How to become a better photographer overnight

Well maybe not exactly overnight but the best way to learn and become better is to steal from others. No I don’t mean actually going onto another person’s website and using their images as your own – instead I mean finding photographers in your area whose work you enjoy, go through it and find images they’ve taken that are near where you are and steal there location.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

This could not be more true when it comes to photography. Look closely at the work of others and take time to think about why the images appeal to you – is it the time of day (sunrise/sunset), the subject of the photo (children, wedding, pets, etc…) or just simply the location. Understand what it is that draws your eye to the image and try to invoke that in your next photo. Heck, walk right up to the same location and try to recreate their photo exactly. When you are there look around and see if there are other elements in the area that catch your eye and maybe you will find something as interesting or more interesting and be able to put your own personal spin on it. I’ve said it before in all of my trip preparation that I always google image search to see if there is anything that catches my eye – maybe it is an angle I haven’t thought about or a location that I didn’t know existed. Either way I want to make sure I come back with the shot that I was looking for and ‘cheating’ to do that is okay in my book.

Photo of the Day – Seattle Skyline

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When in Seattle for work in December I knew I’d have a limited amount of time to take photos but also knew I wanted to come back with images that were worthwhile. Therefore, I spent a couple of hours finding local Seattle photographers whose work I enjoyed and went through their portfolios. This location I found of the skyline was from a photographer in Seattle named Justin Kraemer who had a photo on his site that I really liked. Therefore, when I had a chance to get away from the meetings I walked up to the Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge and took several shots from that location. Some were very similar (or identical) to Justin’s (except the sunset never happened for me due to the clouds) but some – like the above image – were cropped in tighter because I wanted to make sure the mountains in the distance were visible despite the clouds.

This bridge was a couple miles from the downtown area and if I hadn’t browsed his website I never would have walked over there because I would have spent alot of time simply wandering around. However, because I had some reference point of locations to go to my time was much better utilized and I came home much happier with the pictures that I took.


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