This is the blog for Brett Trafford Photography based in Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands. More information can be found on the web site, Brett Trafford.com

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Photography course, Introduction

Welcome to the first part of my photography course, the aim of this is to improve your photography and the important word there is YOUR.
Photography is a difficult subject to quantify, it’s part science, part art and part history, you can become a master at the technical side, know all the major photographers and their techniques and still be unable to take a single photo anyone likes. This is because its an art form and when all is said and done, regardless of how the image was captured, it’s the image its self that’s important.
Years ago I started to take pictures to please other people and soon started to hate photography, I had gotten away from one of the basic goals of taking pictures, enjoyment. Once I had realised this I started to shoot images that I liked, the result was I enjoyed it more and took more photos and started to create images that made me happy.



So back to the aim of the course, if you are looking for in-depth technical analysis, long winded historical comparisons of past masters or three rules to make you gods gift, go back to Google. If you want to improve your shots and get more enjoyment out of your pictures then read on.


Back to the word YOUR, they are your photos, your images, your art and the only person that has to like them is you, otherwise what’s the point spending time, money and effort taking them, so before we even get to thinking about how to take photos what you need to do is to think why you want to take photos and what photos you want to take.
If you give someone a camera and tell them to go out and take 10 photos, the shots you get back will be a mixed bag of images with very little to connect them and with very little thought behind them. If you ask the person to go out and take 10 photos of 10 buildings, that is what you will get, but they will still be disjointed and to a degree unconnected. But if you then add that you want them to show the development of the town through the ages, you should end up with 10 images that link together and have a lot of thought behind them.




Pre course work, Sit down and think what you want to do with your photos. Is it to win competitions, recording family events, capture beautiful scenes or to help with another project. Review what you have already taken and see if it fits in with what answers you have just come up with, being able to judge if it fits or not and why, will highlight what you need to work on and what you do well. There is no right or wrong, only what works for you, the blurred badly exposed and poorly framed shot of your first born first smile, while a poor photo, is priceless to you and shows that you have mastered one of the most important of all photographic lessons, have your camera ready and take the shot, they are normally gone before you can blink.


17 comments:

Michael Vermont said...

How do one disassociate taking photos for oneself with taking photos for others to enjoy?

Lisa B said...

Good intro Brett and stunning shots. The dam is breath taking.

Vickster said...

Hi - I'm looking forward to future lessons in your course. Lesson one - know why you're taking pictures. I hadn't thought about that before. Thank you!

Babooshka said...

About time too. I have been asked to do one like this many times, but well I would not be able to do it justice as you do- I couldn't be sensible and veer off at tangents, but I am working on a something akin via the consultancy I do. I agree wholeheartedly with you about taking images for yourself. When working I have to take certain images, certain ways re the clients criteria and usually lack of vision. Fine, they pay me. My best images though come from within what/how/why I like. Best of Luck with this- not that you need it. You are one of my top 5 online photographers and even this long time jaded professional photographer can be rvitalised with your words and images as sublime as this one.

Babooshka said...

Am I ok to plug this blog this week on mine?

Robyn :) said...

Great intro Brett!! I thought about why I take pictures and what I like to photograph. Looking forward to more lessons to improve upon how and what I take :)

Diane said...

what a great thing to do and to put so much time into it as well. I love when people share information, regardless of the topic. Your photography is stunning.

Junie Moon said...

I learned about you from Diane and immediately popped over to see what's going on. Already I'm prompted to think about what I'm doing--that's a good thing. For me, photography has been a case of "I just want to take good pictures." After reading your introduction, I understand there's a whole lot more to this art. Thank you already.

inadvertent farmer said...

Great introduction, you have me thinking about what I want to accomplish with my photos. something I had never taken the time to think about before, Thanks, I look forward to more lessons. Kim

I got here from Diane's also

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Photography Course said...

Interesting and very informative blog..

Thanks for sharing.. :)

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