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Better Photography From Studying Art
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Better Photography From Studying Art

One of the great things about digital photography is that it is instant. You see something, you compose, click the shutter and VOILA- you have created an image. There was a time, long ago, when recording an image was not such a quick process. Before photography, painting was the best way of rendering images and it took a long, long time. So how does that affect us as photographers?

Learn From The Masters

One of the best ways to grow as a photographer is to study the master painters. The tricks and techniques they used are as valid now as they were hundreds of years ago.

Think About It

If a painter wanted to show depth in an image, he would have to do it with highlight and shadow - just like we do with photography. He would rough out shapes, shadows and other details to bring out the story of the image. The background could be sharp and detailed - or it could be soft and blurry. It was entirely up to the artist. Why can't we use these same theories in our own work.

Composition

The old painters were masters of composition. Everything on the canvas was was in a certain place for a reason. If it didn't contribute to the overall image, it was left out. People were placed on the canvas in such a way that they would guide the viewer's eyes through the story. It took a lot of time and effort, but it paid off with incredible results. Make sure you put that kind of care and planning into where you place your subjects. Proper posing and composition will set the artists apart from the snapshot shooters.

Color

Learn about color theory and how different colors work together. If you aren't familiar with complimentary colors - Google it or buy a book at your local art store. Figure out what colors look good together and incorporate that into your planning process. Find out what specific colors mean - from a symbolic standpoint. If you are creating a family portrait, don't just show up and photograph them in whatever they are wearing. Take the time to discuss the color options with them and create something that is aesthetically pleasing. Remember, its all about the details!

Many Options

Painting styles are as varied as photography styles, so you need to find someone who embodies the look you want to achieve in your photography. Do you inspire to create the classical portrait look of John Singer Sargent or the soft look of the Impressionists? Take the time to learn from a Master and watch your photography skills grow!


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