Today, I’ll be going off the beaten path with you. I won’t talk about lighting, Photoshop or Lightroom. Today’s lesson could actually be a challenge. You see, we’re going to talk about observation. Obser…what? Yup! Observation. There’s more to taking good photographs than lighting, composition or post processing techniques. Really? Yah, really. One very important journey to improving your photography skills is to observe what other photographers are creating. See what those images do to you; how they make you think or feel.
There are many things that happen to us when we truly take the time to observe a photograph; really sink our minds and souls into it. An image could bring a plethora of varying emotions, it can tell a story or bring forth old or new ones. It can also bring out the technician in us as we start analyzing lighting and composition.
A picture is more than a 1000 words. It’s a glimpse at the photographer’s history frozen in time; his vision of reality as he presses the shutter. I often go through this exercise of asking why. Why did he take that photo? Why did he want to share it with me? What can I learn from it?
And that’s the exercise I’d like you to try today. I’ve compiled 50 of my favorite black and white photos of animals from my personal portfolio. Skim through them and when one catches your eye, stop. Stop and ask yourself why. Why this image? And if you’re so inclined, please share with us your observation in the comments. Who knows, I might actually learn something about myself through YOUR observations. 🙂