Why your photos are still not good enough
By Mohamed Hakem
So you bought your first camera after some research, or you already are comfortable and seeking an upgrade because your photos are simply not good enough. You still can’t get the Professional looking photos, the photos of your family and kids are still not different from the mobile camera, travel photos are not so good, Frustration is rising up.
Even comfortable amateurs get into this dilemma. They do every thing right with their cameras, they get the best gear and invest in decent tools but still…why are the photos not that good?
The truth is, after some time, you will find that good photos are not made with just good tools. Of course when you hold a “couple of thousand dollars” worth of gear in your hand and you snap a portrait, you find the face pops out in the shallowest depth of field possible and you will be happy, but still the components of a great photo is far complete.
The truth is that the Camera itself and right settings contribute to only 1/3 of what makes a good photo. Photographers learn that the hard way, even the great ones.
First, you must know when to take pictures and most importantly when not too.
The 2nd 1/3 of what makes a good photo is light. Different lights give different pictures and I spoke about that in another article when I did an experiment of taking 5 photos from the same location at different timings of the day.
The 3rd 1/3 comes from the location and composition. Don’t go to the places where everybody blindly go. Tell me, if you go to a Paris, would you go on a 12:00 o’clock site seeing tour on a bright sunny day to photograph the Eiffel tower? Do you expect to capture something special during the worst light possible?In the brightest sunlight with hundreds of tourists around? A real photographer would spend time first exploring the locations, and in that particular case he would have searched already for alternate locations and maybe explore rooftops, he would wait for the golden hours and maybe already did a small research on the sky in Paris and the best accessible rooftops available. Decent sky, lovely lights and of course correct camera settings and composition will get the job done.
Luckily I live near the greatest site on Earth, the Pyramids of Giza. So I took my gear and went there, spent 4-5 hours. took the normal pictures that everybody capture hundreds of time but nothing was worthy of sharing on my website or printing it. I was a bit frustrated that I couldn’t capture the wonder of the world as I would love to. So I sat down and decided to go again, but before I did that, I reminded myself to slow down and think of why I didn’t get the shots that I would like. I found that I didn’t complete the triangle of Location/Lights/Camera, the sky in Cairo is usually boring except in the winter, the site opens at 9:00 and closes at 5:00. and it was summer so 5:00PM is 2 hours away from sunset. Check below the unconvincing below average photos…
So I planned to visit on a cloudy day in the next winter, at 2:00PM based on the weather forecast and to give me better lights towards sunset, from 2:00 to 5:00 I hiked around and outside for different views,, I climbed a small hill and I got a totally different view. During my way back out at 5:00 I captured some sunset shots that really satisfied my urge. check the below pictures after completing the triangle of a good photo with the same exact gear.