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As a photographer, you are a picture maker.

All pictures here made on OnePlus 5, Google HDR+ camera app, and processed in VSCO with A6 preset.

Make pictures, don’t “take” pictures.

Shadow selfie at sunset. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Shadow selfie at sunset. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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.

  1. Making a picture: you’re using your brain, heart, and aesthetic sensibilities to make an image.
  2. Taking a picture: you steal an image from a scene, without much thought or consideration.

See yourself as an artist.

ERIC KIM SELFIE with black wall. Kyoto, 2017
ERIC KIM SELFIE with black wall. Kyoto, 2017

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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To me, this is what I look for when making pictures:

  1. Textures (rough, jagged)
  2. Shapes (circle, triangle, rectangle)
  3. Lines (straight, vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curved, spiral

How to make better pictures

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Also to make better pictures, I do the following:

  1. Simplify: remove clutter from backgrounds and edges of the frame.
  2. 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.
  3. See the world from the eyes of a child. With wonderment and awe.
  4. Crouch down, or put the camera on the ground and shoot from a very low angle and perspective.
  5. Move around, change your position. Move closer, further away, left, or right.

Conclusion

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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.

Cover for upcoming CREATIVE EVERYDAY book by HAPTICPRESS
Cover for upcoming CREATIVE EVERYDAY book by HAPTIC

Also for more guidance learn “How do I know which pictures to keep or ditch?

If you want to have more fun in your photography, join ERIC KIM FORUM and take your photography to the next level with an ERIC KIM EXPERIENCE.

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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

PHOTOGRAPHY 101

Seoul, 2009

Dear friend,

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Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos
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