The Art of Photography

With the advent of the digital age comes a new category of photographers. My label for them is “Snapshot Wannabees’. These are the folks who bring their little point and shoot cameras and take a bunch of photos at their sister’s wedding, then brag about how they have better images than the professional photographer that was hired for $3000.00.

There are many things wrong with this mindset. Too much to discuss on this page, but there is one thing that is relative to our discussion of the art of photography and that is, there is much more to taking a photo than pointing and shooting.

For example, Jack Jaypeg was gleaming over this ‘great photo’ of Aunt Maggie catching the bouquet of flowers, while Uncle Arnold’s head clips the bottom left corner of the image. Not to mention, Aunt Maggie looks more like she’s crying then happy, but Jack thinks his shot is the best of the lot.

Here’s What Sets Apart the Amature from the Professional:

In a nutshell, KNOWLEDGE. it is the technical AND artistic knowhow of capturing a subject that will give the customer that WOW effect.

Lighting

  1. Lighting can make or break a photograph. Proper lighting is essential when capturing that right moment.
  2. To do this, you need experience in lighting techniques in both indoor studios and outside.
  3. Knowledge is needed on how to use strobes, softboxes, reflectors and flags and what size to use; how far to place them from the subject and when.
  4. What’s the best time of day? What is the best weather?
  5. More (see 2a)

Camera Settings

  1. Do you know what F-Stop and Shutter Speed is? Are you familiar with ISO? These are essential components that give you the freedom to control how fast the light will enter the lens, who much light will enter the lens and how to control these features to your lighting advantage.
  2. Knowledge about White Balance, exposure and histograms are all important factors in assisting you with the power to obtain that awesome photograph.

Background

Combinations of F-Stop and Shutter Speed don’t just help you gain the appropriate light setting, but also allow you to obtain the proper background, called depth of field.

Additionally, knowledge of using backgrounds refers to how to use the right studio backdrop. What props to use. And if outside, you can never go wrong with the sky, but do you know how to create a photo with a good backdrop or a photo with a great backdrop? It may all depend upon being cognisant of what type of background there is, and the lighting and the depth of field you are using.

Do you have the props to go along with you background?

Lenses

A photograph with the wrong lens is the same as building a house with the wrong tools. You will still get the house, but it certainly won’t be the one you were looking for.

With that said, you need the right lens for the job. For portrait photography, you should be using a lens with a focal length of at least 135mm to 150mm or more if required. There are zoom lenses that combine all these focal lengths. You must take into point the type of photography that you are going to shoot -Portraits, Events, Architecture, Travel, Sports, etc. This will determine the lens you need to take with you. It is always recommended that you take a second camera with you as well.

Posing

Posing a subject is another factor that can make or break a picture. Do you know how to position a family of five? How about being able to capture the right shot of a baby? How to keep the baby smiling? What about animals? This is the second factor of which you do not have full control (weather being the first), but just like the weather, there are ways to work with the factors and not against them.

Now, we hope our readers have gotten a better idea of what is involved in professional photography. Do you think Jack Jaypeg would know to do this?

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