By Brian Dilg, Chair Photography School at New York Film Academy
We are all photographers now. Within a world that is increasingly visual, when every person has a pocket holding a camera that happens to also be a phone, we are all just ten seconds or less away from being our own version of paparazzi. And we tend to think this is all quite normal, don’t we?
Because it is – normal, that is. But let’s imagine you want your photos to be more than normal. How do you shoot pictures, even with a simple smart phone, that are extraordinary?
If that is you, I suggest first that you think about what kind of photographer you would like to be. Some say it is about being a silent and objective observer – unobtrusively recording whatever it is that is going on at the moment. This is when you are a photojournalist, which plays an important role in how we perceive the world around us. The most talented photojournalists can recognize visual news, which might be the significance of a melting glacier, the smile on the face of an old woman or the drama of a child running out of a burning building. Your ability to capture those things requires command of your camera as well as being in the right place at the right time – and ready to shoot.
A professional photographer quite often gets much more involved in constructing the shot and using the technology of the camera to accomplish certain things. Let’s break that down into three pieces, things that even an amateur photographer could learn (learn, perhaps, as they are looking at photography schools as a possible educational pursuit):