Inspiration from one of the old-school masters, Edward Weston:
Find infinite inspiration in street photography from the masters:
Never miss the decisive moment, ever again.
1. Photography is for prolific artists
“Photography suits the temper of this age – of active bodies and minds. It is a perfect medium for one whose mind is teeming with ideas, imagery, for a prolific worker who would be slowed down by painting or sculpting, for one who sees quickly and acts decisively, accurately.” – Edward Weston
Photography is great if you want to make art, instantly. To be decisive, without the delays of painting:
2. Never repress your artistic expression
“I would say to any artist: ‘Don’t be repressed in your work, dare to experiment, consider any urge, if in a new direction all the better.” – Edward Weston
Photography and life is all about experimentation, trying new things, and finding new paths and directions.
Lesson: Follow your artistic urges.
3. Shoot more than your eyes see
The fun thing about photography— augmenting our vision and reality.
“The camera sees more than the eye, so why not make use of it?” – Edward Weston
Lesson: don’t make “factual” photos as we see reality. Rather, create your own reality.
4. Photograph ordinary things, and make it look extraordinary
“Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.” – Edward Weston
Don’t just photograph the exotic. Rather, photograph the familiar, and make it look extraordinary.
“I have been photographing our toilet, that glossy enameled receptacle of extraordinary beauty. Here was every sensuous curve of the human figure divine but minus the imperfections. Never did the Greeks reach a more significant consummation to their culture, and it somehow reminded me, in the glory of its chaste convulsions and in its swelling, sweeping, forward movement of finely progressing contours, of the Victory of Samothrace.”
Learn more about the Victory of Samothrace:
5. Composition is presenting your subject in the best possible manner
“To compose a subject well means no more than to see and present it in the strongest manner possible.” – Edward Weston
“Good composition is merely the strongest way of seeing.”
6. Discover composition while you shoot, not from composition theory
“Now to consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk. Such rules and laws are deduced from the accomplished fact; they are the products of reflection.” – Edward Weston
Discover your compositions while you shoot, and afterwards when judging your contact sheets.
7. Don’t be a slave to composition theory
To have a fresh vision, approach each photo like a beginner.
“When subject matter is forced to fit into preconceived patterns, there can be no freshness of vision. Following rules of composition can only lead to a tedious repetition of pictorial cliches.” – Edward Weston
8. Don’t ‘think’ while shooting
“One does not think during creative work, any more than one thinks when driving a car. But one has a background of years – learning, unlearning, success, failure, dreaming, thinking, experience, all this – then the moment of creation, the focusing of all into the moment. So I can make ‘without thought,’ fifteen carefully considered negatives, one every fifteen minutes, given material with as many possibilities. But there is all the eyes have seen in this life to influence me.” – Edward Weston
9. Start with no preconceived ideas
“I start with no preconceived idea – discovery excites me to focus – then rediscovery through the lens – final form of presentation seen on ground glass, the finished print previsioned completely in every detail of texture, movement, proportion, before exposure – the shutter’s release automatically and finally fixes my conception, allowing no after manipulation – the ultimate end, the print, is but a duplication of all that I saw and felt through my camera.” – Edward Weston
Have an empty mind before you shoot, like a zen photographer.
Discover new things, and use that enthusiasm to make great photos.
Then process and export your photos that is a recreation of what you felt while you were shooting.
10. Master the art of photography; don’t get distracted by the tools
Stick with the same camera equipment for a long time, master it, and squeeze the fullest potential maximum from it:
“The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don’t know what to do with it.” – Edward Weston
Conclusion: Don’t become a slave to facts/rules
Don’t be a rational photographer, rather, be irrational. Never keep experimenting, exploring, or trying new things.
“The great scientist dares to differ from accepted ‘facts’ – think irrationally – let the artist do likewise.” -Edward Weston
And don’t forget, photography is about emotions, and the human soul.
“My work is never intellectual. I never make a negative unless emotionally moved by my subject.”
Find infinite inspiration in street photography from the masters:
JUST SHOOT IT.
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