Are You A Photography Generalist Or Specialist?
Detail, exterior, St. Isaacs Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia
Folks often ask me what it is that I particularly like to photograph. This isn't always as easy a question to answer as you might think. And what about you? What stirs your creative juices? Let's look at some possibilities.
Are you particularly drawn to photograph landscape, nature, portrait, sports, architecture or wildlife?
Issue or Theme Focused
Does your photography explore environmental, social, political, religious or spiritual issues or themes? Do you have a fascination with the human condition and a passion for documenting it?
Technique or Style
Is your work identifiable by a particular camera or lighting technique? Is it based upon a certain look or style?
Is composition so dominant that it becomes the defining aspect of your work? Is the viewer's eye drawn to the compositional elements within your photos prior to recognizing what the subject matter actually is.
Light has the power to reveal, define and transform the subject or scene in question. With the above photo as a case in point, I'm in beautiful St. Petersburg, Russia photographing an exterior detail of the magnificent St. Isaacs Cathedral. But, have no doubt, it is light that drew my attention and determined the subject and composition of this photograph.
The word photography comes to us from Ancient Greek and translates as light writing, drawing or painting. So when folks ask me what I most like to photograph, my answer is light. And it's the exploration of this most fundamental aspect of photography that has determined why it is that I do what I do.
It's also the reason why I'm happy to refer to myself as a generalist. I brand myself as a travel photographer not just because I travel, but also because, when I do, I photograph a wide range of subject matter. And it's this broad range of experience that heavily underpins my teaching abilities. Having made so many mistakes, over a 30 plus year career, I can both empathize with the frustrations and disappointments you've experienced in your own photography and help shortcut your road to success. And that's very much the purpose of this site. To help you have more fun and achieve better results, more often on your own photography journey.
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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru