How I work?

Do I get asked questions about how I work? Where do I take photos? How? What? Where? Why? 

YES! Lots of times and that was the inspiration behind this article. 

A NEW IDEA IS BORN

I only take photos of people and objects that have got special meaning to me. For instance, I won’t take a photo of a calculator or a rock or a pretty flower, simply because it’s there. I photograph what I feel and experience ~ my emotions!

Whether it be an abandoned building, a nature scene, or a little bird – I don’t shoot until I can communicate with and understand my subjects.

I spend hours just looking around & drinking in my surroundings. If my subjects don’t reveal themselves to me, I will simply walk away.

YOU’VE ONLY GOT 12 SHOTS ~ DON’T WASTE THEM

I play this game where I use my digital camera as a “film camera” and limit myself to a certain number of images that I can take on a particular day.

I plan my compositions and don’t try to get a “lucky shot” by taking 1000 photos and hoping one is good; I only take 2 or 3 shots of my subjects, knowing that what I’ve planned will be on my computer a bit later ~ well most of the times 🙂

BUT THEN LIFE HAPPENS

It sometimes happens that the 2 or 3 shots were not nearly good enough and I have nothing to show for my efforts. And that is ok!

Photography is not something to be rushed! 

I treasure the moments that I could spend in nature! (see Rather invest in experiences, than in equipment!)

I STAY AWAY FROM MAINSTREAM & POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY SPOTS

Once I visited a location, it is ticked off and  I never return; this is just one of my personal rules. All my images are taken at locations where other photographers will never have access to, making the images in my collections very special and highly collectible.  

IT’S CALLED PHOTOGRAPHY, NOT REAL LIFE

Photography is art, not just rules, lenses, settings and buttons, so yes, I spend time editing my images. I might add color or remove color or add a texture or overlay a couple of images on top of one another to get an artistic feel, the possibilities are endless!

My images more painterly than photographic. My work are not bound by photographic rules!

LEARN TO USE YOUR CAMERA AND THEN MOVE ON

I don’t follow all the photography rules and worry about the lines and the rule of thirds and the this and the that and the iso and the shutter and the aperture and the lens and the body and 1000 other things and settings that distract you from taking beautiful and meaningful photographs. 

I am not saying that all of this is not important and that you should never take time to learn how to properly use your camera, I am simply saying that after you have taken a couple of hours to learn to use the lenses, the buttons, and the settings, it is time to move on and focus on creating meaningful art! Your photographs must come from the heart, not from the mind.

IN THE HANDS OF AN ARTIST

Only in the hands of an artist, be it a photographer, writer, chef or painter can the equipment come to its full potential. 

An expensive camera cannot make a breath-taking picture as much as an expensive set of pots can cook a tasty dish.

So, before you invest 1000’s into equipment, rather master what you have got, take beautiful and meaningful photographs ~ images that speak to you! Images that will still be meaningful in 20 or 50 years!

SOME ADVICE

(1) Get to know the equipment you currently have and master it;

(2) Take photos with the best camera you will ever own – your eyes. Lay on your back, touch mother earth and wait, it might happen;

(3) Don’t just take 100 snaps and hope for the best, it’s not an art when everyone around you can do the same thing, and it’s not a good photo when you have to select the best one from 1000 snaps;

(4) Enjoy spending time in nature or in your studio;

(5) Don’t compare yourself to others – never!;

(6) Leave your cell phone, tablets and charging shrines at home – disconnect from the mother ship for a while;

(7) Have fun!;

(8) Be unique – don’t try and get the shot that everyone has already taken, published and ooh’d and aah’d about – find a new subject, go close, go macro, from the bottom or from the top, find the interesting angle – just do something else! Dare to be different! Dare to tell your unique story! Be an artist instead of a follower! 

(9) Don’t be scared to edit your images, add a bit of color, remove a bit of color, experiment!! – it’s called photography … not reality!!;

(10) Even if you go home with only one or even no photo, know that you spent time in nature. You touched the earth, you connected to nature, you recharged!

SUMMARY

So, there you have it! At its very core, photography is very simple. 

Rather than fretting with 100 buttons or trying to get the perfect lens fitted or trying to copy the setting of your favourite landscape photographer in order to get the “perfect shot” spend time enjoying nature, spend time enjoying your camera and making beautiful pictures, because while you were pushing buttons and changing lenses and trying to find the position where person A or B took the “perfect” picture, mother nature had already revealed and closed herself and you have missed THE SHOT!

Now poor you have to go home with a picture that 1000 before you have called the “perfect picture” and sure, you are going to get lots of oohs and aahs – but does that picture speak? Does it tell a story? Does it say something about YOU?

Lots to think about!

Following Light

George

 

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