Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Meeeeh… I Don't wanna be a fauxtog! Reply To: Meeeeh… I Don't wanna be a fauxtog!


All good advice so far. And it is very good that you are not charging anyone, which increases my respect of you because it takes you from fauxtog (which is not OK) to student (which is great). One additional thing that is a real pet peeve of mine, don’t play music at me when I visit your web site. I’m sitting at my computer, I’ve already looked at half of your page, I’ve already got my music running, and now your music stars, so I have to stop looking at your pictures and figure out where to turn off your music. Then I have to keep stopping your music on every page because I’d rather keep listening to what I was listening.

You are in the phase I like to call the “I’m being artistic” phase. You’re stretching your legs and experimenting, which is very good. Your instincts are serving you well because when you pick your images, there are good things in them. 8-15 has goodish balance for a still life, 6-12 has emotional impact, 5-15 has niceish framing. The problem is that, while you subconsciously recognize good aspects of a photo, you don’t understand why you like said photo.

So now for the not-so-fun part of being a photographer. You have to put the camera down and pick up the books, figuratively speaking. Read everything. First, learn everything you can about your camera, the technical nitty gritty of shooting, even do a little dark room work if possible. Learn about color theory (which is extremely important in black and white photography), learn about contrast, learn about exposure, learn about depth of field and how to manipulate it, composition, image balance, black and white conversion. Then learn about people, emotion, body language, non-verbal cues. Study great photos and read commentaries on what makes them great. Watch great character movies, look at how the greats frame shots, watch Stanley Kubrick, Lazlo Kovacs, Orson Welles, even Baz Luhrmann. If you wanna shoot people, get books of portraits and attempt to recreate them on your own (for practice, don’t copy when you’re working).

Experimenting is great, but if you do you will only progress as far as one lifetime can last. There is 185 years worth of photographic knowledge out there. Don’t re-invent the wheel, learn from those who have come before you and then step out and innovate beyond that.