Billboards advertisements to Facebook posts to Instagram these days, it seems we’re met with some or the other photographic image no matter where we look! So photography is very much in now-a-days.
From awe-inspiring wildlife pictures taken after years of practice, to casual selfies taken to show off in front of friends, there are many different kinds of pictures in the world, taken by all kinds of people.
Indeed, photography is no longer something for only a privileged few to engage in.
With the rapid development of technology, especially cell phones, anyone can be a photographer today.
That, along with the growth of social media platforms, has been one of the major factors for the spectacular popularity of the still photographic image as a medium of communication.
Despite this (or maybe because of it), a lot of people have distorted ideas of what photography is!
Many who want to take pictures and share them with people are unsure how to begin, or whether they should begin at all.
Fortunately, we at MAAC Kolkata are here to clear up those doubts and set you on your road to taking the pics you want to.
What exactly is photography?
At the end of the day, it involves using a device called a camera to capture light in the form of an image which is then to be projected on a two dimensional plane (such as paper, or your computer screen).
But is it really the only way to capture an image in time?
For thousands of years before the invention of the camera, human beings have been capturing their external reality in the form of two dimensional images.
From the cave paintings of the Stone Age to the portraiture of Leonardo da Vinci, artists have been doing essentially the same thing for generations!
This clues us in on the first (and most important) fact about photography: it is about having an image in one’s mind.
While painters, pencillers and ink artists can draw entirely from their imagination, they too start from the same point as photographers: reality.
Everything else is simply based off of actual life, off of the real people, places and living beings you see around you every day.
Mastering the use of the camera comes later.
First, you must have an image in your mind that you want to show others.
That could be something you’ve seen. Perhaps a sunset. Perhaps that spider that’s made its home in your balcony.
It could be anything. As long as it means something to you, you can make it mean something to others!
So you’ve found a subject.
But now you just can’t seem to create that perfect picture you imagined.
That’s where composition comes in.
Lighting, colour, balance, these are key to taking a great photograph.
Take some time and read a few articles. Photography is key to most media productions, including film, TV, or even animation because they all revolve around the same concept of finding the best way to frame and capture an image so as to showcase a message.
All reputed educational institutes in the fields of film and media make it a point to teach these basics, and it’s incredible how much of a difference they make in your pictures.
The next bit of advice we’re going to give you is going to seem contradictory, but don’t worry, it’ll all make sense. Don’t be afraid to break the rules.
Your photographer friend might go on about things like sharpness (which is important), but your focus should be on the things that make a good picture, like colour, the pose of the subjects, and light.
A good photo tells a story. Think about it as a frame from a comic book, minus the speech bubbles.
Ever wondered exactly why Superman is drawn the way he is?
His physique, the colours used for his suit, and more to the point of our discussion, the way he is portrayed in cover art.
A low angle shot, emphasizing his stature, taken from the side, to present us with his full profile, with the skyline of Metropolis in the background.
Even without a single written word, the picture is telling us something: “Superman is watching over this entire city.”
That is the kind of storytelling you’re looking to do with each photograph.
Building up an idea of what makes a balanced picture might sound challenging, but as always, the masters have left us solid principles to guide our art.
The Rule of Thirds is one such excellent rule of thumb. Just think of your picture as being divided into nine equal parts by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines.
The grid thus created allows us to align the horizon with either the higher or lower line, or place our subject close to any of the four points of intersection (called the “points of interest”) for maximum impact.
Most importantly, it helps us avoid making a habit of putting the subject right in the centre of the photo, which makes it look like we’re trying to force the viewer to see something!
Instead, placing the subject on or near the point’s interest allows us to draw attention in a more subtle manner.
And finally, take the time to learn from some masters of the art.
Stalwarts such as Kane Lew often take time out from their schedules to speak at institutes, and we at MAAC Kolkata are honored to host such professionals from time to time, providing a platform for them to interact with and share their experiences with young learners.
In the end, it is up to an individual to make the most of his chosen skill.
Whether your goal is as a hobby, or to one day make it as a professional, there are things you can learn from those who have industry experience.
Follow some good pages, and try talking to others who are more experienced.
One of the best ways of improving one’s photography skills is to immerse oneself in nature and the outdoor world.
After all, without being alive to the beauty of the world, how can one take great photos?
At MAAC Kolkata, periodic expeditions are organised for this very purpose.
MAAC Klick is a special event organised from time to time where students follow wildlife exploration trails at locations such as Jaldapara National Park, Sundarban, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Coorg, Ayodhya, Matheran and Amboli.
The expeditions are guided by Kane Lew and Amit Rane, wildlife photography experts.
Photography workshops are also organised.
These events combine to provide students a rich and varied experience sure to enrich their tastes and sensibilities.
Improvement, at the end of the day, is about practice and dedication, and constantly being interested in the amazing things the world is always trying to show us.
From the local construction worker hard at work to the morning rain, there are countless subjects out there for an eager photographer.
What are you waiting for? Go out there and click them all!
So creative hearted people still thinking what to do?
We are just a call away. Our helpline number 9836321595.