Why Conventional Wisdom is Bad for Good Photography


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Why Conventional Wisdom is Bad for Good Photography

  1. 1. Why conventional wisdom is bad for good photography. <ul><li>What I’d like you to get from this: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognize that many of our conventional approaches often result in photography that is dull and predictable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognize that good images depend on you and your commitment to hard work. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand how emerging technologies are changing the way we take pics, share them with others, and build stories around them. </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Most importantly… <ul><li>Realize that creative expression -- particularly by inexperienced photographers -- is often hindered by “perceived” rules of the game. </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately, there are no absolute rights or wrongs when it comes to photography (technically, compositionally, etc.), and you should build confidence by simply experimenting with your equipment and finding out what works best for you. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Three-part presentation <ul><li>First part deals with six conventional wisdoms </li></ul><ul><li>Second part focuses on my approach to photography. </li></ul><ul><li>Third shows three examples of leveraging photos into new ways of telling stories and reporting information. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Conventional rule No. 1: <ul><li>It’s all about ‘one and done.’ </li></ul>
  5. 5. Conventional rule No. 2 <ul><li>It’s about technical execution. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Technical quality is everything? <ul><li>Because of the Internet, composition, exposure, etc., are secondary considerations to the audience’s desire to see things as they happen. </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, what we once thought were “good” images can often be dull to a modern audience. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Conventional rule No. 3 <ul><li>It’s about the equipment. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Ultimately, it’s not the equipment you use. It’s how you shoot it. <ul><li>Eric’s iPhone experiment. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Conventional rule No. 4 <ul><li>It’s about convenience. </li></ul>
  10. 10. What I shoot. <ul><li>Nikon D200 </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed focal length 180mm lens, F1.8 </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed focal length 18mm lens, F4 </li></ul>
  11. 11. What I don’t shoot. <ul><li>Dump the lens that everyone else is using. </li></ul><ul><li>A joke in our shop: “Zooms are for the less ambitious.” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Your feet are your best friends. <ul><li>To find fresh perspectives, you need to walk. </li></ul><ul><li>Good boots are the best “zooms” in the business. </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re not working hard, you’re probably not doing your best work. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Conventional rule No. 5 <ul><li>It’s about staging the moment. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Shoot when their guard is down. <ul><li>Stop posing. </li></ul><ul><li>Moments of transition hold the truth you’re after. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Conventional rule No. 6 It’s about capturing what you see.
  16. 16. How I approach a shoot <ul><li>Conventional: Determine proper white balance. </li></ul><ul><li>Conventional: Ask myself what it is I want exposed properly, and I adjust my manual settings accordingly. </li></ul><ul><li>Conventional: Adjust ISO settings to the light -- if it’s dark, I increase the ISO. If it’s bright, I bring it down. </li></ul><ul><li>Unconventional: How can I shoot this in ways it’s never been shot before? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Get down. Get up. Shoot through stuff. <ul><li>Stay away from eye-level perspectives </li></ul>
  18. 18. Don’t hit the snooze button. <ul><li>Each day provides just two windows of opportunity. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Background is key. <ul><li>Opportunity lost: Just three steps to the left. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Leave the flash at home. <ul><li>Natural light is key to capturing emotional expression. </li></ul>
  21. 21. See a tree as more than leaves and limbs. <ul><li>Find new ways of expressing what others think they already see and know.` </li></ul>
  22. 22. Shoot it multiple ways. <ul><li>Keep moving. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Think multi-dimensionally to create new ways of seeing the world. <ul><li>New technologies strengthen our story-telling capabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>$2.99 app called “Autostitch.” </li></ul><ul><li>Video includes nearly 75 images stitched together. </li></ul><ul><li>iPhone with Autostitch has given me more enjoyment in doing photography than anything I’ve done in 15 years. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Realize old photos aren’t dead inventory. <ul><li>Treat old photos like hay in the barn, not trash in the bin. </li></ul><ul><li>Video of old photos in our inaugural “I Am Angus” to celebrate 125th anniversary of American Angus Association. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Recycle, reuse, reclaim. <ul><li>Just because you printed it, doesn’t mean you can’t use it in new ways. </li></ul><ul><li>All of us have hundreds -- even thousands of photos -- that can be packaged into new opportunities to promote our brands. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Set yourself free.
  27. 27. Set yourself free. <ul><li>The rules of photography are changing. </li></ul><ul><li>The uses of photos are expanding. </li></ul><ul><li>The emergence of new media creates new and unexpected opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately, photography is about your contribution, your personal expression, not the rules that everybody else lives by. </li></ul><ul><li>Take chances. Try new things. Shoot it the way you want to shoot it. </li></ul>