Photographing Everyday Beauty
Beauty is defined as a set of elements that excites the senses; gives pleasure to the senses. Beauty can be present in shape, color, texture and on many other elements which together form, shape and make up what we would call beauty.
A landscape can be seen as beautiful, a sunset as breathtaking, a beautiful face and so on. Photography has many uses and applications and one which fits the genre quite well is to capture images that can be described as beautiful. Fashion publications are always looking for a way of showcasing the beauty in their products, greeting card manufacturers are constantly in the search for beautiful scenes. Makers of inspirational posters are keen on having beautiful scenes. Art galleries are also good for theses images. Book publication is another viable source for beauty images too.
But how exactly does one approach capturing images and how does one truly choose subjects that are beautiful? Here is where the experience and point of view of the photographer comes into play.
Anybody can, within reason, see the beauty in anything, but capturing and turning it into photographs takes time and skill. Beauty is not only skin deep as the old axiom goes.When photographing people try to look beyond the obvious and capture the inner strengths, the dedication, the character of the person.
Look for images of everyday things that appeal to you, a pretty flower, an interesting tree, a beautiful building. This will involve one settling down and studying the subject or scene, only then can one truly begin to appreciate and see the beauty of it.
It is too simple and obvious to take a model, ask her to pose and snap a shot. This can be done by anyone. The key is to do it differently, find your own vision and capture it.
When you follow a young child who has been doing errands all day for her parents and finally stops to get some rest, the look of simplicity in her gaze and innocence is also one of beauty. It doesn't matter if her face is dirty or her clothes, those things don't matter when compared to the child's inner beauty and her childlike innocence.
When a woman holds her newborn close to her face and plants a tender kiss, that is also beauty. When you stand in front of a serene and majestic vista of a landscape and the light subtly bathes the entire scene, that is beauty too. A bird bringing the catch of the day to feed her fledglings, that is also beauty.
Spiderwebs can hardly be called beautiful, but when you take a closer look at one and really examine the intricate design, the tensile strength, its functionality, that is beautiful. Aim for specimens which have been bathed in the early mist of the morning dew.
Children, babies and cute little puppies can all be beautiful and capturing their beauty should not be difficult. As they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and your photos should let your vision as a photographer come through.
Seek beauty everywhere from the extravagant to the most simplest of things and capture the details, the play of colors, the texture and patterns which highlight the beauty in those subjects. Seek beauty in little things, in details, in close ups. Study your subject before snapping the photo. You intention should be to capture anything that in your eyes represents beauty.
There are many tools that will enhance your shots. Consider using a softening filter. This filter will make the image seem "smoother" and will also serve to hide small imperfections. Use subtle lighting, not harsh. Subtle light, also referred to as filtered light, tends to cast smooth and soft shadows upon your subject, contrary to harsh lighting which can create very noticeable shadows.
Keep in mind that it is not necessary to photograph the entire subject, sometimes just parts make the best examples. Don't just photograph anything that seems to be beautiful. Concentrate on your subject and see how you can capture an image that will make someone take a second look; how can you arrange the subject, or which angle will bring out the beauty of it. Use your artistry and if unsure, take a look at some samples and go from there. There are many photographs of beautiful things and beautiful people. Your goal is to make your shots stand out.
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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez