Your five decisions in photography

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When I think about how well I am doing in photography and how to improve, I consider my task as five steps, or decisions that I have to make. I think this is true for any of us.

1. Where and when to go, and why? Location, location, location. If you travel around the world, de facto you have a lot of content possibilities, and if you stay in your house all the time, a lot less. Of course we can find great content in our house and boring content in a distant place, but all else being equal, it helps (but is not necessary) to go to places on purpose in order to find interesting content. And if you are a Flickrite, you know that sometimes photographers go to great dangers to get where they want to go.

In my initial post, I forgot an important aspect of the question: why to go? What's your purpose? What do you want to communicate?

2. What equipment to use? Just remember expensive equipment is nice, not necessary, and often not needed or even inappropriate. Don't buy into the megapixel myth. A far greater percentage of pictures taken by my $10 Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim have been in Explore than with my digital cameras.

3. What pictures to take?At locale with equipment in hand, what are you going to click at and how? The clicking or even camera preparation is a small component here; what matters is how good an eye you have. What I have been doing recently is pretending like I always have a camera, looking for an interesting shot.

4. What shots to keep?Some shots get tossed, some get kept but not shown, some get shown. I think this is an often over-looked "skill". I think this requires both constraint and judgment, which in part can be developed by looking at other people's works.

5. How to present image? This includes post-processing, framing, as well as a decision as to where to show it.

For me right now, I am trying to work on #3, especially by paying attention to light-dark contrasts.

View 20 more comments

  1. chrisps 77 months ago | reply

    it IS all about the eye and it is a combination of training and congenital ability, if it was not, then we could all be trained to be brilliant photographers, those with the eye that work hardest will be the greatest photographers, all of the rest of us can at most be good

  2. chrisps 77 months ago | reply

    with all of that forgot to say love the pic, fab bokeh, eye like it

  3. kstoon 77 months ago | reply

    another intriguing image. i know what it is yet i don't. and certainly some points to think about. 1, for me, i rarely travel so it forces me to look at new ways to shoot the same thing, over and over. 2, i like my mega pixels but i shoot on the lower setting, and i have of late considered buying a roll of bw film and hitting the streets with my old canon. 3, people ask me what i shoot and i tell them "anything". 4, i take a lot, i toss a lot. 5, that's what i'm working on now. thanks for sharing your ideas.

  4. peace love* [deleted] 77 months ago | reply

    great colors(L)

  5. Amit Basu 77 months ago | reply

    Interesting thoughts. I would say, all five are important.... almost equally.

  6. reiffgladys 77 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called ALL KINDS OF BEAUTY (NEW RULES! CHANGES!!!), and we'd love to have this added to the group!


  7. ramparts54 77 months ago | reply

    I love how this photo concentrates on the form, composition and colors. Your analysis is so true. Lately my thoughts have been on #2 and 4. I'm thinking about a new camera but can't decide. Will wait for a bit. On #4 I've been thinking that I'm trying too hard so many photos go un-presented. I started a 2nd flickr account to post my "other" photos, but found that it was taking too much time. Anyhow, it's good to think about it all.
    This Masterpiece deserved to appear in :

    ╠Art Libre-Free Art-Arte Libre-Freie Kunst-invited pix only╣ .

    tag with : "ArtLibre" and consider joining us :o)

    "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

    [Piet Mondrian ] Dutch painter
    invited with SICI (2008-09-11)

  8. jotka26 [deleted] 77 months ago | reply

    i do not care 'bout all these things...Im just an ordinary mood shooter

  9. LukeOlsen 77 months ago | reply

    I'm still and will always be working on all of these.

  10. Vali... 77 months ago | reply

    oh I missed my homework for the weekend
    Love you colorspots

  11. ~lala~(Lisa) 77 months ago | reply

    Nice little list, Kevin...though, I rarely ever get rid of a pic...many of them end up being used as a layer or texture or become something else altogether...=)

  12. telmo32 77 months ago | reply

    Great pic and discussion.

  13. Raising Cane 77 months ago | reply

    Great list! Cool image!

  14. Linda JP 77 months ago | reply

    Kevin, first of all, I love the shot!!! And your list is very insightful. I'm working on No. 1 (just gotta go somewhere....)

  15. ——— 77 months ago | reply

    Great abstraction.
    The five steps are not too bad either!

  16. sciencesque 77 months ago | reply

    professor, you are a great thinker

  17. JuanApo 19 months ago | reply

    Sigue siendo muy interesante leer tus consejos,experiencias,...Gracias a Dios fuiste una de las primeras personas que encontré en Flickr y tus conocimientos me siguen resultando interesantísimos.Muchas gracias,Profesor.
    (Perdón,pero si traduzco esto con el Google Translator,probablemente no consigas entender nada).Un saludo
    Juan Francisco

  18. AccidentalAccent 15 months ago | reply

    Very useful summary! I know I definitely suck at 4 and 5 x.X

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