Street Reflections, Paris / Olympus E-M1, 1/200sec @f/4, ISO 800, 90mm
As a landscape photographer I’m always looking for light, patterns, color, texture, and all the other elements of visual design that contribute to making a compelling image. This is true whether I’m in a beautiful natural setting or walking the streets of Paris. Regardless of the actual subject matter or situation, training yourself to see the world through that perspective is critical to becoming a better photographer. The practice of “seeing photographically” is key to growth, and when you break down the components of what constitutes a good photograph, you find the same basic ingredients.
That’s one of the basic foundations I teach in workshops and try to emphasize as often as possible; every opportunity to “see” is never a wasted one, even if you don’t make any images worth sharing. It adds to your understanding of light and composition, and enriches your creative abilities. Never take for granted any time you have the chance to practice seeing photographically. In The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp says, “If art is the bridge between what you see in your mind and what the world sees, then skill is how you build that bridge.” And you gain skill by practicing every chance you get, regardless of your ultimate photographic goals.
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