Photography Commandments to Live By!

April 10, 2014  •  2 Comments

Things that seem simple and just taken for granted for me, might not be so to someone else. These apply to rules, mannerisms and how you conduct yourself – whether professionally or as an enthusiast. Here I’ve compiled the commandments I believe in, but please submit yours too!

These are intended to be both serious and fun. Let’s all knock our heads together and nut out a massive list of commandments! I’ll add to the list as I can think up more!

^ Respect others, always ask someone if you're going to take their photo...

In study and research

Thou shalt study the basic principles of colour, light and tone.

  • As an image maker, I’d be surprised if you don’t know how to interpret colours, shadows and tones or textures. This is visual literacy. Become competent learn what and why it works. Primary, secondary and tertiary colours, complimentary colours. Shadow, texture and tone. Then learn how the human mind reads and interprets it all.

Thou shalt research the masters of photography, contemporary artists and practicing professionals:

  • Only then can you appreciate the effort that went into a shot, the thought processes and the planning. These valuable skills of analysis will aide you in your quest to become a better visual artist.

We’re not the first to create images with a camera, and we won’t be the last.

Study who you want to become, watch what they do, how they do it. Look at an image and critically deconstruct the elements. Ask yourself questions, dig into it. Don’t be afraid.

Thou shalt participate in forums and clubs/groups where thine can receive constructive criticism:

  • Learning to be critical of your own work is hard, but crucial! How can you expect to improve if you think every single image you take is great?

In Practice

Thou shalt always respect thy elders and any other soul who is with you:

  • This used to be a common public courtesy. Don’t sully the name of photographers in general by being rude to the general public…

Thou shalt always have a camera with you, wherever you go:

  • Because taking photos is now in your blood. You live it and breathe it. A good sunrise caught short gives you jitters and makes you angry that you missed it.

Thou shalt not plonk oneself in one spot and refuse to move for the entire time:

  • Share the spot, everyone sees the world differently.

Thou shalt always acknowledge the presence of other photographers shooting at/in the same location as you. Thou shalt furthermore ask when moving yourself around, whether you are accidently appearing in someone’s shot:

  • I can’t count the amount of times simple, respectful actions like these are not adhered to. You don’t like someone walking into your shot, so don’t do it for someone else!

Thou shalt NEVER, EVER steal another photographers’ work and claim it to be your own:

  • I should not have to explain this one. No, just NO.

Thou shalt never leave the house before checking that one has ample batteries and memory cards:

  • You may be accused of losing your memory if you’re guilty of this.

Thou shalt behave properly online:

  • You never know who is watching, who is listening and who is taking your comments into account and using them to form an opinion of you without even having met you.

Thou shalt never ask for advice then attack the person that gave it to you:

  • Learn some manners! They’ll take you far some day

Thou shalt never leave the house without clean lenses and equipment:

  • Respect your gear, please?

In Post Production

Thou shalt never use selective desaturation:

  • When used respectfully, is effective, when used all the time, is urgh.

Thou shalt exercise restraint when posting images online:

  • No more than 3. If you can’t pick your best 3 to share in one day, you need to be more patient. This of course does not apply to albums, but hopefully you understand this applies to fine art

Thou shalt never judge another for their choice of brand or equipment:

  • This is something I am increasingly becoming tired of. Childish argument. Everyone chooses what suits them. Bananas and Oranges, Microsoft and Apple, Nikon and Canon….

 


Comments

Tim Czajkowski(non-registered)
Amen to the last one! It comes out at my photoclub all the time.
Kane(non-registered)
Great read Mel. It's amazing how fast things have changes out there.
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