Copying Other Photographer’s Work

Posted: December 8, 2015 in Uncategorized
In my Macro Boot Camps I teach and give examples of how to shoot many different subjects, and how to compose them in the frame. This is designed to give them ideas if they are not artistic enough to do it on their own.
Many of the photographers in these workshops will say I don’t want to copy what you are doing. I understand that feeling, as some view it as stealing someone else ideas.
Well guess what, it’s been happening since photography books first appeared of national parks and places that we travel to shoot. How many times have you seen photographer’s images that copied the images shot by Ansel Adams of Yosemite from his prints and books. People try and find the exact location where Ansel set up his tripod so they can duplicate the same shot.
We all copy at some point in time when we shoot. We copy subject matter we see other photographers shoot, and sometime even copy the exact composition of a subject.
We all start out copying some photographer’s work we like, but at some point we should try and develop our own style and look.


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  1. Paul Ellis says:

    I, for onè, have learnt a LOT by trying to replicate a shot that appeals to me. Only then do you start to realise it’s not just a question of quickly-set-up-the-shot-and-shoot. There are a lot of work you must do to get the same or close to the same shot. That’s when I learn and appreciate the shot even more!

  2. nikontim2012 says:

    how better to learn then to copy whilst in a workshop, having taught a few workshops myself (wildlife and bird photography) I encourage my attendees to copy what I am doing to learn composition, lighting and technique . . . again how better to learn from mikes fine teaching. many the novice artist would copy the masters technique in painting to understand and learn their tools, macro photography (or any other genre) is the same . . . it takes time to learn all the nuances . . . personal style follows once the tools become secondary in nature . . . Great post Mike.

  3. Sush says:

    Totally agreed.

  4. As the saying goes “steal like an artist”.


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