Being the son of a professional cameraman naturally created high expectations by many around me that every click of my camera would yield a work of art. Well, expectations are one thing. Reality is another.
For years I believed that “you either got it or you don’t”. People thought my pictrures were only "nice" or "lovely", so I deduced that my Dad's gift must have skipped a generation.
Luckily enough, one of my best friends invited me to join a photography course which consisted of a very small group of family and friends, and was conducted mostly in our homes or nearby. No fancy shmancy studio, no artsy fartsy discussions. Just plain, straightforward techniques for improving our photography capabilities with the equipment we had at home.
I soon learned that there are simple principles that you can follow to make a picture aesthetically compelling. These principles date back as far as the renaissance and are still very relevant in the digital age.
One such principle is using diagonal lines within the composition of the photograph. Diagonals create a dynamic, a sense of motion, they force the spectator out of his comfort zone. Here is an example of a picture I took in the amazing Victoria Falls in Zambia:
Another principle is “The Rule of Thirds” which requires of you to divide up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines (creating a grid of 3X3). You then position the important elements in your scene along those lines, or at the points where they meet. Here is an example from a picture I took at the ancient Jaffa Port:
The feedback towards my new photos was instantaneous.
“Wow” and “that’s amazing!” were now common reactions to my pictures.
I really didn’t do anything extra special. I just followed these principles or templates and voilà! I created something the captivated others.
Since that short yet impactful course, photography has been a pleasurable and ongoing addiction, and as I spend most of my time travelling the globe, it now enables me to capture special moments, in special places, with special people, turning them into special stories I share with others.