18.12.2005 -17 °C
What I'm going to tell you is the best kept secret EVER in photography. And I mean EVER !! With a captial E and.....well never mind you get the idea.
But really it's so simple that it really shouldn't be a "best kept secret". The "secret" is simply this; if you want to learn how to take a better photograph, go to an art gallery and LOOK!! A good painting, a sculpture, a drawing, or any piece of visual art is a good painting, sculpture, drawing, etc. for some good reasons. What you have to do is understand those good reasons and reproduce them in photographs. So the next time you're in the Louvre, or the Prado, or the MET really take some time and analyze what you're seeing. What makes the painting work? What colours contrast with which? Which shapes and elements stand out? What does the lighting and texture make you feel? And so on. Then once you've understood how these great works of art achieve their mastery, use this same "bag of tricks" in your own photography. Not only will you enjoy the museum art more, you'll be surprised how quickly your photographic technique improves. That's all there is to it. Wasn't that simple ?
Here's one example to illustrate. I took it on a sunny day walking along on the Charles' Bridge in Prague when I was feeling a bit cheeky. ;-)
Notice the diagonal posture which hints at motion and power. Notice the dark, foreboding figure in front of the bright blue sky. I would've liked to have a bit more light on the figure's face, but alas Mother Nature didn't co-operate. Now take a look at this famous work by Michelangelo Buonarroti, which "hangs" rather prominently in the Vatican museum. Notice the commonalities ?!?