I‘ve been asked this question many times. What differentiates a masterpiece from the rest? There are underexposed and overexposed photographs which are showcased while some of the technically perfect ones left out. I’d better try to answer this through a post.
Photography is an art. And just like any form of art photography is medium for expression. How well your photographs make an expression depends on how well the expression is communicated. While you may still be using a compact camera, it is still important to understand that there’s nothing too difficult about it and that you have already been practicing this art all this while – after all you’ve clicked children smiling and have photographed the flowers and the sunsets. They all express something. Here are a few tips on refining the artist in you.
Understand How Photographs Are Interpreted
At an abstract level , photographs and images are symbolic – an open door, the horizon, a tree all convey something. It is therefore important to know what the scene conveys and how to get the shot that best tells the story.
It’s All About Reaction
People react in various ways when they look at a picture. It depends on how they interpret the massage, their background, the culture they belong to. Different people will have different reaction and understanding of your work. Believe in yourself and be open to feedback. Understand that not everyone has the ability to critically analyze a photograph.
Once you know how photographs are interpreted it’s time to develop your own expression and practice the art. Like every painter’s or musician’s work has their signature, your photography will bear the hallmark of your personality. Groom your expression and individuality.
Study the work of great photographers and see what their work speaks. This will inspire the creative and the artist in you. Sometimes just reading through some inspirational quotes by great photographers will make your day and motivate you to pick up your camera & get started.
Don’t Lose Heart
I don’t know of a photographer whose every shot is an art master piece. In the film days the learning process was long and a steep curve. In the days of the digital it’s easy — shoot and delete. Every professional shoots thousands of photographs only a few of which are really usable. The ratio of good shots versus the rest will be an indicator of your progress; so don’t lose heart — it’s just a matter of time and even professionals aren’t perfect. Soon you’ll see that most of your photos are coming out great and only a few are off the mark.