Add Character to Your Images
Full disclosure, this is one of the best photography workshops that I present. You may or may not agree with my premise, but you will love the results none-the-less.
The premise is that modern photography equipment almost forces uniformity in the images that are being captured. By that I mean, most cameras do a great job at capturing any particular scene. It’s almost imposible to get an image that is not sharp or properly exposed. But that’s precisely the problem. Everyone walks around with a camera all day, every day in all corners of the globe. The images being presented all look remarkably similar and in my opinion, often quite boring.
I’ll bet if I asked all the but the most deft photographers, take a blurry photo for me, or one that is really over exposed, from an interesting angle, has lots of contrast, black background or silhouette you couldn’t do it. Why? Because it doesn’t conform to how we typically see the world, nor the way the engineers at Nikon or Apple program the devices. They don’t want to freak you out, or ever think the device can’t take a good image. Kind of like the menu at Applebee’s. Cameras and people tend to be most comfortable shooting pretty much the same way in which we see the world:
My experience as a 30+ year commercial photographer, graphic designer and advertising agency owner has taught me that any time we present an image that is a little different than how we normally see, the image is immediately more compelling than a similar subject presented in a way we are accustome to viewing. That’s just human nature.
Now do this well and you are on to something. We see the world in basically a 35mm field of view, all day, every day. We don’t see silhouettes ordinarily so a subject presented as a silhouette is, well compelling.
We can use these same principles to compose our photos in ways that may be counter intuitive to how we are use to viewing a scene, view a subject in terms of proximity, see color, motion and so on. Once we understand the premise and develop some experience with some techniques we can incorporate these in varying degrees to create more punch or intrigue to all of our photos. In fact, we can become as outragious as our concious allows.