What style of photography do you like? or What type of photographer are you?
Do you like to shoot landscape, macro, portraits, events etc.?
Are you a commercial photographer who is maybe interested in weddings, family groups, or specific product photography to suit a client.
Most of us are fun photographers who enjoy the challenge of taking images to suit ourselves with many never selling an image to another person or corporation. Some people know immediately what they are interested in but some wander around happily taking photos of everything that takes their fancy. Most of us are drawn to a certain subject. It's fun to experiment - why not shoot outside your comfort zone or experiment further within what you are comfortable with. For instance if you are a landscape photographer and usually shoot sunsets or sunrises - why not get adventurous and hike down a waterfall one day to experiment with the challenges presented to you there ... or a beach or surfing scene to capture the action of the waves. Macro photography is a totally different field to experiment in and its very exciting when you finally master the various techniques to master a clear, in focus shot. Today there is so much new technology in this field with specialised macro lenses, extension tubes, specialised lighting units and light boxes ... not to mention the special programs to now focus stack your images to guarantee a perfect result. Portraiture presents many challenges especially with lighting and only the brave and professional should venture commercially into this field. Event photography is one area that I particularly love and I have proudly been involved in quite a few community events where I have stepped out of my comfort zone and pushed myself that little bit further with my photography. Never say you can't do it because you can. If someone asks you to shoot a particular subject or event - do your homework. There are so many tutorials on line these days so there is no excuse for backing away from a new project. This type of photography is a lot of fun so why not wander along to your next local event and practice a little to gain confidence and to experiment with lighting and settings.
When taking a photo or looking at someone else's photo what do you look for. Do you expect the WOW factor, or its softness, the colours, the subject or is there something else that appeals to you. I know you will probably say that all images are different - and they are BUT what should we do as photographers to have people like and comment on our images.
Most people don't know what they are capable of. Most of us haven't been tested or pushed to the limit of our capabilities. It's so easy for us to just sit back and allow others to do the hard yards without attempting to push ourselves outside our comfort zone. In photography you can play with your camera, never experimenting beyond the automatic settings and while this is OK for many of us, have you ever stopped to think where experimentation may lead you. For years we used our cameras to record family events or holidays and while we now are very thankful that we did this, it never allowed us to see the creative side of the art of photography. Many people dispute that Photography is an art - its not uncommon to hear them say "anyone can press a button". My outlook on photography is that it is my way of capturing that special moment in time or place, that special look, that special light, an angle, a colour or an occasion. Remember that photography is unique in that it is capturing that moment that will never happen again ... it is recording history. Give it some thought and we will discuss this further at another time.
Author Bev Woodman
Photography has been my passion for many years. To share with others what you see through the camera lens is something special. I see it as preserving history - so many things I have taken photos of over the years have now disappeared, old buildings have fallen down, scenery has been altered, loved ones have passed away ... it is worth preserving for future generations to enjoy.