Wick Communications

Want to make better photos?

In Photography on March 4, 2016 at 8:35 am

It used to be that having your photo taken was a big event. Many of us can remember getting gussied up by our mothers and loaded into the station wagon for a trip to Sears, where a photographer would position us in some unnatural pose, next to our color-coordinated siblings, in order to capture an image that would live forever in the family photo album.

Now, we are liable to have our photo taken several times a day. We all walk around with cameras in our pockets. The advent of the cellphone camera has made picture-taking ubiquitous. That leads to a mistaken impression that it’s easy to take a telling, beautiful image.

This week, Tom Yunt forwarded a DIY Photograph interview with Steve McCurry. He’s one of the best photographers in the world. The 30-year-old iconic image you see above was his work. …

Most of the short interview is a bit technical, about the kind of camera he uses and the relative lack of equipment he brings in the field. I thought the important information to share is this: Photography isn’t an accident. He says it takes time, effort and discipline, just like any other profession. Just because you have a pen on your desk, you are not necessarily a writer. And that camera phone in your purse doesn’t make you a photographer.

It’s like this: I might get lucky and make a full-court basketball shot one day. But Steph Curry is a thousand times more likely to make that shot. Why? He practices. McCurry suggests those of us who are interested in photography study the history of the art. And to practice, practice, practice.

Clay

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