Wednesday, March 17, 2010

the eye of the beholder

We've all heard that saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." We apply it to a lot of things, but I find it particularly fitting for photography. How many times have you seen a gorgeous landscape photo and thought, Hey, I could do that, and then you went out and tried and somehow the picture just didn't look as good?

That's happened to me a lot of times. I think it's happened to all of us.

So how do those people get those perfect pictures with the flawless lighting and excellent composition? What rules are they following that make their pictures so alluring?

At least in my experience, I've found the answer to be simple: None.

It's called the photographic eye--the ability to see a picture in the making before you even pull out your camera, while others walk right by without noticing. You see how it's put together and how it will work. Sometimes there are definable rules it follows (the rule of thirds, for example) but more often than not, it just draws you in . . . and you can't really explain why.

The photographic eye is a gift, but that doesn't mean it allows someone to take dazzling pictures with total ease. Even the best photographers may take hundreds of pictures in a single shoot and only end up getting one or two decent ones. Over my weekend in California, I took more than 550 pictures; I chose only half a dozen that were reasonably good to post in my photo gallery. And sometimes to get those half-dozen good pictures you have to be willing to get dirty: I've done portrait shoots that had me lying flat out in wet grass and mud, rolling this way or that to get a better angle or light.

It's all part of the wonder of photography. I love it, and I always will.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Hallie,
    Your pictures are beautiful! I love all your landscape really have an eye for composition, and your animal pics are great too. I especially like the deer, chickens and pig. Isn't photography fun? So much to learn though, isn't there?
    Have a great weekend!
    Teresa (Sue's sister:)



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