Adding vis­ual im­pact to your shot

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Lens - Al­bert Pe­drosa

WHEN you test new cam­era equip­ment, whether this is a lens or the cam­era body it­self, you start shoot­ing at ran­dom scenes. You check how the equip­ment per­forms and the feel of it. The pho­tos you take dur­ing tests are of­ten, if not, al­ways goes to the trash. The photo lacks the ap­peal to be shared in so­cial me­dia or at least takes space in the mem­ory card.

That’s how a photo will look like if you don’t add cre­ativ­ity to a shot. Pho­tog­ra­phy is a split be­tween tech­ni­cal merit and art, where one com­ple­ments the other. You may have fa­mil­iar­ized your­self with the cam­era func­tion and prob­a­bly spent a lot of time read­ing the cam­era man­ual — at this point, all you’ll get is a nicely ex­posed shot. No im­pact!

I’ve once chanced on a tu­to­rial video of in­ter­na­tion­ally known pho­tog­ra­pher Steve McCurry about com­po­si­tion. I would strongly rec­om­mend for any pho­tog­ra­pher, whether start­ing up or ex­pe­ri­enced, to watch it. It’s a three-minute video that talks about the dif­fer­ent com­po­si­tional guide­lines.

I saved the video be­cause up to this point, even with all my ex­pe­ri­ence, I still find the video very help­ful in spark­ing up an idea or just ba­si­cally re­mind­ing me of the el­e­ments that cre­ate im­pact in a pho­to­graph. I also use it to help me ex­plain how com­po­si­tion works.

When you start prac­tic­ing your com­po­si­tional skills us­ing th­ese guide­lines, you’ll find out that the art of pho­tog­ra­phy is not as com­pli­cated as you think. Your shots will im­me­di­ately take form and start to cre­ate vis­ual im­pact. This is good mo­ti­va­tion for you to prac­tice some more and move to the next level.

Know that the chal­lenges you face to re­al­ize your imag­i­na­tion of how the scene should come out in the photo is very much hard­wired on your tech­ni­cal skill of pho­tog­ra­phy. The fo­cal length com­pres­sion, ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion and the rest of the tech­ni­cal side of pho­tog­ra­phy are as im­por­tant as your cre­ative skills.

As you re­al­ize and get frus­trated with the lim­i­ta­tion of the equip­ment that you have, you tend to bar­gain with your com­po­si­tion and force your­self to find a dif­fer­ent an­gle or story that can be achieved by what you have. That be­comes the mar­riage of cre­ativ­ity and tech­ni­cal part of pho­tog­ra­phy.

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