Snapping Dreams

Tips from Frank Doorhof

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Came across this post by Frank Doorhof in Scott Kelby’s blog. It was one of the Guest Blog Wednesday posts. I found some of the points resonating with me and so I thought I’d share it here too. Here they are in short.

  1. Even the best Photoshop users can’t make a bad picture really shine.
  2. Learn to REALLY look through the viewfinder.
  3. To make an image more interesting it’s very important to also invest in the styling and the model.

If you are interested in a more elaborated version, do read on.


somehow in this day and age with Photoshop, most photographers seem to think that there is a filter for everything and they can just shoot a bad picture and the magic filter will transform it into art….. Well, I’ve seen some amazing things done with Photoshop (just visit Scott’s seminars), but even the best Photoshop users can’t make a bad picture really shine…..

When I first started out, I was in the category of photographers who think there is a magic filter for everything. I snapped and snapped, expecting the DLSR and Photoshop to work magic for me. You can say that I was insulting my camera cos I was shooting it as if I was using a normal point and shoot.

Luckily, I soon came to realize that photoshop and the dslr don’t do magic and that they can’t make a bad picture shine (as Frank Doohof pointed out in his post). We, as photographers are supposed to make the photo shine. The camera and Photoshop are after all just tools. So, if not the camera nor Photoshop, what then gives you a killer shot?

Learn to look through the viewfinder, and I don’t mean look through the viewfinder to see the subject and shoot, but REALLY look through the viewfinder. Find the right composition, look for factors you don’t like and look for your shadows.

It’s really true. When looking through the view finder, don’t be careless. Be meticulous. Look out for details. Look out for light. Look out for shadows. Look out for that leave in the hair. (Yes, a good photoshop user can photoshop that out but wouldn’t you agree that picking that leave out of the hair is way less time consuming?)

One might say, if I look out for too many things, I’d lose the moment! I think this comes with experience. An experienced photographer would most of the time have the composition ready before the moment even happens. I strongly believe in capturing moments and there are really times when we can’t care too much. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care at all. Find a way to achieve both.

You can understand all the theory and light behavior you want, but it doesn’t guarantee a good image. Well, it will often guarantee a technically good image, but to make an image more interesting it’s very important to also invest in the styling and the model.

This is very straight to the point. And I don’t think it applies to only fashion or glamour photography (which Frank Doorhof does) but also applies to other sectors of photography e.g. food photography.

Do pop over to Scott Kelby’s blog to read the full post.

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Written by SE

April 16, 2010 at 11:16 pm

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