Sunday, 1 August 2010

What makes a great photographer?

Well there's a question!  It's not easily answered, but I asked it so I'll try...

A great photographer is 50% technical ability, 50% creativity and 50% personality.  Maths buffs amongst you will spot a problem.  But that's the difference between a good photographer and a great one.

Almost everyone has a camera these days and most (being kind) know how to use it to take some good snaps.  But you need to really know how to use the camera.  A correctly exposed picture may look good, but knowing what range of shutter speeds and apertures that can be used can really improve a picture.  Close ups of flowers look much better if the background is blurred giving good bokeh (Google it... it'll take too long to explain!) so set your aperture as wide as it will go and speed up the shutter.  A fast shutter might freeze a fast moving car, but try slowing it down a bit and pan to add a bit of movement into the background.

Creativity is just as important as technical know how.  There's no point having a technically brilliant picture of a rubbish subject!  Think about splitting the picture into thirds horizontally and vertically and positioning the focal point on a third line.  Or maybe lining things up on diagonals to change the dynamics.  Think about different view points as well to capture subjects in an unusual way.

But the bit that makes a photographer great is the personality.  I can only take a photo of what's there so it's up to me to put my models, whether adults or children, at ease and help them relax.  They have to feel comfortable with me for me to get the absolute best out of them.  It's just as important at a wedding as well.  The photographer is there all day and spends a lot of time with the bride and groom and their friends and family so it's important to choose a photographer you get on with and who you feel comfortable with.

I like to think I can get on with everyone.  Give me a ring, just for a chat if you fancy, to find out!

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