Thursday, April 15, 2010

Digital Photography: Need Inspiration?

Mesilla, NM doorway

What I learned in my Digital Photography class, part 13

During our last class meeting, our instructor threw a lot of ideas at us. Scribbling as fast as I could, I realized that our three evening meetings plus a field trip hadn't really given us the time we needed to explore even an introduction to this wonderful art/science.

Here are some of the ideas that came out of that last discussion. It's a miscellaneous list, but a valuable one.

Pecos, NM doorway
  • Shoot a lot. Experiment with manual settings. Look at the photo information to help you make comparisons. Learn from your experiments.
  • In certain settings--a theatre, for example--you will want to ask permission to take photos before you start shooting. Offer to send copies of your shots via email.
  • When your camera sounds might be intrusive, shut them off. (Check your manual!)
  • When a flash would irritate others or a performer, shut it off. Remember, we learned how to do this in a previous post (On the Subject of Light).
  • Tell a story with your photos by shooting a series. Establish the setting with a wide shot, then move in closer and closer to your subject.
  • Try some time lapse photography by setting up a tripod and shooting a photo of the same subject at the same time every day (or once an hour, etc.--you get the idea). The instructor mentioned a wonderful documentary film he had seen that showed still shots of a farm, taken over time as the crops matured and people came to work in the fields and then to harvest.
  • Shoot a biography. For example, take portrait shots of an artist, then photos of her studio, her tools, other settings where she might produce her art, then the works of art themselves. We saw such a series in our class--the photos of the artist's hands and of his workbench and tools (with the artist absent) were very powerful.
  • Try shooting moving targets--children, animals, ocean waves--moving along with the subject so it is in focus and the rest of the shot a bit blurred and emphasizing the action
  • Shoot a series using a theme--gates, doorways, or windows, for example.

Lincoln, NM gateway

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