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What Makes a Great Photo

Photographers are artists. And like art, the audience or viewers don't always see what the artist sees. 

There are many different ways to show your work, but probably the most popular these days are through social media avenues like Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Instagram and 500px. I do my best to maintain the integrity of the photo, or at least present it as close as possible to how I see it. I would say almost 100% of the time my photos are shot "Raw", so there is some post processing involved, very similar to the old school methods of film and processing in a dark room, we just do it digitally now. During this process, the photo is brought back to life and this is sometimes what makes each individual photographer unique.

My passion is wildlife and pets. Because of this, there is a lot of emphasis on "tack sharp" images. Also, the background, light, angle, colours and the story you are trying to convey impact the strength of the photo. But probably the most critical factor is timing. Have you ever been in a situation where you said to yourself, "why didn't I bring a camera"? This is especially the case where wildlife photography is concerned. 

To the right you can see what i mean. A Great White Egret catching lunch. Yes, a camera that shoots 10 fps (frames per second) and a long telephoto lens sure helps, but timing is everything. Or catching a shot of Tick Tock with perfect light in the back ground, while yawning tells a completely different story than a simple portrait.

So, next time you are looking at a picture, ask yourself, "what makes this a great photo"?

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” 
― Ansel Adams






YouTube

In the last (approximately) two years, I have been what one may consider a "hobbyist". However, my personality is such that, when I get involved with something, I jump in with both feet. It tends to overwhelm my life at the beginning, but eventually settles down and gets into a comfortable rhythm. 

So, after I purchased the Canon T1i from my brother, I went back home to my dad's place in Grand Bend to show off my new (used) DSLR and take as many photos as I could. I figured all you had to do was turn on the camera and push the shutter button. Haha...Well, when I got back to Toronto, I realized that I had a lot to learn! Out of maybe 150 photo's, only 2  or 3 were presentable. The rest were over exposed, underexposed, framed incorrectly, etc...It was humbling!

It was time to figure this photography thing out (this is ongoing). I reached out to one of my favourite learning tools, YouTube! I proceeded to spend hours upon hours watching videos on everything from camera settings to photography tutorials and started to learn that photography was so much more than grabbing a camera and hitting the shutter button. Having said that, there are times when you just need to press the shutter button. I guess what I mean by that is sometimes we over think or delay, looking for that perfect shot, when in fact it's right in front of us.

My friends daughter Sophie with Tick Tock.

My friends daughter Sophie with Tick Tock.

Photography is a beautiful way to express oneself. I am continually learning and improving and yes, You Tube continues to be my go to resource for everything you would want to know and plenty of what you don't need to know about photography!

Keep Shooting!

Sean