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Old 03-14-2012   #11
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Default Re: Try to find my own photographic style

I'll add a bit more advice.

You won't get the "GREAT" shot if you only take one shot.

Something caught your attention - that is a message from the right artistic side of your brain telling you that it saw something out of the corner of your eye that is worth taking a photo of.

Unfortunately if you want to take a usable image you have to engage the left technical side of the brain and the center of your eye. This is when you start thinking about exposure and composition. You lose that corner of the eye inspiration and you have to work the shot until you find it again.

Take vertical images. Take horizontal images. Take ones that show everything, then move in closer and take some images, then move in even closer, and closer, and closer until you can't get the image in focus. Step to the left, step to the right, go around to the sides and the back, try getting lower and getting higher.

Somewhere in there you will rediscover what your right brain recognized and capture it.

Style is another mater. Style is you putting what inspires you and what is happening in your life into a photo by using your technical skills and the rules of photography. Styles evolve and change so don't try to lock yourself into a "STYLE!".

Breaking the rules is a good way to crappy images, bending them is a good way to interesting ones. Only when you learn the technical skills and rules to the point that they are automatic can you begin to bend them successfully.

Your an artist. Keep a sketch pad with you. If something happens or you see something at is interesting make a sketch of what you could do photographically with that idea. Next try executing that idea, but work it.

Look at the work of Matthew Jordan Smith. This is his way of working.

Just as an example from his personal work look at the bottom two rows of images on his Beauty web page. The images of the Japanese model with the butterfly motif were inspired by him taking his girlfriend's son to a museum show of bugs. He walked into one room which was filled with butterflys pined to the walls. His makeup artist and hair stylist added their ideas and together they came up with these amazing final results. It was an all day project getting just the right images.

Here are the blog pages related to this session.



Canon 7D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II, Tamron SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, Tamron SP 90MM F/2.8 Di 1:1 Macro
Nissin Di866, Electra CLASSIC Plus studio strobes & modifiers
Sekonic L-358 Flash Meter, Yongnuo RF-602 Transmitters & Receivers
Dell 20" 2001F (1200x1800) IPS monitor, Samsung SyncMaster 23" F2380 (1920x1280) PVA monitor, Datacolor Spyder3Elite for monitor calibration
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Old 03-14-2012   #12
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Default Re: Try to find my own photographic style

I have to say that the squirrel shot is amazing. Maybe boost the highlights?

No one can answer the question of how to find a style, but I can say the theory of "always be shooting" is a good one. Follow that up with a lot of crit and you will be well on your way.
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Old 03-14-2012   #13
Location: Boynton Beach, FL
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Default Re: Try to find my own photographic style

I liked both the squirrel shot and the butterfly shot. I felt they were both very powerful. Taste is a personal thing. Having said that, I am working hard to improve my own compositional skills. Welcome to the hunt!
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Old 03-14-2012   #14
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Default Re: Try to find my own photographic style

I like your macros and people on the beach shots. The people with horses are nice too. Find the images that you excel at and stick with it.
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Old 03-14-2012   #15
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Default Re: Try to find my own photographic style

You've had some good advice already. All I'll add is you need to simplify your framing and composition. You're not editing enough when you the frame your compositon in the camera. You show too much and because of that you don't show anything that we haven't already seen.

You should also spend more time on the technical aspect of photography ie: more accurate exposure, better focus and a deliberate choice of depth of field. More emphasis on craft as well as simplifying the composition would be my suggestion. Try using a tripod and cable release for a while. That will let you slow down and really contemplate your composition as well as allow variations in exposure and creative control of f/stop and shutter speed without influencing the composition.

Work on your composition by deliberately shooting horizontal lines, vertical lines, diagonals, s-curves, low and high horizon, off center subject placement, etc. Make these design elements the subject of your work for a while until you learn to recognize and use them effortlessly.

You can then use these design elements as tools and a visual vocabulary to create the statements that you want about the world around you. If you don't have these tools in your visual vocabulary, you'll wander about aimlessly and your vision will be handicapped.

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