I find photography to be a journey. A learning and an artistic journey. It's fun, overwhelming, frustrating, rewarding, but before all a very personal experience. In my previous post I talked about whether or not one should always carry a camera when out and about. This followed an article that I had read where the author encouraged such a habit to make sure one can capture candid shots. Although I do take my camera with me most times I believe it is a mistake and a habit can quickly become an addiction - which then leads us to be unpleasant company for our partner or friends. I received some positive comments by email and would like to encourage all readers to share their opinions and experiences directly on the blog. That would be a great record of your thoughts on each subject and allow me to understand who you are and what you like. Photography is a personal experience and depends a lot on everyone's experience, time and level. So I have decided to leave my camera at home from time to time. Spending more time with a camera means more photos on my hard disk to go through and more photos to edit. I also find that I get used to mediocre images. I'm going to do what artists and athletes do; spend dedicated quality 'photography' time and quality 'non-photography' time as well.
I also know that this blog is regularly being discussed and shared by a group of enthusiast photographers all the way in sunny Spain!! A huge hello to Trevor and Company!! Thanks for following Capture Copenhagen and please share your opinions and comments :)
Today, I just started working at the British Embassy here in Copenhagen once more. It's the third time and only temporarily. It's the perfect moment in the winter because my outdoor pet/people photography business is a little slow during these rainy and dark months. I have to say that I do get a little kick when I tell people that I work for the British Embassy. Generally their first question is 'but... where are you from? You have an accent. Are you British?'. The look of confusion on their face when I say that I am French makes me giggle internally.
When I worked at the Embassy last year I was sent to Madrid for a couple of days of conferences and also had dinner with the British Ambassador in Madrid. While going through security at Copenhagen's airport a security personnel chatted to me and said something in Danish which I didn't understand. When I replied in English she asked me where I was from. I told her I was French and on my way to Madrid. She asked if I lived there but I replied that I had just moved to Copenhagen. Interested, she asked me what I was doing here. I wish I had been able to film her confused expression when I replied that I worked for the British Embassy. Thankfully it was my turn to go through security but I'm pretty sure she thought I was taking the mick :)
A few days ago I went to Thorvaldsen's Museum, named after sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. It houses his sculptures, paintings, drawings and sketches. I love museums, especially the ones with Egyptian, Greek and Roman sculptures. They are also a great photography subject, easier to photograph than people. There is no direction to give and you can take your time to find the right angles. Check with your museum before hand though because you can't always take pictures. In Copenhagen it is not a problem in most museums as they are usually free at least one day in the week.
Try and find unusual angles. Obviously you don't have a choice when facing a 5m high statue than photographing it from below, but emphasize the angle by getting really low and close to your subject. But remember that anything close to the camera will look a lot bigger than what's at the back - not necessarily a good look when photographing people).
Details can also be photographically striking and interesting. They are good subjects to practice your composition skills. Small objects or parts of limbs can give your viewer a chance to imagine a story. Emphasise textures with Black & White images.
Posing people is not always easy but statues are great examples. Today, photographers still use what is called 'Contrapposto'. It is a term that came after the Egyptian period when sculptors of the Classical period (Greek and Roman) started to study the human form to give a more naturalistic look. Contrapposto is an Italian word describing someone standing with most of their weight on one leg.
Rule #1 in photography: De-clutter!! Well... there are indeed a lot of Rule #1 in photography I give you that. But this is an important one. Most people, when taking photos, tend to point and shoot at what's in front of them, taking in the whole scene. Instead, start simple. Pick one simple thing that you like about the subject in front of you. De-clutter it by filling the frame paying particular attention to the background. Bold, plain backgrounds are wonderful to make your subject stand out.
Found a window in your museum? Can you photograph a silhouette? Silhouettes can be mesmerising and therefore great subjects. Here, I centred my subject because it is symmetrical. Otherwise it is best to place it on a third line or connecting point (see article on the Rule of Thirds and other Elements of Composition).
If you are viewing the 'website' version of this blog the 3 photos below should be next to each other. You can click on them to view larger versions of the photos. It you are viewing the 'mobile' version then you should already see larger files.
I was lucky enough to receive a great present for Christmas; a new lens. A Nikon 55-300mm. A wonderful new toy, but of course it means that now I can take more photos at different zoom levels :)
I don't know which of the 3 photographs below I prefer so I'll let you choose.