For a photographer, the foundation, the “mind” part, begins with knowing the basics of photography and how to manipulate them in one's own camera. That means reading the manual, camera in hand, going through the different settings and operations again and again, and taking thousands of photographs, experimenting and learning along the way.
When I first started getting serious about photography, I’d take one shot of a subject I liked and move on to the next. Not a surprise that the results were disappointing. Slowing down is a hard lesson for me, but one that is beginning to pay off.
Now I take several shots of the same subject, playing with settings and distance from the subject until the image I’ve actually taken is the one I wanted to get - or maybe even a little better. This practice has been the best thing ever to get me to understand how my particular camera actually works. I’ve learned, for example, that in general, if I use the recommended settings as indicated on the exposure level indicator, the images come out overexposed. So now, I shoot a couple of stops down, check the display, and shoot again until the result is pleasing.
Play with your camera. Use the glorious freedom digital imaging has given us to take lots and lots of pictures. See what works and what doesn’t. Get to know your equipment so well that adjusting the settings becomes almost automatic. (How many times I have missed a really sweet shot because I was fiddling with the camera!) Muscle memory will start to kick in, and you won't have to think about it so much.
Vincent Versace says he can tell shutter speed by the sound his camera makes when he snaps the picture. That’s the “body” part of the equation.
The more your body and mind are trained – in other words, the better you know your camera and the principles of your art, the more your “heart” can inform the images you capture.
Some or all of the proceeds from sales of these photos will be donated to help various organizations working to repair the devastation along the Gulf Coast. Squid21r will donate $5 from each purchase of The Caiman to the National Audubon Society, which is assisting in recover efforts along the Gulf. HelpTheGulfCoast, where I found the photos by ClydeKeller Photo, honeytree, SarahMoldovan and futurowoman, will donate 100% of the proceeds (after etsy & paypal fees) to OxFam America and the National Wildlife Federation. Both organizations have given permission to fundraise on their behalf.
Nakedeye17 (Su) thinks of photography as a wake-up call: "Hey, everybody! Are you seeing this?" She loves to capture humor, too, and anything wondrous strange. Find Nakedeye17's shop here