Looking Skyward, a Sandhill Crane
If you read a historical account of a battle, or even about a car accident, you'll hear many different versions of the same story. If you read enough different accounts, sometimes you will be left wondering what really happened. In some ways a photographer has to consider that issue when taking a photo. Asking questions like, am I taking a photo that will capture the attention of others because I see the world in a unique way, or do I see the world the same way as everyone else? Then another thought, even if I see the world the same way as other people do, can I capture an image that shows people that they are not alone in the world?
There are a lot of good photographers today, but very few stand out as being unique, and artistic. Maybe that is a sign of the times, when technology is such a major part of our lives that photography is just another form of communication, like sending a text message. What separates the artistic photographers from people who simply take snap shots? What is more important, taking a photo and capturing the moment, or taking a technically sound image? Is it possible that some people see the world in such a way that their snap shots are better than hundreds of technically superior images?
Those are just some of the questions I ask myself occasionally. From my point of view, those questions are important to answer if you desire to take your photography to the next level. Photography to me is a form of communication, sharing the things that I enjoy with other people in a way that I cannot describe. Since I'm not the greatest writer in the world, I think it is far better for me to share through a photo than trying to describe in words what I have seen. If a photo can transfer the feeling I get when I see the things that I photograph, then I'm a better photographer in my own eyes.
I think that one of the first tips I would give anyone who wants to learn about photography and taking better pictures is to just go out and take photos of anything that catches your eye. Don't worry about the technical details, or rules. Those things will come with time as you desire to take more powerful images. You can sit around all day reading tips, learning about this or that, but until you go out and try, you will never know if it is even something you like doing. Do not give up if your photos are not as good as other peoples, each photographer started out taking bad photos!