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The secret of a good picture.

It’s hard to find the secret of a good picture. Many tell you to focus on aperture, others on depth of field. Loads of gurus talk about good camera gear. I think it’s something completely different though.

The picture above is a strange one. I like the picture, but technically it’s a disaster. Nothing is really in focus and half of what’s happening in the scene is not on the photo. Still the picture gives you a sense of participation. You’re close to what’s happening, so close that you can almost touch the girls dancing in front of you.

As they dance, the unfocused photo actually helps to create the feeling of speed and action. It creates a time and the feeling of the happening. As well as the closeness of the photographer, the observer, creates a bond with the dancers. It feels as if you’re almost dancing with them.

Normally, people want sharp pictures, but imagine this picture much sharper. With let’s say the girl on the right who’s laughing completely in focus and sharp against the background. I wonder if the photo was still attractive and intimate. Probably not.

I think a great picture has everything to do with story telling. Forget aperture, shutter speed or ISO settings. First comes the story then the tools and equipment.

Give a good photographer a cheap point and shoot camera and he will make a wonderful picture. Give a bad photographer a €10.000 camera and he probably still makes terrible pictures. It’s not just the equipment that makes the photo. Of course many Youtube guru’s proclaim so, as they want to sell you something. But I think it’s better to learn to make good compositions first and later invest in more expensive gear if you really need it and know how to use it.

I’ve made all the photo’s on this side with a NIKON D3500 and a 50mm lens. And so far I don’t need an extra zoom. Let’s keep the equipment simple and focus on the narrative of the scene I want to photograph.