Getting Inspired for Photography

Nikon D700 camera
The tradition tool of the professional. Image via Wikipedia

I’ve always been into the idea of Photography as an artistic medium and it’s something that I wish I had got into properly much earlier on. I never really owned a real digital camera until my birthday this year, but I now have a Sony point and shoot, which takes pretty good, detailed photos at 14mp. Considering that until recently the only cameras I’ve had access to since I was at school and owned a film camera have been mobile phones with terrible resolution.

It’s really refreshing to be able to open iPhoto and crop images quite strongly to reveal hidden detail, without seeing a blurry mess. A photo I shot yesterday at the beach of a windsurfer initially didn’t seem to have captured him at all. I couldn’t see any detail on the camera screen itself, but when I got home I noticed that it captured a lot more than I initially thought.

When I got my new camera I went out and took some photos at my favourite place, the promenade. After that though, I ended up leaving it on my shelf for the last couple of months until this week. A new show started on Channel 5 called how to take stunning pictures. I decided to take a look and they did actually inspire me with the advice they gave. Although the first episode is on portrait photography, something I’m not as into, the tips are relevant no matter what you shoot.

Things like trying to avoid using the flash and making the most of natural light is something I’ve thought myself for a while. It was also inspiring to hear professionals say that it doesn’t matter what equipment you use, whether it be an SLR or a phone camera, you can still create great photos. There always seems to be this notion that the bigger lens you have, the more you know what you’re doing. I’d like to think that the best photo galleries in the world in the future can include shots taken with a regular phone. It should be the artistic vision and not the quality of the equipment that defines a photographer. A terrible movie in HD wouldn’t be considered better than a black and white classic, so why the difference here?

Photography is so accessible now compared to the pre-digital days and in a way that makes me sad that people aren’t being a bit more creative. Almost every person who walks down the street will have a camera with them in some form or another. It’s also important to remember that cameras are there as tools for all kinds of things that aren’t necessarily art related. Taking a quick photo of an eBay auction item doesn’t need to be spectacular, but trying to be a little artistic may end up helping you sell whatever it may be.

In other words, trying to approach any photo opportunity as an artistic one will if nothing else, make taking photos more fun and that is something that everyone wants their experience to be.

I’ve always liked the idea of holding an SLR camera and feeling like a pro, even if I’m not. Whether I can take this hobby and go further with it is unknown, but I’ll definitely continue my interest in the medium whatever happens and hopefully develop my skills a lot over time.