Here is something that may help beginners in their approach to take a better shot. It is not technical stuff but more a way of thinking. Many pros will agree that creative thinking or "thinking out of box" can sometimes be very difficult thing to do. We are thinking beings and we all have our habits, fears, attitudes and all other mental stuff that actually make our individual profile. Many times this "setup" stands between our idea and its execution.
I will share my experience. As I mentioned in some previous posts, I have some books on digital photography and my favorite author Bryan Peterson taught me a bit about approach to a good idea. Even technical issue of photography is a must, many of us beginners lack of creative sight. Sometimes we don't even have a clear idea, and when we eventually have it then our mental setup prevents us to execute it. You are safe only shooting objects in studio. Something you are even safe on street. But The best photos in public requires getting out of comfort zone. Lets start with some things to think at first.
Another thing on idea subject is creative, "out of box" thinking. Specially if you shoot for stock photography. Here are we humans with our likes and dislikes. If you are getting on stock selling then it is not important if YOU like your concept but rather if BUYERS will like it. From my designer background i learned this hard way. Client is the boss. If you do something for money then you need to "tweak" your thinking to clients frequency. He pays for what he wants whether you like it or not. If dead rat is disgusting to you, go on if you client wants to pay for a closeup of it. That was just an extreme illustration. The point is that sometimes we miss excellent photo just because we don't like the subject, it is our nature and our own sense of right, wrong, good, bad, correct, incorrect etc... try to get rid of that limits we all have built in.
Ok, we got excellent idea, top seller. But we don't have this photo yet, there are few obstacles in between.
Don't let you mental "setup" stops you from executing good idea.
Working on subject
That is another part of blocks when we deal with our ideas. It is completely wrong that "capturing a moment" in your photo is one unique event, which cannot be repeated in history time line. Most beginners have this limit in mind, so many times the mayor excuse is "Dang, I was too late!". Get rid of it too as it is not true in all cases.
If sun drops bellow horizon your unique sunset session is over. It cannot be repeated or worked on. But on many occasions you may improve the scene just if you think of it. Photographing people is connected with the communication topic above.
In several occasions I did such "works", and I was surprised how good people react to it. Excuse me, can you please turn your head the way it was five second ago, yes, that's it, thank you!; Can you please rise your girl above your head again, it was great!;Can you please seat down again for a moment, your shirt color perfectly matches with those flowers in background.
If it is not forbidden or dangerous to move things around, work on it. Make your scene better to fit your idea. Don't take it "as is" if you feel it can be improved. Peterson has a nice example of shooting parrots in (through) a cage with very busy background. He simply asked for permission to put a clear red paper sheet in the background of the cage and shoot again. Difference was stunning, and not much work to do. I am emphasizing that this is different in studio conditions where you have everything in control. Dead nature is usually not problem, and has nothing much to do with our comfort zone except for eventually asking permission to move or rearrange something that doesn't belong to us, or get yourself dirty during the action (yes, I know someone that have problems with this too).
Many things depends on our characters and what we learned through our live. Our behavior is usually formal, in good manners. But It is not creative by default.
Thinking out of box requires our sight out of our own boundaries, and doing whatever it takes to get our creative idea done, even if it out of comfort zone. I am strongly on this principles, having my own troubles, and working hard to fix this up. You know yourself the best, find out if there are things that are blocking you to do something different.
Then try it, otherwise you will never know that your pet dog running through mud on a rainy day looks better from its height then from yours. While you will discovering this, other people will watch TV or sleep. But some of them will search DT for a perfect action image of pet dog.
Until next time - happy shooting!
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