But don’t forget about it either...
When I first started in photography I was so focused on gear and making the right exposure that I completely missed the composition aspects. Sure, I had some good gear but my photographs lacked depth and substance...they were still “snap shots”. Okay, before we continue on there is a disclaimer: You have to master exposure in order for your vision to show at its fullest potential. At some point along the way I started really looking at the work of other photographers and attempted to understand what they were going for with their image. It was then that I started becoming a better photographer.
Think outside photography
There is an art form that has been around for thousands of years that can benefit most photographers if we would just take time to look. Painting….I recently became friends with a painter by the name of Angeline Martinez. I started really looking at her work and asking questions to try and understand how she created the image. We as photographers can learn a great deal from this form of art. Painters have to make so many choices. They have to choose the scene, the type of material that they will paint on, the colors, color mixtures, type of paint, mixed media, lighting dynamics, overall subject, and the type of emotional message that they want to produce. If we as photographers could just take the time to study the images that we take with this level of detail we would only improve our work. You can check out Angeline’s work (and I suggest you do) at http://www.angelinemarie.net/ and her blog at http://angeline-marie.blogspot.com/. Both are well worth your time.
Ansel Adams used to say you don’t take photographs you “make” photographs. That is my point!