Apolline in Sunflower field. Grabbing special moments quickly, with the right exposure and focus, while Composing the shot the best you can is the basic need of photography.
I am used to divide my Essential Photography course in three steps. First, providing essential technical knowledge. Second, explaining essential composition rules. Last but not least, developing student’s conceptual mind. Here is how it works. By Franc Peret
Taking successful pictures is both a simple task and a complicated one.
Simple, because the process involved is almost always the same and quit easy to explain and remember, step by step:
1 – Set the right exposure
2 – Focus on the subject.
3 – Be ready to grab the right moment (positioning or facial expression for example)
4 – Concentrate on your personal creative decision in term of framing, assembling elements (composition), and depth of field.
Not that simple
The fact that you often have to solve those 4 steps in less than a second is the complicated part of photography.
Getting the picture right, as often as possible, is possible with training…
More you are going to shoot, better the chance to make the right decision on time.
Developing a vision
Once you are used to get good results, you have to challenge yourself a little more to add meanings, drama, sparks or personality to your shots.
How to get this?
While pressing the shutter button, you should already get a clear concept in mind, a vision or a directive line to be able to bring together a meaningful series of shots to tell a complete story (journalistic approach) or to express a specific mood (“artistic” approach).
This conceptual mind will also, later on, help you to process your image on computer in the right direction , the one you had initially chosen.
Some camera brand (such as Olympus or Fujifilm), with great color science, are better than others to delivery very satisfying results out of the box (jpg file), but most of the time, you will be able to improve the result by working on raw files.
All depends on the final use of the picture, such as quick share on social network (jpg are enough) or print for exhibition (better to go raw).
No faking here!
The aim of Post production (“Photoshoping”) is indispensable to extract the optimum “juice” out of your work:
To get back the details you had seen with your eyes that seems gone on the jpg, to reproduce the right colors, to emphasize some parts of the shot or to improve the visibility of important elements by fine tuning the exposure of your raw image.
Post processing extra value
Of course, processing on computer is time consuming, and a potential painful experience for novices, but it is a very useful way to progress and to keep progressing forever.
Processing the image is a way to think of and judge what you had done with each subject, to discover some mistakes or imprecision, some stuff you should had done better or different to get a better result or more options out of the box.
It also helps to emphasize a conceptual approach of photography, the best way to never get bored of it.
I am shooting for a living since 1986 and I am still not tired of it.
More I know about photography, more I am excited about it, as I can measure the progress I still have to do to reach fulfillment.
To illustrate my words, find here a series of personal shots (no job assignment here) with detailed captions on the three parts: essential settings, composition choices and conceptualization.
I hope that all of this will be useful to my readers.
If you are having questions or if you are in need of explanation, do not hesitate to drop me an email!