Photography is an art, and next a science. If you want to learn photography to be a maestro, it is important to understand the most fundamental aspect of photography – that it begins with seeing. To take great pictures, you need to first re-look at what you are seeing, rather than your equipment.
When we say “it begins with seeing” a lot of people feel fogged about how they can change what they see. Below are a few tips to help with this.
#1 See Without Judgement
Any place can be seen in multiple ways. We are usually so preoccupied and saddled with our perceptions & thoughts that we don’t see things the way they are. We only see a fragment of what is in front of us. To learn photography, you need to learn how to see more than the obvious. Look around, observe. Take in your surroundings. Look at the details. Look at the people. Any place can be interesting or mundane depending on how you look at it – even your own home! If you see some place as mundane, that is what you will capture in pictures also. What you see is what you get.
#2 Absorb the Place
When you visit a place, for a few minutes, don’t do anything. Don’t try to click, don’t take notes, don’t talk to your friends. Just be. Don’t engage in any types of worries or thoughts. Just be one with the place and absorb it. Don’t even worry about what pictures you will take. Just let yourself take in the place and work its magic on you! When you do that, you will see that you will feel silent from inside. You will not have that same restlessnes and rush to take pictures. Even the pictures you take will not be the “same.” There will be something intangible but definite that will be different.
#3 Try Different Angles
When you feel challenged for trying out something creative in your photography, try to consciously change your angle of viewing. This one time I was on a beach and feeling very bored with the pictures I was taking. I wanted to do something different. So I tried to capture the waves lying down on the beach, near the sand, almost.
Try different angles, different heights, different ways of seeing – like framing the picture within something else. Try zooming in and zooming out. Innovate. and experiment.
#4 Talk to People
A lot of times when we visit a place, we end up being too self-absorbed. We are preoccupied with what we like, what we don’t like, what is similar & dissimilar to where we are from – we miss out on getting to know the place and the people. To learn photography, it is important to also unlearn some of our thought patterns 🙂
It is important to get out of our comfort zones and talk to the people of the place. Learn about their lives, what their day is like, what keeps them going, what are their challenges, what they enjoy, how they celebrate. The insights we can get from the people of the place are often not to be found anywhere in a book or the internet. This gives valuable angles for capturing the stories of people in photography as well.
These few photography tips can help you change your entire approach to photography and start you on a different track altogether 🙂
You can also watch this video on “Photography Begins With Seeing” to get a deeper understanding.