Here is some expert photography advice from our good friend, Javier Montano…
As a photographer, the most common questions I get asked are technical in nature. Which camera brand is better? Should I get a mirror-less or a DSLR camera? Is a 85mm lens better than a 50mm lens? And so on. It is not that these questions are bad. They are not. It’s natural for beginners to ask about the equipment necessary to dive into the amazing world of photography.
The thing is, questions about equipment are almost never the most important. A good camera can help you to get well exposed and sharp images, but it will not do anything to make your friend’s smile funnier, make the sun look awesome during the evening, or create a romantic atmosphere alongside that river you like so much. No, sir. Conveying emotion in a photograph is up to you, the photographer.
So the important question is, how do I do that? And the answer is: you study and you practice. You study and you practice a lot. But first, you need to get rid of all the experts’ advice about buying expensive stuff. Professional photographers love their cameras and accessories so much that they forget about how they were when they started taking photos. We forget that we did not start using a 3.000.000 yen camera. Stop listening to the so called “pros” and start acquiring good photography skills with whatever camera you may have. Yes, even a smartphone will do.
Today I’d like to talk about one of these skills. It’s called patience. Let me explain it to you. Look at the picture of this American gentleman I took during his tour in beautiful Kyoto.
Do you think the photo would look as good without the colorful ladies at the left side of the frame? I do not think so. So what do you do when you don’t have a budget to hire pretty models to stand in front of the camera? It’s simple… you wait. At that time, I stood there looking like a fool trying to convince the client and my assistant to wait for a little on that street, telling them it was worth it to stand there for a couple of minutes more until something interesting would happen. Fortunately, it did! We got the nice shot and I was not feeling ridiculous anymore.
Now you go out and do the same. You will be surprised how being a little patient (sometimes being very patient) can be much better than having an expensive camera. Trust me; your photos will start looking better after you stop hurrying, and you start waiting for the right moment to click the button. More to come…
Text and photograph by Javier Montano. Javier Montano is well known locally for his group photo walks as well as his own stunning photography. Here on Deep Kyoto, he writes regularly with advice for would be photographers. Check out his own work at http://www.javiermontano.net and on Facebook.
See also: Introducing Deep Kyoto’s Photo Tips & Tricks with Javier Montano
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