Most photographers will agree that images must be made with intention. And photographer George Diebold is not exception. In his full-length video workshop, Diebold shared the thought process behind his shooting and what drives him to make his images. He also showcased some of his best images that reflected his unique style:
Many of the thoughts Diebold shared sounded random, but if you summarize them, they become like the commandments of photography:
1. Spend time making your images
Some of Diebold’s pictures appear easy stuff for someone good with Photoshop. But remember, a majority of these were made before Photoshop and thus required a lot of ingenuity, intelligent thought, and clever camera-work.
2. Use an idea book
“Keep an idea book of everything you’ve thought about shooting.”
An invaluable piece of advice that Diebold gives to photographers is to maintain an idea book. The picture below is an example. It was shot outside a mall that went out of business. Diebold made a note that he would go back when there was an ice storm. He did go back at about 3’o clock one morning to get this shot:
3. Create pictures vs discover pictures
Diebold distinguishes between creating a picture and discovering one. The former is when you need to make something despite the situation you are in. It is like one of those age-defying statements “necessity is the mother of invention,” and he follows it up with images to prove his point.
4. See things in a new way
The affordability of modern digital cameras means the same subjects are shot over and over again. There are probably thousands, if not tens of thousands, of images of the same thing. The challenge is in finding something new to shoot, or finding a new perspective to shoot the same thing.
“This is the big challenge in photography, seeing something in a new way.”
5. Be prepared to make pictures out of nothing
Shot out of pure desperation when Diebold was stuck in Nova Scotia due to inclement weather, the above image is a perfect example of how impactful your images can still be when you are bent on making the most out of a situation.
6. Concentrate on discovering the image, not retouching it
In today’s world it is easier to shift focus from discovering an image to Photoshopping it, whereas it should be the other way around.
7. Explore your environment
The amazing picture above presented itself accidentally when Diebold was traveling and happened to go underneath an underpass.
Deibold’s insights reaffirm the notion that better photographic results come from uniqueness in the thinking process rather than from the latest equipment and post-processing techniques.
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