Well, here is the thing. You buy books, you read articles how to be better, you look at great photos of other masters and then, you go out on the streets with your camera, and nothing happens. You came home with same old average photos. Why is that? That`s because nobody told you how to actually learn to be better. Great street photo consists usually of many visual elements and things that are intersecting in beautiful harmony like a great song, and it can`t be learned with only reading how to do it.
The problem here is that in order to make a great photo, we must first learn the visual language, and then apply it to our photography. And learning a visual language is similar to learn any other language, or, let use analogy here, to learn how to compose a great song. At first, you must learn all the chords and harmonies one step at the time. Then you try to play others great songs, using the same chords and melodies. And then, maybe, if you have it in yourself, you try to make your own song, with your own inner voice. It`s a process. Reading about what great chords you can play on your guitar, won`t actually teach you how to play guitar. You need to learn all the chords by playing, one by one. It`s the same with a visual language that is in the heart of every great photo.
So, how you actually learn it? It`s simple. You take one visual element (chord), you read about it, you see how other photographers use it, and then you go out on the street and try to concentrate on practicing that one only element until it becomes second nature to your mind. Then you move to another visual chord. When we are out on the streets with our cameras, life is happening and unfolding in front of us blazingly fast. If we think how to shoot, we are already late, the moment is gone. That`s why visual language must become second nature to us, it must be implemented in our bones. And the only way to make this happen is to practice every element of visual language to death. And only after a long period of practicing we might be able to apply multiple visual elements in one split second without thinking and make some good photos that are beyond average cliches.
This is actually intro to series of learning articles about key visual elements that can be applied to any art form: painting, design, and photography also. So let`s learn all the chords together, and make some great photography poems. The beauty of learning any new language is that, once you learn it, it`s yours forever, and you can speak with it whenever you want.
So stay tuned, subscribe to my blog, and be notified whenever a new article is published.
Here is a short list of planned articles for start.
Foreground / Background
Translating 3d world into 3d photos with Layers
High key / Low key
Importance of light
Dynamic range of Black&White