Many famous photographers rarely talk about photography. They prefer to remain in the background and let their work speak for itself. Sometimes even little things that they do say can reveal their secrets. Learn from the masters by studying these five quotes from some of the world’s best photographers.
“The important thing is not the camera but the eye” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
The camera you use only has to record what you see onto film, or into bytes. Blaming your camera for bad photographs is the ultimate sign of an amateur in action. Great photographers produce great shots whether they use a DSLR or a point-and-shoot. The secret is to know your camera back to front. Master photographers never miss shots because you were fiddling with dials. When you don’t have to think about the controls you are free to take great photographs with any camera.
“There are two people in every photograph: the photographer and the viewer” – Ansel Adams
Ask yourself why you are taking a photo before you press the shutter button. Is the subject of interest to a viewer and are you taking it from the best possible angle. Remember that every photo you take is destined to be viewed by other people. If you can make the viewer feel like they were with you when you took the photo you have a great photograph. Develop your own style that is true to your vision, and then engage the viewer by inviting them to share it with you. Try and imagine your composition on a gallery wall before you take the photo.
“Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times” – Elliot Erwitt
Don´t be that guy who meets Sasquatch but left his camera in the hotel. You never know when something interesting might happen right in front of your eyes. Take your camera with you at all times and try and get at least one good photo every day. You can learn a lot by reading about photography, and looking at other people’s photos, but nothing is as important as practice. You can only take great photographs if you have you camera at hand.
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
The more photographs you take the quicker your photography will improve. Getting to the stage when you consistently take great photos takes many years of practice. Even the masters need to keep taking photos regularly or they get rusty. You can develop your talent faster by learning from your mistakes. Don’t just delete your bad photographs but analyse them to see how you could haveimproved them. Celebrate your best shots but study your bad ones!
“If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” – Robert Capa
Most amateur photographers stand too far away from their subjects and consequently their photos lack immediacy and impact. The best photographs make the viewer feel like they are involved in the action. You can convey this energy if you take your photos from miles away with a zoom lens. Get close enough to smell your subject and your photos will be all the better for it.