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The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs by David duChemin

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Lesson 51. Get Closer, See Differently

When I was younger I took photography a lot less seriously. That playfulness allowed me to learn without pressure, and most important, it helped me learn to see. And that’s what this is all about, isn’t it? I mean, if you can use a camera but can’t see things differently or recognize something interesting or beautiful when it comes your way, your photographs will be technically perfect and perfectly forgettable.

When Robert Capa famously said, “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough,” I don’t think he ever imagined I’d suggest you get on your knees once in a while and crawl around in the grass. Still, it’s not a bad idea. Once in a while I buy a bunch of interesting flowers, put ...

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