Aimlessly Pontificating on Photography

Composition.

My blog has moved, see the new site at http://blog.badlightgoodlight.com

NOTE: This is republished from a note I posted on Facebook on May 20 (with minor edits here), before I started this blog.

Afternoon Repose

The picture on the right is a good one. No point in false modesty. It is good not only because the composition is good, but because the exposure is exactly right and the focus and sharpness are perfect. Seen full size it looks far better than the little thumbnail on the right.

How did I spot the shot? Most people (non-photographers) would just have walked past it. I spotted it because I have been working hard at improving my photography for the year so far. Not only actually taking photographs, but looking at photographs from good photographers and reading voraciously.

Do what I have been doing and the odds are, you will never walk past a shot like this; or an equivalently good scene for the various different types of photography.

There is an unending supply of talented photographers around and the ubiquity of cheap digital cameras has allowed a vast number of people to explore their talent. It is hard these days to make your voice heard in the huge volume of good photographers now trying to be heard at the same time.

There are a few things that are key; lots and lots of practice, lots and lots of superior photographs in your portfolio and knowing the rules (and when to break them).

This one photograph, good as it is, is not going to get me anything. A few people will see it, a smaller number will like it, and nothing much will come of it. This is the reality of competition.

What will get me recognition (and you too if you are interested) is relentlessly producing good quality work, recognising that any kind of success can take a while and lots of self promotion.

Have a look at my photographs here.

And while I consider my picture above to be good. Have a look here to see what I consider to be a great photograph (photographs that can change the world). The depressing nature of that scene and others he had to witness were thought to have contributed to Carter’s despondency and later suicide.

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3 responses

  1. Nik, I truly believe that you have learnt more about composition in recent months than I have, and you certainly spot more “interesting” things to compose and shoot than I do. The photograph that you posted in this blog-post is not only a good composition, but it is a great example of what we know as “The Photographer’s Eye”, you can know all the rules of composition and even be great at composing the image, but if you don’t have the photographer’s eye, you won’t see it to compose it.

    July 13, 2010 at 3:04 pm

  2. “There is an unending supply of talented photographers around” Isn’t that the truth! Once in a while I go to http://1x.com/ to be completely blown away at the amazing talent out there. I wanted to submit to that site but I am too intimidated…

    Now it would be easy to feel depressed seeing that amazing talent, but we must continue to listen to our inner voice and continue to humbly do what we do and hope for a breakthrough.

    If there is a secret to amazing photography, I think it’s this: You need to be out there with you camera. But not as a tourist or spectator of life. You need to involve yourself deeply with people and places unfamiliar to you, and once you allow yourself be transformed, the same will happen to your photography.

    July 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm

  3. Nik, that is such a beautiful photograph! The composition and contrast are stunning! I go to 1x.com to be blown away and inspired too–isn’t it amazing?

    July 14, 2010 at 9:45 am

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