Taking Your Photography to the Next Level

A tree stump is all that remains of a former giant of the forest in Paradise, New Zealand.

Are you a competent photographer familiar with your camera and able to use it quickly and effectively? Are your images sharp and well exposed? Do you have your head around Lightroom, Luminar, Aurora and/or Photoshop and have an efficient workflow that allows you to process lots of images quickly and to a high quality standard?

Photography | Heighten The Experience

You do, great! What's that, you're still not satisfied? You already have a bundle of gear and are looking to make the next step that will elevate your photography to the next level.

Photography, The Next Level

Well, the answer is to begin to move your craft towards art. And that doesn't necessarily mean making aggressive adjustments to your images on the desktop. It's important that we understand that camera gear and software are tools, the way we use them can be considered techniques and the look produced a style or treatment.

Making Art | A Simple Solution

So what's the solution. Well, here's the rub. Ultimately, why is the most important consideration. You see it's not just what we do and how we do it that's important. The reasons why we do what we do is as critical to our photographs as it is to all other areas of importance in our lives. To my mind continually paying attention to the question why is the most important factor that separates the photographer from the artist.

Put simply, photos that express a viewpoint or explore an issue, a mood or a feeling are what will elevate your photography to the next level. What's more taking this approach to your photography is easy and extremely fulfilling.

Photography | Consider the Metaphor

Metaphors are one of the best ways to lift a good image from the realms of technical competence towards that of art. The above image, and its title (i.e., What Remains, Paradise, New Zealand), provide a simple example. A tree trunk in front of a stand of beautiful trees suggests the fate that awaits those in the background. Whether the foreground tree was felled by axe or chainsaw, or met its fate by more natural causes, the image tells a story and that story suggests a message beyond what is depicted. Interesting, wouldn't you say.

Photographers It's Time To Geek Out

The photo at the top of this post was made with a Nikon D800e camera and Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 lens @ 15mm. It's the result of a 9-stop HDR sequence with exposures from 1/80 to 4 seconds at a constant aperture of f11 and an ISO of 400.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru