Monday, November 23, 2009

Susie Reed

Roses at the Farmer's Market
© Susie Reed

by Susie Reed
Photography creates a window through which we can view and learn about the world. No matter what the subject matter or software - it’s the photographer’s decisions about how to use their camera and photo software that makes the biggest difference. All the sophisticated, modern, digital technology in the world can’t surpass the judgment and keen eye of a good photographer.
The decisive moment when a picture is taken is the most important part of the photographic process. It’s what all else in photography revolves around. Today’s cameras and software offer so many automated options it seems they can do a lot of thinking for us, but they don’t have the instincts and sensitivity people do.
One of the best photo tips I can offer is to get familiar enough with your camera that operating it becomes second nature. This will enable you to concentrate more fully on your subject, resulting in better pictures. Some photographers get so wrapped up looking at their LCD screen and fiddling with camera settings they miss what’s before them. As much as possible you want to engage with whom or what they’re photographing. You don’t need to just focus your camera; you need to focus your attention as well.
If you’re photographing people be quick, take both posed and un-posed shots. Sometimes the most interesting, revealing interactions occur while you’re setting up pictures.Take a lot of pictures. It ups your odds of getting good photos. People often calm down after the first few shots, which can enable you to capture more natural looking shots.
Photography is an exercise in seeing and reacting.
Autofocus on cameras is great feature, but it doesn’t always work to a photographer’s advantage. A camera sensor can’t necessarily distinguish what in the picture you want to focus on. It’s not a mind reader... If your camera isn’t focusing where you want, switch it to manual focus and adjust the lens yourself. Remember to switch the camera back to autofocus when you’re done so you don’t continue to take pictures thinking the camera is utilizing autofocus when it is not. You can find how to turn on and off autofocus in your camera manual.
You shouldn’t place yourself in a position where you need to apologize nor should you be too timid. Treat your subjects with respect. How you approach them will be reflected in your photos. If you make picture taking a fun, comfortable experience you’ll get better results.
I continue to learn and push the boundaries of my photography, even after being a photographer for over 30 years. I always find there’s more to discover from my subjects and equipment. For me, deepening my knowledge of Photoshop is like a painter adding colors to his pallet. It gives me more options to choose from to enhance and enrich my images.

Award winning Sedona photographer Susie Reed over 30 years experience as a fine art and commercial photographer. She’s taught at San Francisco Art Institute, California College of Arts and Crafts and is currently on the faculty of the Sedona Arts Center. As the recipient of a Sedona Arts and Cultural Commission Artist Project Grant, some of her critically acclaimed photographs of Southwestern rock art to be permanently displayed in Sedona Visitor Centers. In addition to taking pictures of prehistoric rock art Susie Reed also loves photographing landscapes, flowers, vineyards and Farmer’s Markets.

Susie Reed will be teaching a photo workshop
at the Sedona Arts Center on January 23, 2010.
Click here for details or to register online.
To visit her website click here.
To view Susie Reed’s new 2010 Southwest Rock Art calendar click here.

© Susie Reed

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