Want To Be A Photo Artist? Try This…
by Dan Eitreim
Here's a photo tip you may have never considered... actually I'm not sure if this should be called a photo technique or a strategy or possibly even a photo tutorial. Whatever you choose to call it, it IS valuable! It will turn you into a photo artist faster than anything else I know of.
One of the major training techniques used by fine art painters - for centuries - has been to get the basics down as well as they can and then drive them home with practice by copying work done by the masters.
They will try to copy the scene, they will try to copy every color shade, they will try to copy every brushstroke and so on. Actually, that's not only how art masters are born, but how art forgers are created as well. They never tried to move past the copying stage.
But, copying is the fastest way to take the leap from technician to artist. Thousands of artists in every field have proven this to be true.
You can do the same thing!
Go through your favorite photo books and magazines and pick out a few photos that you really like - and try to duplicate them!
You want to get every detail as accurately as possible. You want the finished photo to be indistinguishable from the original. (But keep in mind, this is a learning exercise - never pass off the work as your own!)
Be reasonable...if you like a scene done on a gorgeous tropical island with swaying palm trees, crashing surf and pretty girls in bikinis...but you live in Katmandu in the shadow of Mt. Everest, it obviously isn't going to work!
That said, pick a photo that you CAN duplicate and do it! Try to get the same setting, the same type and color of clothing - the same sort of light...everything!
This is a huge amount of effort but is amply rewarded! BTW - I would start with some sort of still life rather than include people. It's easier and less costly.
They say you can't truly understand a man until you walk a mile in his shoes... well; here is your chance to truly understand the thought processes of the photographer. Why
did he pick this color over that one(?), why oranges instead of apples(?), why this lighting pattern over another?
The more detail you put into your copy, the better - and the more you will learn. It WILL eventually show up in YOUR work!
Remember, the key initial step to this project and becoming a photo artist - is to FIRST be completely comfortable with the basics - THEN start to copy! For more information, check out the resource box!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Dan Eitreim has been a professional photographer in Southern California for over 20 years - his data base exceeds 6000 past clients, and he says that learning photography is easy, if you know a few tried and true strategies.