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Powerful Picture Templates
The reasons why
A picture template is your repeated subconscious way of seeing and taking a picture. You may not realise it, but you only take the pictures styles you have taken before. To increase your picture taking opportunities, you will need to expand how many picture templates you recognise.
|Andy’s Strongly Preferred top 10
|1 Wide-angle lens||Telephoto lens|
|2 Limited Depth of field (DoF)||Extended Depth of field|
|3 Light subject dark background||Dark subject light background|
|4 Side lighting||Frontal lighting|
|5 Left hand diagonal leading line||Right hand diagonal|
|6 Dominant foreground subject||Dominant background subject|
|7 Horizontal aspect ratio||Portrait or square aspect ratio|
|8 Backlighting||Frontal lighting|
|9 The decisive moment||Random capture|
|10 Leading Lines||Shapes|
|Andy’s Preferred top
10 Picture Templates
|1 Single subject matter||Multiple subjects|
|2 Single shot||Motor drive|
|3 Taken from eye level||High or low Viewpoint|
|4 Fast lenses||Kit lenses|
|5 Without tripod||With Tripod|
|6 Natural lighting||Flash|
|7 Filling the frame||Including the environment|
|8 Showing the environment||Filling the frame|
|9 Poor weather||Bright & sunny|
|10 View point near the ground||Camera above the head|
How to find out what picture templates you are currently using
1 Choose a set of pictures to review, preferably finished work from a print or digital source of around 50+ pictures (I did a review of the 50 pictures shown in The ABC of CameraWork Manual to make this assessment). For further reference about the review process look at page 104, section A5.4 Picture Templates of the ABC Manual.
2 Look critically at your portfolio, not in terms of a technical critique but an overall approach.
3 Note the trends you find; repetition in aspect ratio, subject matter, lighting, composition, camera settings, choice of lens types – anything you choose or do repeatedly.
4 Make a note of the trends you discover.
If you do not see the need or do not want to expand your visual language, then you will continue to make the same pictures.
Inspiration from other photographers
We can form new working templates by studying inspiring photos or paintings in depth. Studying in depth means getting under the skin of the photographers you chose to study. Note the plural use of the word photographer in the last sentence. To only study one photographer is to plagiarise or steal their style.
How to increase the picture templates which inspire you?
1) Recognise picture templates exist in every photographer’s subconscious.
2) Have a Desire to find out which individual picture templates you practice.
3) Carry out a Review of at least 50+ of your finished pictures to ascertain the trends they display.
4) Write down the trends you find within your body of work.
5) Review the trends within the work of three or more (not one) photographers whose work is your Inspiration.
6) Add the picture templates from those who inspire you to your own list.
7) Plan and Practice using the new templates on a regular basis until they become second nature.
8) To embed the idea in your subconscious Review the pictures taken to embody the new templates regularly.
9) Continue taking Pictures with the new templates.
10) Repeat the process from step 5 at regular intervals.
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