“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” – Ansel Adams 

What I love the most about teaching my Learn to Use Your Camera course is seeing the progression as each week passes.  Every week there are homework assignments that I give feedback on and getting to watch the ‘A-HA!’ moments is something that I never tire of.  Many people have been struggling for years to work with their camera (and end up working against it!), which is why it’s incredible to see how quickly they are able to translate what they learn into more beautiful photographs.  

There is one piece of advice that I share with all my students over, and over, and over again.  I’m going to share it with you today because it’s key to developing your photography ‘muscle’ and being able to capture the world around you.

We are creatures of habit in almost all areas of our life and photography is no different.  We tend to take photos of the same places, with the same settings, and from the same perspective. 

The problem with this is that you can’t capture the beauty of the world around you if you are always standing in a similar place at your natural height.

In order to take create photographs and not snapshots, you need to change your perspective.  To practice, get into the habit of photographing every subject and scene from at least FIVE completely different perspectives.  Will all the photos be fantastic?  Absolutely not.  Will the results be instantly amazing?  Not likely.  What this exercise does is force you to constantly look at every scene and subject from different perspectives.  It’s only when you force yourself to step away from your typical photos that you’re able to see what the best angle or composition for your photo is.

Now take a look at the three photos from the same location:

photography class

In the first photo, I noticed the fog coming off the water and I wanted to capture it.  My first shot is too dark and because I’m higher than my son and the shoreline, you can’t see the fog rising off the water.  I then moved down to the beach and took the shot again.  Because I was closer to the shoreline there was less fog and I was still too high above him to capture the fog rising up off the water.   In the third shot I had my son move out onto the rocks so he was closer to the fog and I moved myself as low as I could.  You don’t necessarily have to stand chest deep in water with your camera but sometimes it gives you the best result.  

photography workshop

Photography takes time and patience and perspective.  One of the biggest challenges people face is seeing photos they love and then feeling frustrated that they can’t re-create a similar image.  The focus of my course is on teaching you the skills and decision making process so you can navigate any situation with your camera and learn to take beautiful and creative photos. 

photography course

Ottawa Photography Class