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Why It Is Important To Have Your Own Vision When Learning Photography

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

As I scroll through photography blogs online I am assailed by vivid images of fabulous landscapes, beautiful portrait photographs taken in varying light conditions, sharp lines and curves, well composed pictures telling interesting stories.

Compared to these my attempts at photography seem flat and lifeless. Even my best photos are a disappointment to me. For that reason this is not going to be another space to showcase professional photographs, although it might fall into the category of 'Photography Blog', nor is it even a blog for gifted amateur photographers.

This blog is essentially a diary of a budding photographer with a passion for, and interest in, the subject, but limited know-how. It is in that sense a starter blog and I hope someone out there will share my journey as I come to grips with photography-related jargon, try to spend money as wisely as possible in a field where one can easily incur exorbitant costs, and most of all try to embrace the challenge of learning a new skill and enjoy the excitement of travelling along paths as yet unknown.

This is my first photo taken with my new DSLR camera. It was taken in Co. Leitrim, Ireland, on auto setting. I particularly like the reflection of the trees in the water captured on my early morning walk.

Recently I have become focused on shooting 'scenes' with my smartphone camera, rather than simply taking the usual 'snaps', in order to get a feel for 'real' photography. I have tried to look with a photographer's eye. On one of my recent 'photography walks' I became aware of a bird high in a tree and watched as it went about its business.

Even though it wasn't possible to capture the image in any great detail with my phone camera I did feel that I am becoming more observant of what is going on around me and I believe that this is a key skill in becoming a better photographer. It also teaches me patience. I didn't capture the image on that occasion but the time will come when I will be in the right place at the right time and with the right lens to capture an image worth capturing. In the meantime I will enjoy becoming more observant in everyday life, with or without a camera to capture the moment!

Sharing a creative vision

My belief about photography is that you can have one of two approaches - you can aim for technically perfect shots that abide by all the photography rules and stand up to criticism, or you can use your images to tell a story, create a pictorial narrative that the viewer can 'read', display your vision, your view of the world, with your images.

If I ask myself what it is that draws me to a particular scene, a scene that makes me want to convert it into a photograph, and if I can answer that question to my satisfaction, then chances are that the image will speak to those who view it also. I have often gone out, camera in hand, and taken very few photographs. Nothing called me. I may have taken a few images to work on a specific technique but nothing around me spoke to me in a way that I wanted to capture and preserve.

Whether my mode of photography is travel photography or street photography, whether I am shooting landscapes or images in nature, my aim in photography is to be true to myself, to take photographs that speak to me in some way, that have meaning. And if they speak to me, they may speak to others too.

Do you agree that it is important to have your own vision when learning photography?

Have your say in the comment box.


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