Question. What does it mean to be a good photographer and to take a great capture?
I do not mean to offend a large number of ‘Photographers’ in my social network when I say this. The art is increasingly becoming an act of aiming a camera towards pretty much anything and posting them online. The more disappointing part is the subsequent celebration of mediocrity by their followers.
So what does it really mean to be a photographer? I mean, apart from you being present at the right place at the right time with the right equipment? What makes a photo great? The Niagara Falls looks excellent on its own, how it a valuable addition to make it look it more fantastic? Again, apart from you have bought an expensive camera? [This is a rhetoric paragraph, don’t answer it]
For example, If I point my phone to the sky at 6 PM every day and take a photo with default settings. Does it deserve a WOW? Let me know.
I don’t think so.
Anyways, This is not a “how-to” post; obviously, I don’t seem to have any authority to write about it. However, this post is about a map on the arrogance of social media photographers. Warning: watching this graph can you cause severe urge of self-assessment and could generate profound philosophical epiphanies and inferiority complexes
Bonus: Once you have taken a random shot, you can use the below technique to make it great.
I had no clue that I have freedom photograph almost anything I want in public. As I recall, even my friends did not. May be you don’t know this, have a read. This is written keeping US in mind, but now I am almost sure this must be applicable in most of the countries. Off to Google it …
Under current US legislation, you are entitled to photograph anything that you want to from a public space and that includes people and things, except where a specific law prohibits such activity.
Private Property Photography on private property is subject to the permission of the property owner. Note the use of the word ‘on’. Owners of private property have no right to prohibit photography from a public space, even if the subject of the photography is their private property. If a property owner asks you to stop taking photographs while you are on their property, you are legally obliged to obey. If you wish to take photographs on private property, ask permission, state your reasons and usage and you may be allowed. It’s amazing how a polite request can bring its own reward.
Exclusions These are pretty obvious. Military installations can be, and most are, restricted, so don’t even bother. Nuclear energy facilities are restricted although the publicly visible areas may not be restricted but generally speaking, consider the whole area as restricted as it varies from installation to installation and is not worth the hassle of confrontation.
People are fair game while in a public place except in areas where they would reasonably expect privacy, such as in their own homes, toilets, dressing rooms and medical installations.
Popular Misconceptions The following is a list of subject matter that invariably leads to a confrontation. There is NO LEGAL RESTRICTION to photographing any of the following from a public space.
Accidents and fire scenes Children (this one, while legal, may cause great offence, so use common sense) Celebrities Bridges and other infrastructure Residential and commercial buildings Industrial facilities and public utilities Transportation facilities (e.g., airports) Superfund sites Criminal activities Law enforcement officers