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Best Photographic Tool Ever

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Best Photographic Tool Ever

Sometimes those of us who get into photography believe that if they just have the best camera or piece of gear, that will allow them to just point it at a scene and create a “Whoa, NICE!” moment from the images’ viewers.


Where do great photographs come from though?  Do you know?  When you see an image what is your first instinct?  Is it to evaluate the technical aspects of it or is it to experience the image’s emotional impact?   When bringing a group of photographers together to display their pictures to the group, it generally goes something like this.   You’ll display an image and everyone looks at it and goes, “yeah, that’s nice looking” or “well, it’s OK”. As you move from image to image the responses are about like those, then you bring up an image and everyone goes “Whoa, NICE!”  The first response is not to evaluate how it fits into the Rule of Thirds, or how technically balanced it is.  The first response is an emotional one.  The camera that captured the image was just the tool.  Great photographs come from your mind.


The camera only plays a part in the success of an image. It is just a tool, like an artist’s  paintbrush.  You would never hold up a paintbrush next to a canvas and expect the resulting image to come from something inherent in the brush.  The brush is just a tool that expresses what you see in your mind.  The camera is the same way – no matter what quality of camera you have.  Remember that some of the greatest images of our times have been made with cameras which didn’t have most of the features that our digital cameras do today.  Great photographs come from seeing something and visualizing how you want to represent it to others.  That comes from your mind and your sense of what is artistic to you.


There are a number of common photography “rules” which have long been known to help you organize an image.  From the rule of thirds, checking the borders, use of leading lines and patterns, to filling the frame with your subject matter – these concepts help you create images of balance and style.  But, your greatest “tool” is using your mind to compose the image you want to create and use your camera to capture it.


Good Luck and Good Shooting!

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