How to take better pictures and not machine-gun scenes to death

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Look at the scene in your lens. Ask yourself, "Would I put a print of this on a wall in my house?" If not, maybe it's not worth shooting, at least as "art?"
    RichA, Mar 29, 2014
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  2. RichA

    Sandman Guest

    I rarely feel that putting photos on my living room wall is a parameter
    that I need to consider when shooting a wedding or a portrait series.

    As for personal photos, few are made with the goal of wall "art". Some are
    just for memories, some are for testing new gear, some are for taking a
    good picture that would fit in a gallery.

    When wanting to make "art", you can't restrict yourself to only pressing
    the shutter button when what you see in the viewfinder is something you'd
    put on your wall. You take several photos, testing angles, lighting, trying
    to figure out what works.

    The same goes for when I'm painting or drawing, sometimes there's just a
    blank canvas and whether or not it deserves to be hung on a wall won't be
    obvious until it's nearly done.

    Basically, having "art" as the only goal stifles creativity, and
    discourages testing and experimenting. You'd get stuck in the wrong mindset
    from the start where nothing you see or do is "art" enough.

    More often than not, amazing photos or paintings are found when they're
    done, not when they're made. You offload the photos in your camera and find
    one or a few that manages to really stand out. Sure, you may have felt
    something when you took it, but not until you see it on your big screen do
    you know whether it actually became as amazing as you had hoped.

    Also, a lot of photos become special only with some form of post applied to
    it. You can read some interesting thoughts here:


    Where a pretty uninteresting photo becomes "art" (or at least visually
    special) in post. I'm sure this is what the photographer wanted when he
    pressed the button, but the camera could not produce the result of itself.
    Sandman, Mar 30, 2014
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  3. RichA

    Robert Coe Guest

    : Look at the scene in your lens. Ask yourself, "Would I put a print of this
    : on a wall in my house?" If not, maybe it's not worth shooting, at least
    : as "art?"

    And what's magic about "art"? There are many kinds of photography that have
    nothing to do with hanging pictures on a wall.

    The only remotely compelling argument against "machine-gunning" is that it
    wastes film. If the shoe fits, wear it.

    The nice thing is that I don't have to tell you (or whoever the client is) how
    many shots it took me to get the keeper. Some of my best pictures have been
    grabshots. (You could say the same about Eisenstaedt and Cartier-Bresson, not
    that it makes sense to mention me in the same breath with them.) Each of those
    has been one of a series of shots, the rest of which have been distinctly
    inferior. If I hadn't machine-gunned, I might have missed the only good one.

    Robert Coe, Apr 6, 2014
  4. What's this "film" stuff?
    James Silverton, Apr 6, 2014
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