Let’s face it, you love a great photo. You spend a little too much time on Instagram rifling through beautiful photographs instead of doing your work and you suddenly realize you’ve spent most of the day on blogs that aren’t your own, looking at other people live their lives in an enchanting, aesthetically pleasing environment.
After recollecting yourself, you wonder, “How do I take a beautiful photograph? What do I need to purchase? What do these people have that I don’t?”. The answer is actually very simple- Nothing.
Many of the greatest photographs were taken with some of the most basic equipment in the dullest of areas, yet people’s minds and creativity brought those places to life. Here are the most common misconceptions about expensive cameras and photography, and here are a few techniques that will allow you to break the mould and become the visual artist you want to be, regardless of the equipment you use.
Art can stem from anyone and anywhere, we know it as fact. But before you blindly throw yourself into the world, there are a few things we need to discuss. I’d like to start with the most pertinent misconception-you need an expensive camera to take great photographs.
This statement is false for the most part. There’s this misconception that a camera with a large amount of megapixels determine the quality of the photo, which is incorrect. Megapixels determine the resolution for how big a photo can be enlarged before it starts getting fuzzy and there are no more pixels left to spread. Real photo quality is determined by a plethora of things, from the sensor to lighting scenarios to what you determine individually as quality. There are so many factors, and being able to see those factors will make you a better shooter.
Great photographs can be taken with any camera, regardless of the price range. In order to take a great photograph, you have to decide to you what is a great photograph. Photography is an umbrella term; there are plenty of groups and subgroups of photography because it is a visual representation of what we see and create, just like life itself. So before you decide to run after the sunset with your iPhone, decide what is beautiful to you, what you want to photograph and how you want to photograph it beforehand.
After deciding what you believe is beautiful, decide how you want to approach and capture it. Or, if you’re more of a creator, decide how you want to implement your photograph-you can approach it methodically, sketch it out beforehand, but just have a vision in mind. The more concrete the vision is, the easier it will be able to figure out the details and execute it. Saying “I want to shoot pretty clouds,” is one thing, but by taking another step and taking a closer look at your vision, you can start to imagine what it is that you like about those clouds, and take it a little further by saying “I like pretty clouds, so i’m going to shoot when it’s cloudy and there’s an open field so I can see the most clouds.”
It’s the little things like this that can make or break a photo. Your ability to determine what is great to you visually and your ability to deconstruct how you want to shoot will only make those quality memories better. For those who want to learn how to better themselves, there are plenty of basic reference guides on learning the fundamentals of photography in bookstores and even on mobile app stores, whether it be mobile, digital or film.
Just remember, don’t ever take it too seriously. Remember why you take photographs, and that will drive you all the way.
Words and images by Daniel Diasgranados. (@Carving_)