Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Photographic Theory

I felt like stuffing the hopper of my creative engine with information on how to compose eye-catching photos.  These are some of the best articles that I found.  I assembled them into batches that seem to flow in a nice sequence.

The Luminous Landscape
"Telling the Story"
"What Photography Isn't"
"Colour Theory as Applied to Landscape Photography"
"Changing Perspective"
"Enigma Variations"
"Selling Your Photographs"

Apogee Photography
"Gestalt Theory and Photographic Composition"
"The Art of Nature: A Study of Design"
"The Art of Nature: Putting it All Together"
"Finding the Essence of a Photographic Subject"
"Nature by Design"
"Creative Vision"
"Mood Photography"
"Weather, Light & Trees"
"Ten Tips for Taking Great Garden Photos"
"Wildflowers Don't Sell, Do They?"

Why do it like this?

Every once in a while, I cram my brain with interesting information.  In this case, I'm itching to develop my camera skills further.  I may or may not get out later this week to shoot more pictures.  The point is to gorge my mind on substantial quantities of conceptual material, which will sink in below conscious awareness.  A few tidbits will remain in the forefront of my mind, "Hey, it would be fun to try that thing I read about."  Most will just go straight to my creative instincts where they belong, to emerge later as inspiration and intuition.  For me, some of that comes from within, but it can be greatly enhanced by adding real theory in there.  Most of the time, I don't have to think about it.  I only need to concentrate on a specific theory or technique if I'm trying to do something fancy with it.

The organization of the articles is an example of my fractal mentality in action.  I skimmed a lot of article titles, read the ones that looked interesting, organized the ones that were actually useful.  So inside my head is a sort of flow through photographic theory, along various paths, and also from broader concepts to narrower applications.  It works kind of like the nested folders on a computer, which is a bit ironic since I don't get along very well with computers.  But that is how much of my mind is organized.

Photography > Theory > Colors / Shapes / Lines > Moods / Interpretations / Subtleties > Garden Pictures > Flowers / Butterflies

... and Money, which is an afterthought, because I'm not a professional photographer, but which catches my eye, because I am a creative-person-for-hire in general.

The idea is that all of this goes in, gets blended with the stuff I already know and my personality and my various talents, waits around for a day when I see that the world is full of pictures waiting to be taken and I have time to go shooting, and then pops out something original rather than something "like" an excercise or example or demonstration of a theory.  Sometimes I just shoot for fun.  Sometimes I shoot to record things.  Sometimes I shoot for art.  The last of those is the one that's hungry for theory, so I'm feeding it.
Tags: nature, photography, reading

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