Step 3 – Study Images
Whether you’re flicking through Instagram or a magazine, spend a few minutes studying any image that captures your attention.
There are several key components to assessing images.
· Craft and Execution.
This is the technical stuff. Things like focus, proper exposure and adequate contrast.
· Production Value
Production Value is about the effort you’ve put into taking an image. The level of difficulty for achieving the result.
· Subject Matter or Content
This is WHAT you photograph and it’s entirely subjective, which is why this is the least important aspect. You won’t be able to please everyone, and you shouldn’t try. If the subject is meaningful to you, that is all that matters.
We covered what makes for good composition in our last post here. This is a separate point because it is possible to have a well composed shot that has improper exposure/focus.
· The ‘STORY’ or Wow Factor
This is an oft undervalued factor in assessing images. In fact, it’s one of the most important. The is what grabs you, holds your attention & makes you feel something, ie; it speaks to you.
You don’t have to like the image to appreciate the ‘story’.
Use these components to work out WHY you stopped to look at a particular image. What was it that grabbed your attention?
Was it the Lighting? Colour? Content? Impact? Lines? Contrasts? Is there a story being told? Did it make you feel something?
What you are trying to determine from asking these questions is the HOW.
How would they have taken the image? Then you can try to reverse engineer the photograph.
Photography is a constant learning curve. I would never condone plagiarism and absolutely encourage you to discover your own aesthetic & view point, however, this is a great step to practice, get out shooting, and to get to know your craft.