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Chapter 11. How to Take Artistic Photos > Become an Artist in Five Easy Steps

Become an Artist in Five Easy Steps

If there's one thing that art school teaches you, it's how to survive on nothing but a can of soup a day. If, however, there are two things that art school teaches you, it's how to survive on soup and how to see things in a creative light. Art students are encouraged to look at the world in different ways to see the beauty that is all around. Here are some of the best ways to get into an artistic mind-set:

  • Instead of looking at things as being objects (building, fork, hamster), try to see them for their shapes, colors, and textures (square, shiny silver, furry). Look though your viewfinder or LCD screen for things that catch your eye for their creative qualities. Take a picture of the angular roof of a building, the yellow leaves of a flower, or even the texture of a manhole cover (Figures 11.4a and 11.4b).

  • Look for contrasts; try to find areas where two different-looking objects come together. Point your camera's lens at shapes that have creative, differing patterns. Even if you can't tell what the objects in the photograph are, the combination is often exciting (Figure 11.5).

    Figure 11.5. The contrasting patterns of the leaf and the lichen make for an exciting photo.

    Figure 11.4B. Try to look at buildings for their shapes or for unusual details, such as the curving pipe on this structure.

  • Photograph negative space instead of positive space. What's negative space? Think of a Ferris wheel with the arms and baskets being the positive space in the image. Now think about the areas between the arms of the Ferris wheel. As in that famous optical illusion with the two faces and the vase, photographing something's negative space can often prove to be more interesting than photographing its positive space (Figure 11.6).

    Figure 11.6. This photographer opted to focus on the open space between the parts of the Ferris wheel, thereby creating a much more interesting photo than just a straight shot.

  • Set your camera to a different mode and see what happens. Instead of shooting in automatic, maybe choose the sports mode and then photograph portraits while using it. Or set the camera to landscape mode and shoot sports. The idea is to try new things, and let the accidents create the artistic images.

  • Take pictures all the time. The more things you photograph, the more artistic you'll become, and the better your chance not only of stumbling on something artistic but also of being ready when an artistic opportunity arises.



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