Essential skills for Photography – Skill 4

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In my previous blog post I introduced the third skill that I believe is essential in producing great photography. Today I will try explain another of these essential skills.

Understanding your equipment

Now please don’t confuse this with knowing how to use the features of your camera. The ability to pick up and control a camera is a given skill that every photographer needs. No, this skill is about understanding and appreciating the characteristics of the equipment at your disposal and understanding how we can use this to strengthen our communication with our audience.

An example to understand this a little better is if we were shooting a portrait. The subject would need to be the person in the image. What we therefore want to avoid is having multiple people dominant in the frame as these will be distracting. If our composition and technique is very poor it may leave our audience unsure which person is the subject. To make it clearer we might chose a long lens so that we can concentrate on a single person in the frame. We might also use a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field. This will ensure objects behind our subject are thrown out of focus, so emphasising the subject still further.

A second example is where we use of Wide Angle lenses in Landscape Photography. Unless we move in close to our subject and include something in the foreground, the image loses impact as objects recede very quickly into the distance.

These examples are about understanding the characteristics of your equipment and then being able to make decisions about how use them to create strong compositions.

I will introduce another essential skill tomorrow.

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