Trite but True #3: Read the #%*@&!%$ manual

I have a technical background. I used to write manuals for a living. Yet, even I find most camera and software manuals gobbledygook.Well brothers and sisters, the secret is to just plod on. The first time you read the manual it may seem opaque. The second time, however, you may recognize a few phrases. Soon you’ll be able to identify the names of buttons and switches. As soon as you understand something, try it out. That’ll help you understand more. Continue reading “Trite but True #3: Read the #%*@&!%$ manual”

Trite but True #2: Decide what you want the image to say

It took me years to figure out what photographers meant when they discussed what their images had to say. Pictures are visual, not narrative. So, the idea that a picture could “tell a story” seemed like art-school nonsense. Then I observed the effects my photographs had on people who saw them. I eventually got it. A photograph has the potential to elicit an emotion, trigger an action, or change an opinion. Continue reading “Trite but True #2: Decide what you want the image to say”

Trite but True #1: Research your subject

Over the decades I have tried to learn from the advice, suggestions, and rules given by other photographers. Some ideas I embraced immediately, other I resisted, and still others I just didn’t get. But the ideas were repeated again and again. I came to realize that if a wedding photographer in Taipei was telling me the same thing as a wildlife photographer in Alaska, I should listen-and try out the advice.So, for the next 13 days, I will share this oft-repeated advice by adding a new tip to this column. At the end, if you follow along and try to apply these ideas, you will save yourself years of trial and error. And you’ll have the experience necessary to know when the rule does not fit and what to do then. Continue reading “Trite but True #1: Research your subject”