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Develop Your Own Photography Style

When you use your digital camera often, the technology of the camera, including the settings and lenses, becomes second nature, and you can start working on developing a photography style of your own.

After you study the work of the masters of nature photography and of your peers, it’s time to put what you’ve learned to good use and start taking pictures. Don’t take a few pictures every now and then; use your camera often.

If you’re fortunate enough to live near an area that’s been photographed by a master photographer you’ve studied, visit it. Go to the places where the photographer took some of his most famous photographs. When you arrive at the scene, see if you can find the vantage point from which the photograph was shot. See if you can take a photograph similar to that of the master you’ve been studying.

This will give you a place to start. Now you can start experimenting to put your own spin on what your master has photographed. Experiment with different settings, different vantage points, and so on.

When you start getting prolific with your photography, your pictures will have a style similar to what you’ve been looking at. As you begin to experiment and stretch your personal envelope, gradually your photos begin to look different than those of your mentor and the other photographers who take pictures in the same areas you do.

This is the beginning of your own style. This is when you hone your craft so the images you create are readily identifiable as yours.

Your style changes over time, even if you photograph the same things. You learn new techniques, get different equipment, and refine your photographic vision. During this period, continue studying the work of other photographers. Your changing style and unique vision vitalizes you and keeps you fresh.

When moving to a new area, you may have a vastly different landscape to photograph. You also may embrace the work of another master photographer. Your photography will change as a result.

This photo is a result of meeting Clyde Butcher, talking with him, and poring over his images. The photographer of this image was influenced by the master photographer.

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