Behind The Scenes | "Quotations" | Article and 4 Photos by Stephen Fisher

I really enjoy reading quotations from famous people. And since I’m a photographer, quotations from other professional photographers are my favorite. What I find interesting is that these people are known for their images…not their words. I’ve learned a lot from each of these pearls of wisdom. Let me share a few with you.

I’m including a hyperlink if you’d like to read more about these phenomenal photographers.

“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.”

Not EVERY photograph we take is going to be a National Geographic cover shot! I think Ansel might have been exaggerating a bit…maybe not. He didn’t have digital technology until late in his career. I’m VERY happy if I elect to just save 10% of a day’s shoot. I delete all of the rest of them. Out of those 10%, I might just let anyone else see 1 or 2 of the files.

“The secret to becoming a good photographer is to shoot a lot and delete all of the bad ones”

Jim Richardson is a photographer who actually has done a National Geographic cover shot…actually MANY of them! This 18-word quotation of his says it all. The key to getting better is to shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. It really reinforces Ansel Adams quotation. Shoot a lot and get rid of all of the bad ones. And most importantly, never show anyone your bad photos!


“The more photographs you see, the better you are as a photographer”

I really believe this is true…and I practice it every day. I look at the work of photographers I respect a large portion of my free time. No…I don’t do this to try and copy them. I do it to study their composition…their style…and how they process their files. I look at the work of not only the Masters, but also contemporary artists I like. If you look at the work of accomplished photographers, you’ll quickly learn that there are certain conventions and rules they follow MOST of the time. Things like images being in focus, level horizons, and where to place your subject in the frame can make or break a photo. Even as subjective as art is, if you study enough you’ll know the difference between good and bad.

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst”

Unless you are just blessed with a huge amount of innate talent, it takes time to master photography. While everyone with a smart phone camera is by definition a photographer, not everyone can immediately start making interesting and meaningful photographs. It takes a lot of commitment to learn how to use your camera successfully. It’s so much more than just pointing and clicking. Don’t give up! Like anything else, getting better takes a commitment.

This article is meant to be fun and somewhat “tongue in cheek”. It’s like the old joke…”How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” You practice, practice, and practice! Photography is meant to be fun, and it should always be that way. BUT…if you are really serious about becoming a better photographer…you know what you need to do.

As always, I’d love to answer any and all of your photography questions. If you leave a comment I promise to give you a reply. Good shooting…

Stephen Fisher and his wife Sharon have lived in Rockport for almost 5 years. Stephen Is a full time nature photographer with gallery representations here in Rockport and in Corpus Christi. Their favorite question is “What took us so long to get here to Rockport?”

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