The video below is different from those we typically post, but no less important. It’s not a tutorial about shooting techniques, camera settings, gear, or editing methods. Rather it’s all about the unique way successful photographers view a scene to make compelling images.
In short, this eye-opening tutorial from portrait/street photographer Manny Ortiz is a visual examination of what could be called “the art of seeing,” Ortiz uses his compelling imagery to illustrate what accomplished photographers see upon arriving upon a scene, as opposed to how non-photographers (or less adept shooters) view the same location.
Sometimes the difference is about visually compelling contrasts. This can mean stark highlights next to deep shadows, large elements vs. small ones. Other times the element that could make a great shot has to do with contrasts in colors.
Ortiz demonstrates how a “normal person” might view a scene in a way that makes it appear nothing out of the ordinary. A skillful photographer, on the other hand, may zoom in close, or crop the shot, to take advantage of interesting streaks of light or leading lines that draw viewers into the image.
Using a pretty model to illustrate his points, Ortiz illustrates how a simple tweak to a pose can make a big difference in the results. Likewise, a shift in vantage point, like shooting from a low or a high camera position can make a huge difference in the power of a photograph.
This video runs barely three minutes, but it could be a real wake-up call, depending upon what you see in Ortiz before-and-after images. If your photographic vision is more closely aligned with what he calls “a normal person,” it’s time to temporarily forget about shutter speeds and apertures, and spend some time on the art of seeing.
After watching the video head over to Ortiz YouTube channel, for great tips on portraiture, street photography, and much more.