While I think it is important to develop your own style of photography, I also recognize that not everyone is in it for that. Sometimes, people just want great looking photos… In fact, I think more often than not, that’s what photographers are after: great looking photos.
Looking at great photos can help you capture great photos. Looking at great photos can help you realize what makes a good photo and can also help you pinpoint the things that can potentially make a bad looking photo. For example, it was very difficult for me to learn to think about the background. Sometimes, my photo subject would be awesome, in focus, and lookin’ good… but then someone would look at the photo and think “Where was this taken?! a garage?”
To get a better idea of what makes a great photo, I often use StumbleUpon to browse just photos (you can read what I think of StumbleUpon here). I come across photos that are good, bad, funny, vintage, antique, Photoshoped, new, and interesting. There are things to learn even from the bad photos: even if the subject is dead center in the photo, they’re not doing anything in particular, and it’s a relatively boring photo, there are always things about the photo that can interest me, like the subject’s hair style, clothes, face, etc.
Looking for random photos in the Internet can be a good exercise, but if you’s like to learn from the best, the 7 following photoblogs will be sure to inspire you.
The most popular photoblog listed here, by far, is 1x.com. This blog has been around for a while and has the highest quality (National Geographic Quality) photos. They’re meaningful, expressive, colorful, and just plain beautiful.
Speaking of beautiful, you’ll also want to check out beautyineverything.com. This is the cream of the crop amateur quality photo blog. When I look at the blog it reminds me of the high quality flickr photos… not quite National Geographic Quality. However, I will say, here and there you’ll find a few that are simply stunning. And you’ll find a style of photography that’s attainable without thousands of dollars in equipment.
Next is fotocommunity.com. This site is a great place to post your photos and get feedback from other photographers. I have to admit, I’ve not uploaded anything to this site, but I do like that I can view and comment on photos from average joe photographers. It’s a community for the photographer with no photographer friends.. lol. That sounds bad…
Abduzeedo.com, which has been a long time favorite of mine for design inspiration of all sorts, is the only photography website that I check almost daily. This site, which also has illustration, focuses on more artsy photos and design and is pretty much eye candy.
The photoblog oneeyeland.com has some really awesome photos…and some really weird conceptual stuff, too.
I love that chromasia.com focuses on really realistic photography: mostly landscapes and portraits. These are my favorite sorts of photos to take, so I can always find a lot to think about on here!
Flickriver (which has been in a previous post of ours) is a Flickr fed application that’s a great way to explore the massive amount of photos being added to flickr everyday. It’s also a good way to find out what kind of photos can be taken with specific lenses.
When you look at photos you like, try to take note of the composition of the photo. The lighting, the shadows, the angle. If it’s a person, take note of the direction they’re facing, the side of the photo they’re on, what they’re doing, and where they’re at. A photo, in my opinion, should tell more about the person than simply what they look like. Portraits have their place, and sometimes you want just a plain headshot. But for artistic photography, you have to make interesting.
What do you find interesting about these sites? What do you look for in great photography?
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