Some Great Tips From Our Coloratti in 2015
by Dave Mobbs – December 29th, 2015
This year, the X-Rite Coloratti have been blogging about photographing the subjects they’re most passionate about.
It’s certainly given us some great insights into the way some of the world’s leading photographers think and work, but also some stunning images to view.
Here, we take a look at just some of our highlights.
In January, Coloratti Master Keith Cooper did an in depth Blog, looking at Architectural photography. Keith has been running his own architectural photography business for some time, so the insights were many, you can read Keith’s full blog here.
One great insight was when Keith spoke about the way to think about buildings.
“Learn what keeps structures up – think what’s underneath what you see, from foundations upward. Look at materials and how they interact with light.
Looking at a building and realising why it is the way it is and where it is, and how that affects its function helps me convey views of locations that architects want.
Remember that for your business to make a profit you need to take photos that clients will pay for. Take time to talk with people in other disciplines and try and understand their worldview.
Photograph dull, badly designed buildings too – learn to apply the same skills to buildings that don’t inspire you.”
In February, Seth Resnick, produced an outstanding blog, on the art of creating a body of work, rather than just a few pieces. The blog is hugely detailed and a real treasure trove of information which you can read here
Of all the things we took from the blog, we particularly liked Seth’s comments on being able to communicate your style in an elevator pitch:
“Very often, photographers find it difficult cohesively describe what they do and if they can’t describe it to friends and close colleagues, they certainly can’t expect the outside world to understand. A great start is to think about what differentiates your work from someone else and then concisely put that into words. A great exercise and one that is much more difficult than it may sound is to create an elevator pitch to describe your work. Writing an elevator pitch – a statement to quickly and simply define a person, profession, product, service, organization or event – is a useful first step to understanding the work you do and being able to convey that to others.”
In May, Coloratti Martin Bailey gave ten tips to improving your photography. This seems a pretty challenging subject to write on when you’re starting from scratch, but Martin did a great job, and the full top tips to improving your photography is well worth a read.
To be honest, we could list all ten, but we particularly liked tip 2:
2 – SIMPLE IS BEST
When I’m teaching photography in the field, I often find myself saying, “If an element doesn’t add something to the image, then it detracts from it.”
You are responsible for everything included in the frame. Before you release the shutter, scan the frame, and ensure that you are only including elements that play a part in your scene, adding to the overall story you want to tell. If any element is not adding to the scene, leaving it in the frame may actually detract from the overall beauty or effectiveness of the final image.
In June, Spanish Coloratti Master Joan Boira, talked us through creating a realistic ‘character’ shoot when depicting Aragon from Lord of the Rings. It was a real look into equipment and preparation needed to get a shot right.
In September, Guilleme Calatrava gave us a look into the world of motorsport photography.
He gave us ten tips for great shots, including the slightly intimidating…
“The first rule of Motorsport photography is safety. There’s a lot that can go wrong when cars are travelling quickly. At the same time though, the best shots come from being as close as you can to the action. Give yourself the best chance to capture a great image, as long as you don’t compromise your safety.”
In October, as part of our ColorTalk series, we spoke to Coloratti Jay Maisel, who spoke to us about how color influences him.
You can watch and read about Jay Maisel and color. We particularly like Jay’s thoughts on being moved by color.
“My motivation is really terribly unsophisticated. Basically it’s like wow, look at that great color! And I’m gonna shoot it, and that’s it! I don’t make the color, I don’t create the color, I don’t do anything but react to the color. I think that what makes people feel something, is if you feel something, so you have to in some way, get your thoughts and your feelings into their head. And if you do that and you’re successful, then your pictures won’t just be on the surface, the viewer will really feel something about the pictures. You just have to choose the things that move you because you have to have fun, you have to do the things you love. When I see color move me, that’s when I photograph.”
During October we also had a fantastic blog from Gabor Bakas, a Hungarian Coloratti, who looked at wildlife photography.
Gabor’s key message for us was one about light:
The early bird catches the…best light
“Rising early can make all the difference. The soft morning light can bring out many subtle details, and in many cases animals are at their most active in the morning. It’s quieter, there’s invariably less going on to distract and the opportunities for capturing nature with the rising sun are excellent.”
In November, Ralph Man, a German Coloratti, gave us some great insights into nude photography.
Ralph’s advice on ‘knowing what you want’ probably applies to almost any genre:
Understand what you want and work with the model
“To have a great shoot, you need to be connected to the image; you need to know the effect you want to achieve and be able to judge the image. In my experience, a model needs to feel comfortable and relaxed which will help them pose the way you want for the shoot, you need to treat them well and make sure they feel safe in your company.
I also believe that the photographer is responsible for ensuring that makeup, styling (fashion) and model match well. You take inspiration from stylists and make up artists but the direction and vision need to come from the photographer.”
You can read Ralph’s complete blog
So – that’s just a peek at some great blogs from our Coloratti in 2015 and we will be featuring many more in 2016.