Welcome back to my monthly feature ‘Ladies & Gentlemen, meet…”
When I first started my blog, back in February 2014, I had no interest in photography whatsoever. However, after participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge my interest in photography grew and it was not long before I was hooked. I started to follow lots of photography blogs and the camera on my iPhone started to get used a lot more. I started to build up a library of photos and when I can I like to join in some of the photography challenges here on WordPress.
This month I’d like to introduce you all to a blogger who specialises in photography. Norman Frampton lives in Canada and ever since I started following his blog I have admired his photography. He captures life in such a brilliant way and I am always gob smacked by his work. I asked Norman if he would write a guest post about photography and I was absolutely delighted when he accepted my invitation.
On his blog Norman shows us photography from ice hotels to apple picking in Southwestern Quebec. He also throws in the odd bit of humour and I love reading some of his responses to the many comments he gets on his posts. Although he specialises in photography he also writes short fiction and does reviews. So, without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Blogger and Photographer, Norman Frampton.
I’d like to start with a big Thank You to Hugh for the opportunity to guest post on his blog.
For those who haven’t seen my blog, Norm 2.0, consider this your official invitation to drop in, poke around, and hopefully stay a while. You’ll find a mixed bag of reviews, personal pieces, short fiction, and LOTS of photography.
My professional background is in Marketing Communications in the power tool industry in Montreal, Canada. I’ve been writing, proofreading, editing, and translating for marketing, advertising, and technical literature for over twenty years. In 2009 I got seriously interested in photography after coming back from a trip to Yosemite National park in California and being horribly disappointed with my pictures of such beautiful scenery.
I did some research, bought my first DSLR, and then signed up for a series of photography courses at a local university. I’ve been snapping pics, studying various styles and types of photography, and having lots of fun ever since.
About two years ago I was looking for an outlet for my creative side for both writing and my photography and that’s how the blog, Norm 2.0 was born.
The one photography feature that I’ve been running on the blog since last spring is a weekly link-up called Thursday Doors. We now have dozens of people from all over the world dropping in to share wonderful photos of doors every week. It’s a lot of fun and quite a few of the participants will tell you that it’s quite addictive. Please do come by and check it out and feel free to participate too – the more the merrier.
The primary advice I have for anyone looking to get into photography as a hobby is to remember that the best way to get good at anything is through practice. Think of it like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it will get.
Of course it’s hard not to not to get caught up in lusting after the latest and greatest gear. However, if you consider the accelerated rate at which manufacturers seem to roll out their newest, best, most megapixel offerings, you quickly realize that it can become a very expensive hobby. Though I’ll probably be upgrading next year, for the moment I’m still doing quite nicely with my 10.2 megapixel Nikon D60 purchased back in 2009, so believe me unless you’re planning on doing it for a living, it’s not about the equipment.
To me whether you use a camera phone, a point and shoot camera, one of those new mirrorless models, or a traditional DSLR with a bag full of lenses, the most important aspect of taking good pictures is finding new, interesting or creative ways to take pictures of things that have probably been photographed thousands of times before.
Before you press the shutter button, ask yourself one question about the shot you are about to take: Have I seen this shot before?
If the answer is no, then good for you – fire away! But if the answer is yes, and it usually is, then do something different to shake things up. If you’re outdoors, then try coming back at sunrise or sunset when the light is different with long dramatic shadows and that warm orange glow.
Kneel or even lay down just to change the perspective and give the shot an original look.
The shot below is a good example of what I’m talking about.
Ordinarily you’d think that there’s nothing particularly interesting about old piece of farm equipment, but by getting down low, framing with interesting background objects, and then waiting for a day with menacing clouds, this shot becomes a lot more interesting than if I’d just stood in front of it and shot downwards on a nice sunny day.
Another idea is to look for patterns, symmetry, or original shapes.
Whether you prefer photographing people, objects, landscapes, flowers, bugs, or buildings, you’ll find that with a little practice you’ll be looking at ordinary things in your day-to-day life much differently. And you’ll be constantly taking mental notes of things you’ll want to come back and photograph later. That’s how you know when you’ve become serious about photography.
And don’t worry too much about expensive software to process and re-work your images. Yes, becoming comfortable with Photoshop, Lightroom, or some other imaging software helps with workflow, and can enhance an already solid image, but if you caught a good image in the camera, it will always be a good image, regardless of how many different ways you choose to process it later. Whereas if all you have is a poor image, the best you can hope for with software after hours spent doctoring it, is perhaps a mediocre image.
The last piece of advice I have for anyone who’s serious about getting into photography and whose budget allows them to invest in a DSLR camera, is to spend a little bit more and find a local school or camera club where you can take some formal instruction.
Courses won’t necessarily make you a great photographer, but they will help you to get much better, much faster. Acquiring a solid understanding of the basics like the exposure triangle, how your camera works and what all the controls are for, the use of on, and off-camera flash, and some primary rules of composition, will save you months of frustration. Most importantly, once you have those basics mastered, you can forget about the technical stuff and concentrate on developing your own creative style, and that is when photography really becomes fun!
I hope some of this proves to be helpful. If you have any questions, please drop by Norm 2.0 so we can discuss if further and in the meantime, take lots of pictures and have fun!
Thanks for reading.————————————————————————————————-
My thanks to Norman for writing a very informative post about the wonderful art of photography. I’m sure anybody who takes photographs will get a lot of very useful information from it. For beginners like myself this kind of information goes a long way in helping me understand how to improve my photography and to take better photographs.
The link to Norman’s blog is in his post but you can also click here to go straight to it. Please do pay him a visit and enjoy the wonderful photography he posts.
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