Fundamentals of Being A Great Photographer - From Ordinary To Extraordinary
Over the many years I pursued my art and photography passion, I received this same question repeatedly: "what camera do you use?" While camera is important and an indispensable tool to create a photo, it is often overrated when it comes to create a great photograph.
So today I'd like to share the fundamentals of being a great photographer.
I know we talked about being in the right place at the right time, but the hardest part of photography is to create the extraordinary from the ordinary. This is exactly the most important thing we need to learn.
For example when you are facing a wide open field (no matter if it's a farm, an ocean, a lake, a forest or a big wide street), if you pull out a camera and take a snapshot, you might just get a blank dull image. But if you can find and walk up closer to something interesting, no matter it's a rock, a hay bale, a street pole, a car (see the above video), and put that subject as the foreground, while placing your wide open field in the background, you will come up with a completely different image. All of a sudden your image has a different story to tell and draws people's attention to something you focus on in the foreground.
It's like how we play in the world, you can either be an onlooker, or immerse yourself into the reality and be a part of it. There's no right or wrong answer how you create an image. But whatever you create is unique to you. Photography is indeed a language, and the way you create an image very much tells people who you are, and how you see the world.
I'd like to share my favorite quote from a great photographer.
To give a clear explanation, you can compare the following images.
Open wide field sample below
Use a hay bale as the foreground, and use the open wide field as the background
Another example. A open wide view of a lake or river
Add the rocks as the foreground, use the lake as the background
This is another lake example. Nothing is in front of the lake so the lake itself is the foreground.
Here I added a tree root lying on the shore as the foreground, using the lake as the background. They look very different now.