Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter. Not too famous, painted very few works and never traveled the world. With such a few paintings, he was an almost obscure painter until some famous names gave him his due regards. For photographers, his paintings can also be an inspiration and a source of learning.
KISS… Keep It Simple, Stupid!
A girl-friend had once told this to me. Quite a famous line and I don’t even know where it originated initially. Little did I know that after so many years, this will become the opening line of this article.
Keeping the compositions simple is one of the easiest ways to make them powerful. A strong composition which is easy to understand and conveys the point across in a straight forward manner, is the best gift that you can give to your viewer. This is minimalism in photography.
Few weeks back, I was at Maini’s Hill Cottages, NataDol with a friend. Nice and cool night with no moon in sight. Once the sky was almost dark, we planned on capturing some night shots of the cottages itself. Switched on all the lights and went out to the far end of the driveway… tripod set, camera set, exposure settings checked… and we started capturing the scene. These were to be used for marketing purposes.
A motivational speaker and a friend of mine once told me, “feedback is the breakfast of champions”. This is especially true when it comes to learning photography. It sounds obvious but very few of the photographers actually make use of it. If you are a photographer trying to improve your skills, do try to get some artists and photographers to critique your work.
Hot summer season and lazy sunny days… a perfect hint to take rest in the lap of nature, on the hills. On the last weekend, that’s what I did. With a couple of friends, we planned on staying at our cottages in Natadol (Maini’s Hill Cottages). The evening passed quickly in the company of friends, chatting, while sitting under the starlight. For the next morning, we planned on a nature walk along with our resident nature guide. It was hard to sleep at night in the expectation of early morning walk. When the first rays of light hit the snow-peaks, I was up and ready with my camera.
There are some special places that we like to visit again and again. That beautiful cottage on the hills with a view, that roadside cafe selling your favorite coffee, that corner store with its oddball collections, that winding road on the hills… the list goes on. There are our favorite songs that we never get tired of hearing or the movie that can always entertain us. For me, my old photographs are also a precious treasure, which I love to visit again and again. However, this time, I thought of revisiting the raw files!
Lately, I have been asked the same question in many different ways –
- What is it that makes a photographer look like a beginner?
- What mistakes do starters in photography commit?
- What are the signs that tell that a person is new to photography?
… and so on! First and foremost let me clarify, there is nothing special that tells who is a beginner and who is not. Second, the fact that a person is a beginner or has been in the field for donkey years, does not correlate to photography skills.