Sooner or later all of us hit the doldrums and run out of fresh ideas and inspiration. The quick tutorial below will pay big dividends the next time your imagination runs dry.
Instructor Mario Kilian is a professional photographer based in Germany with 40 years of experience, and he never seems to run out of ideas for helping Shutterbug readers improve their craft. In this six-minute tutorial he offers three great ideas that will provide a big jolt of creativity, and they may even help you “take the perfect photo.”
Kilian kicks off the lesson with this quote from Albert Einstein: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” As you’ll see, this prophetic observation is just as appropriate for photographers as it is for scientists. In other words, sometimes fresh ideas for making better images require a fresh way of viewing the world around us.
This first tip includes a reminder that there are numerous ways to shoot the same scene or subject, if you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone. This could mean trying a different focal length than you’d typically use for the particular task and hand, experimenting with a new genre of photography, or shooting from a unique vantage point. Kilian suggests a few other possibilities worth trying.
Kilian strongly urges you to take time to carefully study a scene, maybe even walking around the area, before pulling out your gear and starting to shoot. In other words, explore the myriad of possibilities in front of you. This notion applies to the suggestions above and those that follow.
With regard to his second tip, Kilian says this: “A photo is not just a picture of something. A photo is not just a picture of a bird.” The point he’s making is that all great photos tell a story, and Kilian provides some straightforward advice that will help you become a better visual storyteller. Bottom line: when you find something interesting to shoot, do your best to help the viewer understand what was happening at the moment you snapped the shutter.
The video concludes with some recommendations for street photographers. Kilian begins with another insightful quote–this one from Saul Leiter: “There are some things that are out in the open, and there are things that are hidden…the real world has more to do with what is hidden.”
Killian explains how to leverage this notion and he provide a few illustrative examples to drive the points home.
You can find much more of interest by paying a visit to Kilian’s YouTube channel, and by taking a look at a tutorial we posted recently that demonstrates several pro tips for shooting great landscape photos with a wide-angle lens.