a photographer & musician by passion. If you hear someone referring a ‘creativolic’ is probably talking me. Since I was a kid I always had that field of art around me to do things differently even if they aren’t different. I am new to writing blogs or stories and English is not my Native language. So, heavy critique, all feedbacks on my writing, story, grammar etc. are highly welcome. I am here to learn from my readers by sharing what I have to give back.
“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” — Edward Steichen
I started photographing subjects with my dad’s KODAK Film camera when I was 20. Since, it was an era of Film photography each film (limited) on a camera roll came with a cost. There was no scope of on field experimenting because you got to see the pictures after dark room processing. Still, I managed to learn through clicking plenty of non-ROI pictures. Today, with digital cameras and data capacity they can offord picture per capture is not a problem anymore. So, we photographers get freedom and flexibility to experiment & make errors.
Back then it had to be well thought, composed and lit before shutter sounded ‘khichik’. But as they say no learning goes waste. The learning of thinking process before capturing led me to capture some beautiful pictures and indeed it was my first step towards photography.
“Yes, you got it right — the first ‘T’ of photography is “Thinking”.
Our brains are engineered to grab any information & store it based on individual’s interests. When various parts of information (Saved or New) in brain is linked together to bring something comprehensible, we call it Thinking. The process of this is called cognition. Pretty medical,huh ? Yay, I thought the same way during my research period that what I have to do with this information, right ? But when we take pictures our brains start composing colors, hue, saturation & try to link the information we want to capture with the information stored in the brain. For ex: How many times you think to capture a flower with your Macro lense or a landscape view with a hyper focal distance or a fine art nude portrait. Almost, all the time, correct ? Because you have seen those pictures everywhere around you in blogs, magazines, banners, wallpapers etc. and want to re-capture them exactly the way they looked on your favorite desktop wallpaper. Unfortunately, you end up deleting them because that flower, valley or a model you captured didn’t process out the way you wanted. Reason, it was not thought through. Thinking is the most important pillar of photography. It starts way before you pick up your camera to click a picture, runs through the image processing (in dark room or digitally) and rests once the picture is published. Even if the most thoughtful picture came directly out of camera it still needed a post processing. At times with applying your brand trademark or most times fixing overall quality. Your thought process will change your snapshots to pictures and this includes the composition, background, light, speed and a decision if you really want that picture. Anything thought before clicking the camera button to capture will help composing and any pre decided composition will result in a picture rather a snapshot. Start thinking.
“Photography is the art of painting emotions of Human Brain”
And the second ‘T’ is “Time”.
Now you know that thinking is crucial for an exemplary photograph but you don’t have thinking time before you capture. Have you ever excused your picture saying that you would have lost the moment if had tried composing/thinking the shot ? Oh yes, it happens with all of us most of the times but what differentiates a pro from an amateur is the practiced skill. Skills are essential, since no amount of luck will help if you are unaware of the basics. Timing is the daily exercise of photographers where you see something, feel great about it, think how to capture and Boom — the moment is in the heart of your tool. It’s the non-destructive nature of brain to process the information and it’s response in no time. In your journey of learning photography when you would have clicked decent amount of thoughtful pictures you will notice how quickly your brain process the world of subjects around you. Here’s a quick exercise to train your response thinking muscles. Grab your camera not necessarily have to be a DSLR, it can be your smartphone, smartwatch, a tablet, an ipad etc. or anything which allows you to capture pictures. Get out of your lousy bedroom, walk down the street for 30min thinking what unique you can capture. Anything you feel is unique just capture it with a thoughtful composition without worrying about the quality of the image or resolution of it. Come back, collate all pictures and think what is different about each picture and any picture you feel is not different don’t delete it (These pictures are your path to success). Follow the same routine the next day with “10 Picture Rule”(This is not a universal rule, I made this up). The rule is to spend 20 min capturing usual pictures & 10 min capturing pictures from last day you felt were not special. Do this for 10 days in a row and examine the quality of the pictures you thought were not special. You will see them the best work of yours, WHY ? because your brain has a stored information now and it compose the scene for you in no time compared to when you saw it the first time. Remember, more the practice less the “10 Picture Rule”. This is called a Practiced Skill.
“Practice makes a man perfect but Practiced Skills makes a great photographer”
Finally, the “Technology” explains the three ‘T’s of Photography
It’s 2016 (The digital era) and september is not the only exciting month to line up for new i-phones or Thanksgiving is not the only discounted day on the blue marble. Every day some or the other technology is revolutionizing the planet. The same is true for any DSLR or point & shoot cameras. Though, photography is not about tool but your thought process & time. Still, if you are looking to leap in the world of professional photography you may need one to win against others. All DSLR cameras these days are highly competitive and comes in a broad range of prices. Picking one based on your preference will not change or degrade your photography style but will save you time (remember it’s one of the pillars) in & out of the field.
Did you just say how to save time when you are not shooting (out of the field) ?
“A nice camera used with proper skills to it’s full capability saves time in post processing — when not using Camera (out of field)”