As a photographer, you are a picture maker.
Make pictures, don’t “take” pictures.
You decide what to include in your frame and what not to include in your frame.
Some ideas on how to make a picture:
First of all, day “make” a picture not “take” a picture.
- Making a picture: you’re using your brain, heart, and aesthetic sensibilities to make an image.
- Taking a picture: you steal an image from a scene, without much thought or consideration.
See yourself as an artist.
Also, the difference between a “picture” and a “photograph” is this:
A photograph is a picture.
A picture is a flat, two-dimensional representation of reality.
However, not all pictures are photographs.
To me, this is why I like photography. I can use photography to make both pictures and photographs.
Artists who paint make pictures. A painting, a drawing, or a sketch are all pictures.
Why make a picture?
To me, I like to make pictures because it is fun.
Pictures are also my opportunity to exert some sort of control, power, or will to my life.
For example, I cannot control how rich I am, how handsome, or my health. However, I can control what kind of pictures to make.
So to me, picture making (whether photography, drawing, or painting) gives us AGENCY, CONTROL, and POWER in our own lives.
Therefore photography and all art creation is a good thing…good for our self-ego, and good for joy and happiness in life.
What to look for when making pictures.
To me, this is what I look for when making pictures:
- Textures (rough, jagged)
- Shapes (circle, triangle, rectangle)
- Lines (straight, vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curved, spiral
How to make better pictures
Also to make better pictures, I do the following:
- Simplify: remove clutter from backgrounds and edges of the frame.
- Focus on details by showing specific parts of the scene I like, rather than showing everything. This means, GET CLOSER and DON’T ZOOM to name better pictures.
- See the world from the eyes of a child. With wonderment and awe.
- Crouch down, or put the camera on the ground and shoot from a very low angle and perspective.
- Move around, change your position. Move closer, further away, left, or right.
These are just some personal tips on making better pictures.
Ultimately there is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” picture. It’s all subjective. There are no objective measures what makes a good or bad picture.
Therefore, make pictures that bring you joy. Don’t care so much what others might think of your pictures. Just have fun, and be the ultimate arbiter of your images.
Also for more guidance learn “How do I know which pictures to keep or ditch?”
If you’re new to photography, start here:
- Free Photography Bootcamp
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Photography
- 100 Photography Tips for Beginners
- How to Make Better Pictures
- 10 Tips How to Take Better Photos of People
- How to Avoid Boredom in Photography
- How to Master Photography
- A Photographer’s Guide to Seeing
- PRETENTIOUS PHOTOGRAPHY
- Photography Energy Management
- How to Unlock Your Potential in Photography
- There Are No Good or Bad Photos
- The 5 Minute Photographer
- A-Z: PHOTOGRAPHY DICTIONARY by ERIC KIM
- Why I Want to Be a Photography Newbie Forever
- PHOTOGRAPHY FLUX.
- 10 Creative Photography Assignments to Re-Inspire You
- 50 Photography Tips by ERIC KIM
The Fundamentals of Photography
- How to Choose Your Best Photos
- GET CLOSER.
- Keep or Ditch?
- What Makes a Good Photo?
- Why Photography?
- Everyone is a Photographer
- How to take better pictures
- How to take better selfies
- How to Paint With Light
- Why Bokeh is Overrated
- What is the Perfect Camera For You?
- What to Consider When Buying a Camera
- More Megapixels, More Problems
- How to Take Better Photos
- How to Capture Emotion in Your Photos
- How to Create a “Curiosity Gap” in Your Photos
- Composition Lesson #1: Triangles
- Composition Lesson #2: Figure-to-ground
- Composition Lesson #3: Diagonals
- 40 Practical Photography Assignments
- 15 Street Photography Assignments
- 25 Photography New Year’s Resolutions
- Street Photography Contact Sheets
- Street Photography Contact Sheets Volume II
- Debunking the “Myth of the Decisive Moment”
- Each Photo You Take is an “Attempt”
- How to Overcome Photographer’s Block
- Why Do You Need “Inspiration” to Shoot?
- How to Edit Your Photos
- Grain is Beautiful
- Are Filters “Cheating” in Photography?
- Video: Introduction to Editing, Processing, and Workflow in Lightroom
How to Create a Body of Work
Technical Photography Settings
Learn From the Masters of Photography
“He without a past has no future.”
- Why Study the Masters of Photography?
- Great Female Master Photographers
- Cheat Sheet of the Masters of Photography
- 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography
- Beginner’s Guide to the Masters of Street Photography
- Download All Articles >
The Masters of Photography
Classics never die:
- Alfred Stieglitz
- Alec Soth
- Alex Webb
- Alexey Brodovitch
- Anders Petersen
- Andre Kertesz
- Ansel Adams
- Blake Andrews
- Bruce Davidson
- Bruce Gilden
- Constantine Manos
- Daido Moriyama
- Dan Winters
- David Alan Harvey
- David Hurn
- Diane Arbus
- Dorothea Lange
- Elliott Erwitt
- Eugene Atget
- Eugene Smith
- Fan Ho
- Garry Winogrand
- Gordon Parks
- Helen Levitt
- Henri Cartier-Bresson
- Irving Penn
- Jacob Aue Sobol
- Jeff Mermelstein
- Joel Meyerowitz
- Joel Sternfeld
- Josef Koudelka / Part 2
- Josh White
- Lee Friedlander
- Lisette Model
- Magnum Contact Sheets
- Magnum Photographers
- Mark Cohen
- Martin Parr
- Martine Franck
- Mary Ellen Mark
- Rene Burri
- Richard Avedon
- Richard Kalvar
- Robert Capa
- Robert Frank
- Saul Leiter
- Sergio Larrain
- Sebastião Salgado
- Shomei Tomatsu
- Stephen Shore
- The History of Street Photography
- Todd Hido
- Tony Ray-Jones
- Trent Parke
- Vivian Maier
- Walker Evans
- William Eggleston
- William Klein
- Zoe Strauss