Friday 27 February 2009

You don't have to be a great photographer to get great shots!

I've been casting my mind around the topic of getting great shots lately. What makes a great shot? How do you know you're going to get one? 

Great shots are obviously hard to get. I'm sure your back catalogue is very much like mine, thousands of average and below average shots. Of course the law of luck will eventually apply and once in a blue moon a gem will come along. But this is hit and miss and there can be an awful long time between shots that have any artistic or creative merit at all.

I've been mixing with some of the greats in landscape photography lately, both in person and through their published work (mostly the latter!!) and I think I've discovered a couple of the basic ingredients in many great landscape shots. These are:
  1. Shooting in a great place nearly always gets great shots
  2. Shooting in a great place when the conditions are exceptional is almost a guarantee of a great shot
  3. Shooting in an ordinary place when the conditions are exceptional has a high possibility of success

I know all this sounds simplistic and doesn't take account of the variables of composition and camera technique, but these can be learned. It also doesn't take account of situations that are ordinary but are made extraordinary by the skill and insight of the photographer, again this skill can be built over time.

But if you're new to photography, or your photography skills are a little rusty, then simply get up earlier, stay up later, hike or drive further. Get to great locations and you'll massively increase your chances of getting great shots.

1 comment:

Steph Salmon Photography said...

Looking forward to doing a few courses this summer with you