How To Take Photos

Top of uniwalk steps, 5:20pm This isn't really a how-to (because hello, I am a noob), but more of my opinion on things 'photography...

Top of uniwalk steps, 5:20pm

This isn't really a how-to (because hello, I am a noob), but more of my opinion on things 'photography' related. 

Anyway, I have gotten so many lovely comments and some questions on my photos, and it is really quite happymaking to know that people out there appreciate something about them. 

Recently, a lovely person made a very insightful comment which struck a chord with me because she got the mentality that I am trying to follow. It started when I read a little article by a photographer that said "Never blame a bad photo on your camera", and it's stuck with me since. The article was about how taking "good" photos has little to do with your camera. I always used to think "My photos would be so much better if I had this lens or that lens..." which ensued with a lot of daydreaming about expensive glass.

But I've realised now that- much like buying an expensive piano won't make you a better piano-player- buying a better camera or gear won't necessarily mean better photos, nor make you any better as a photographer. Despite the fact that I love my DSLR, and still drool over lenses and the like, I take many of my photos with a little point-and-shoot that I carry most days. Partly out of convenience but mostly because the challenge has taught me so much more about what makes a 'good' photo. It has taught me that it's not about how many megapixels, or how much your camera is worth, or it's capabilities. It is about mine.

To me, taking a good photo is:

1.  Being in the right place at the right time
 2. Seeing something in a certain way, and
3. Experience. 

Actually, the last one is kind of optional. But just like so many other things in life, the most important one is loving what you do. I still look at other people's photos and realise I'm a complete beginner in comparison but if I can take a photo of something, look at it a long time later and still feel something? Then it's good to me.

So I suppose that's the first and most important lesson. Anyone can learn about aperture, shutter speeds, composition, photoshop and f-stops easily; the hard part is capturing a moment with emotion and inspiration. It is something I am still struggling to do. But sometimes I get lucky in seeing something which strikes me and I'm even luckier if I get to capture it the way I picture it. I think if you really feel something special with imagination and try to capture it, it will come through in your photos.

Also, the picture above was taken today by my piddly phone camera. I was walking up after my classes to meet R and turned around to see the entire lower campus all glowy- and a couple admiring it.  

Anyway, I hope this post was somewhat insightful to someone out there...
I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

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  1. That is so true. The camera in the end is just a tool, you're the one using it. I think Henri Cartier Bresson said 'Your first 10000 photos are your worst'.

    Photography is something you need a lot of practice in. :D

    But you do have a great eye though.

  2. nice list and I agree! some people just see things in better angles than others and that comes from trial and experience, and some artistic ability :D love the pic you featured in this post!

  3. definitely agree with you. to be honest, i use my iPhone camera most of the time and we've only JUST purchased our first DSLR. I'm kinda glad we waited til now, cos I feel like I actually have a bit more experience now. Also makes me believe you can't be "snobby" about how people take their photos, because I think it's more about the moment/feeling.

    love that photo on the steps, with the warm sunset- beautiful x

  4. first impression: wow annie sure knows how to get the best out of her dslr

    then: wait.. she only carries around a point and shoot?? and managed to take a photo like thattt??

    finally: PHONE CAMERA???!!! get out of hereeeeeeeeee :OOOOOOOOOOOOO

  5. I agree with everything you said. And with that being said I really like your pictures. Your blog is still one of the only ones I still read. So please, keep up on taking these beautiful pictures and posting.

    Take Care!

  6. so true! your pictures are amazing i love the sunslight!

    <3 steffy
    Steffys Pros and Cons

  7. soo effing cool!! xx

  8. I'm an amateur photographer, but love snapping photos nonetheless. You've got a good eye for opportunity. I'm really liking the reflective efect of the train windows on the scenery here. Nice!

  9. I like this post. Good advice. I also used to think "man, if I had a better camera, this would be so much better," but that's probably just an excuse for my lack of patience in photography.

    Style Soufflé

  10. Great advice - as someone who barely uses a camera at all it's reassuring to know that you don't need to invest in a mahoosive glass thingy (displaying my technical knowledge there) to get great shots.

    The only thing that annoys me about my camera is I find it hard to get clear shots, they always don't seem to come up sharp enough unless it's a close up ...

  11. I wholeheartedly agree with this post and very much follow these guidelines. Sometimes, I want a much nicer camera, but then I think, "If I can't shoot phenomenal photographs with this one, what will I achieve with a better one? Furthermore, would that not be an example of a camera doing all the work to make a good photograph?"

    By far, the photography on your blog is among the most inspiring I have seen. It definitely inspires me to push myself. Keep up the great work, Annie!


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