10 Ways Your Camera Can Change Your Life in 2013 (Part Two)

I was shooting more often, taking fewer pictures each time, but keeping more good pictures.
  • I was shooting more often, taking fewer pictures each time, but keeping more good pictures.

Title: Frankie Photography

Address: http://blog.frank...">blog.frankiefoto.com

From: La Jolla

Blogging since: 2011

Post Date: January 8, 2013

I begin my quest to hoard more camera gear. I make an interesting discovery.

As I began to take more pictures, I started to crave better and better equipment, things that could increase my range.

I always thought that the better the camera, the better the pictures I would take. I soon realized that I was sorely mistaken. Sure, the cameras helped to a certain extent, but even after I upgraded a camera, my images almost always looked the same as before. Maybe photography was less about the camera and more about me? Could that be the case?

The Great Irony — Photography isn’t always about what you share, but about what you don’t.

My photography really changed when I took a significant step in sharing it. I stopped posting thousands of marginal-looking pictures on Facebook every month and focused on building my own website and a photography blog. I learned something from my friend Aryo (another brilliant photographer that I always try to emulate): good photographers know that it is more important to learn what not to share than what to share. In this day and age of Instagram, Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter, people are inundated with pictures.

In short, less is more, and how you present your photographs is just as important as the photography itself. Don’t show everything. Show only your best work. Put your work into a larger context that tells a story. Keep your work interesting.

I begin to live by the motto, Practice, Practice, Practice!

My blog was a huge help. I started posting photos and stories behind them three times a week. The blog taught me to take photos with a purpose and to make sure that the photos were able to support a story or, better still, to tell the story in and of themselves.

The blog helped me add context to my pictures and it helped me practice. And that was the key — Practice, Practice, Practice. I began shooting every day. I began to read the camera manual to figure out how to control the aperture, the shutter speed, and the ISO. I slowed down and put the camera into full manual mode.

As I slowed down and became more thoughtful, I took fewer pictures. Surprisingly, though, as I took fewer pictures on each outing, I began to take more good pictures. I was shooting more often, taking fewer pictures each time, but keeping more good pictures. I was learning, and I was happier with the result.

I ask the question, To Photoshop or Not to Photoshop? There was never a question.

There is no question that Photoshop can change your photography and skills. Photoshop and editing became 50 percent of each picture I took. I started to practice every night for at least two hours. I started learning and using techniques to make my pictures look better and more interesting. I found plug-ins like Color Efx Pro and Viveza, which I could use to make my photos look more professional and vivid. I learned that Photoshop was an absolute must if I wanted my pictures to become more interesting.

Learning a lesson. Pointing the camera at the world, to reveal pictures of me.

Gradually over the past year, I have found myself becoming more accepting of my photography — of what it is and what it is not. I have learned to accept what I am good at and what I am terrible at. Through all this, I like where photography has taken me. It has pushed me to live more, to see more of the world, and to become more understanding of what is important to me.

I am not a fashion photographer. I am not a landscape photographer. I am not a photojournalist. I am not a street photographer. I am not a professional photographer. I am a Frank Photographer. I take pictures of the way that I see the world and of the way I see people and who they are. When I take pictures of others, I am really just revealing small pictures of myself for others to see.

[Post edited for length]

Read part one

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By the way, thanks (!!!) for both the tips and the link to your site, Frank. Quite impressive. Your earlier struggles are parallel to my current state of (my lack of) photographic knowledge. I plan to make good use of your experiences.

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