6 steps to good photo: Good artists borrow, great artists steal
Blog - Feb 18, 2021
In these times when everyone is a photographer, DJ or similar, thanks to technological progress, it is important to focus on quality.
More specifically, in regard to photo, we all think visually much more than we did ten years ago. While exploring the Internet, we come across the widest pallets of content in every corner and can find something that suits us. And when we do, we often want to infiltrate into that visual world by creating the same or similar content. Picasso once said that ‘good artists borrow, great artists steal’. Not everyone is an artist, let alone Picasso, but I think that there is something interesting in that quote that we all, professionals and enthusiasts, use. Good practice should be remembered, stored in a drawer with ideas and applied when it is suitable.
Technology is advancing and it is a challenge for professionals to keep up with trends. However, if we reduce this to an everyday level, then the challenge is not that difficult. Phones with excellent cameras provide us with a myriad of opportunities and simple use makes recording moments on a daily basis easier.
Technology may not be the crucial factor and attention needs to be paid to photo basics as vital for high-quality visual, so here are some important elements to focus on:
- Light, light and light. Opportunities provided by good light or properly used the light we have at disposal can really raise the bar of quality of a photo. Also, knowing similarities and differences between natural and artificial light can certainly be of help.
- Style consistency. What usually attracts us to an author is their style, namely their ability to create original sensibility with a type of photography they make.
- Camera vs. mobile phone. Although we have had more freedom from the technical aspect in the last ten or so years, it is advisable to be aware of capabilities, as well as limits of a professional/semi-professional camera and technology we carry in our pocket.
- Postproduction as an ally: Capacities of software manipulation and a frequently asked question, where is the limit? Up to which point do you ‘help’ you photo with retouching and when do you start doing the opposite?
- Communication is a key. In order to communicate a message to a viewer, there has to be roper communication when making a photo. Whether it is a portrait or a product photo, it is highly important which words from the phase ‘An image speaks more than a thousand words’ you will communicate by what you visually present.
- The power of storytelling. It is one thing to make a nice photo and it is quite all right, but it is completely different to make a photo that sends a message, evokes emotions and inspires. It tells a story that stays with us. It is important to take time and think about a visual story we want to communicate.
Predrag Todorović is a lecturer at the Content Academy organised by the Represent Academy. At the photo course, he will talk about the abovementioned topics and other elements of a high-quality photo, how to use them in practice despite technical and other circumstances. With examples and a focus on practical work, he will present a photo production process, challenge creativity in attendees and inspire them for further development of visual art.
Author: Predrag Todorović, Photographer and filmmaker / founder of the production company Diptych