This is a topic I’ve been thinking about recently. Refining your vision and style comes down to refining your tastes, because all the little split decisions that you make when creating a piece of art, especially photography. Since photography is more instant as to what you are putting into the picture those artistic tastes come down to decisions of the moment. Does this piece of clothing work? What color should it be? Does this light work right for the concept? Is this highlight too bright? Does this prop fit the scenario? Does it look good on film? Does this camera angle capture enough of the background? Does this dark treeline work for the background? Does this pose look right? Is the hair just where it needs to be? Is the make up right? All these decisions are just a fraction that go into your artistic one click creation.
So many of these decisions are decided based on taste. What you like and what you don’t like. The more you shoot the more you realize. What works, and what doesn’t. What things do you like? As you grow as an artist, your tastes become refined and you soon realize that your earlier tastes might have been a bit more amateur than you thought. Seeing at a higher level means refining what you see, what you envision, then making those split decisions that create your refined vision. You can only develop your and refine your tastes by going through the artist journey yourself. As much as someone can teach you, practicing your craft for yourself is the only way you can develop your artistic eye.
I say all this because as I reflect on the years of growth I’ve experienced it’s come down to this: Refining my taste in the details. A great way to start seeing those details is to flip through magazines and break down images that you like. What makes it a good photograph? Why do you like it? What elements of the photograph do you like? What do you not like? This is a start to the process, but applying them to shooting is a whole different ball game. This all falls into my previous post of Expanding Your Default. Who ever said this was easy?
Keep Refining! Money can’t buy good taste.