The Zen of Taking Photos

Over the years, I have been learning the art of photography by reading up, talking to others and viewing other people’s photographs.

I know my photography skills have not improved a lot ( sometimes I feel the photos I took when I was young are better than those taken in recent years).

I surmise that there are some principles in taking photos:

  1. Take them with your heart – the heart will tell you where and when to press the shutter.
  2. Don’t think when you are taking photos – keep yourself calm and do not think of anything else ( but of course, be alert of your own safety).
  3. Sometimes go against the light ( just as in life, you sometimes have to go against the current).
  4. Be perceptive of ordinary things around you ( as they may be extraordinary in the eye of the camera).
  5. Don’t take photos because you want the Like.
  6. Take them as if you are not going to edit them in any manner.
  7. Don’t pursue a style for its own sake, a style will come to you naturally, just be natural.
At the Lap An Lagoon in Vietnam

Well, my photos have not been good enough as I have not been following the above rules all the time. Photo should be taken so that the rules become norms and the above just come naturally.

32 thoughts on “The Zen of Taking Photos

  1. I appreciate your photography principles. The best things about using a camera are the ways in which it makes you observe more closely, see more clearly, examine subjects more intensely. That being said, the worst things about using a camera are the ways in which it can tempt you to be exclusive, focusing on the photo instead of being mindful of the present, capturing a photo moment instead of a set of contextual memories, creating an image for putting yourself in or at a scene, instead of understanding and appreciating your place in the scene.

    Also, you should always be clear about your purpose, either recording an aspect of reality or creating a new one. Photography should not be used deceitfully.

    This might be a thought for my blog! Thanks Michael.

    • Sean, I am glad that you write. Your thoughts deserve reading and following by many. I hope people reading my blog also reads your valuable comments 🙂

  2. I believe that good photographs should evoke emotion in the viewer, and should ask questions, tell a story. That’s what I’m aiming for. It’s not all about technical prowess, it’s about feeling. I learnt a lot by reading some of this man’s books:

  3. I think you are doing a great job. I think I have looked at your photographs for years, and I can say that the feeling the photographs you make evoke in me are those of nature, presence and breathing. I think the rules can be followed, for so to say “better results”, but I dn’t think that is always a recipe for betterment.

  4. This is my favourite photography site. I look forward to viewing your posts every day. Like you, I feel that I took better pics when I was younger, and this post has inspired me to dig out one of those old pics for my next blog. Thank you, and best wishes Michael.

    • Thank you for following for so long 🙂
      When I was young, I have all the time to spend on shooting and pour all my heart into it.
      It’s fun getting photos together in the Media of WP and form them into a gallery.
      Regards, Michael

  5. Agree totally. Though I am conscious that I have Photoshop as a tool. That means to me I can take quicker photos. No need to frame as much as needed. I can correct that. I also know I can correct some light problems if need be.
    Keep shooting Michael.

  6. Pingback: Gentle Blessings – Amras888

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