Before this semester, I have explored very little in terms of formal photographic art. I have always been a bit of a shutterbug, attempting to capture meaningful moments of my family, pets, or friends, as well as images from trips and adventures in nature throughout the seasons. I do take a significant amount of photos in my option, dispersed between my phone, iTouch, and higher-resolution camera in equal parts.
In terms of an approach, I usually attempt to lower my body to become level with my subject matter (As I’m 5’11). My favorite tip for friends taking a photo is to hold your breathe just before taking a photograph, as this steadies your hand (And keeps the focus un-blurred). An old friend I caught up with this year actually reminded me of this over the holidays, and said it had stuck with her ever since she’d heard it! Personally, I like to capture the feeling I’d experienced just before pulling out my camera… whether it be joy, wonder, melancholy, or impartial observation. For example, in the photo below, I wanted to show the beauty of the exhibit I was visiting, while capturing the warm feeling of “catching up” with an old friend I was exploring the area with (By being far behind, ‘catching up’ to her).
Upon reviewing the first photography resource, I appreciated the idea of photographs distilling a form of visual mystery – the emotion conveyed by the photographer is not directly apparent, but portrayed indirectly through photographic principles. I also thought I could look at using repetition in photographs I take from now on, to not make any one focus stick out too much and to balance a photo’s visual weight.
In Campbell’s article on photography portraying a story’s narrative, I was already familiar with the idea that visual storytelling requires one to portray the context surrounding the photo. I did think that I could try to capture photographic moments which were like key story components such as conflict, climax, and resolution. Making a photo appear more dramatic by shifting the angle of the subject taken is one example which immediately comes to mind. I didn’t find the article particularly helpful with specific guidance, but found the discussion on narrative storytelling interesting regardless.