Friday, February 27, 2009

Serious Photography For Serious Professionals

By James Gilbert Pynn

Serious photography, and by that I mean, artistic, well-considered photography, entails such a vast scope of equipment and techniques that it makes the point and shoot enthusiasts, well, just that: an enthusiast. Though a hobby is an admirable thing, the professional consideration of photography requires serious dedication. To be sure, most hobbyist never bother learning the rules of Depth of Field or which f/stop is best to use on an overcast day because the art of photography is now geared towards the hobbyist.

Always know the investment of time and money a professional photography degree requires is absolutely worthwhile. You would never condemn the painter for mastering the basics of rendering the human body. So, too, the photographer must learn how to master a basic 35mm film camera. The average person would be flabbergasted to account for all the elements of photography a serious degree reuires.

Serious photographers must abide by three gospel rules. Know your subject, tailor the camera to meet your needs, and always simplify. Composition is more than trying to recreate your favorite movie angle. Ho does the background interact with your subject? What does the angle to the emotional sense of your photograph? Your subject should never, ever be placed in the middle of the picture, or else professionals and collectors will think you are either being purposefully ironic or unwittingly amateurish.

The twin brother of composition is light. Light, or the lack thereof, is the single most important factor governing the quality and appeal of a photograph. Do you have enough natural light? How will a flash affect the subject? Do you need a bounce board? Will the position of the camera affect the light? How? Which f/stop is best? The problem-solution dialectic never ends. It simply gets more and more involved especially if your stated specialty is color, digital, or black and white photography.

The time and effort a stunning photograph encapsulates is lost on most peoples. Even with digital SLR cameras most professionals will tell you out of two or three entire memory cards they will be hard pressed to find one or two acceptable shots. Of course, it may be easier for photographers today, given the proliferation of corrective software available. But regardless of how you manipulate a photograph, if its basic qualities are poorly considered, you will be wasting your time and resources. - 16651

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