I recently went to a workshop at the Canon Live Learning Center in downtown San Francisco. It was one of those moments I felt a little uncool as the workshop was on a Friday night and the class was only attended by an older lady and myself. It all became worth it when the instructor began talking about his own work and the idea of using older shots to improve your photography. We checked out different shots that are now classics, stuff from Ansel Adams and what not. We broke down each photograph and talked about why they were amazing. We discussed how these classics were composed and why the light hurled them ahead of so many other shots.

By the end our instructor taught us that the most simple way of improving your own work was to create a list of 10 of your favorite photographs. The idea being that you could go back and use these shots as references, applying them to your own work. Of course sometimes it’s hard to master the work of a master, so this exercise could also just be a way of looking to the great works of the greats. It may not make you a great photographer, but it can remind you to set your sights high with your quality of work.

Of course we all have our own style or type of photography that we want to perfect, so be sure to be pick shots that really inspire you. Sometimes I feel like when artists create lists like these, they only stick to the mainstream work. I guess they almost feel pressure to only pick the shots that get studied in universities or museums. I feel though that whatever work brings out emotion in your own eyes is the work to look too. The world we live in today is the perfect place to explore photography because so many people are shooting these days. A lot of the work I look to are from artist that aren’t studied or looked too in schools or museum, but people I find have amazing work. People that are on Instagram or blogs. People that have work that really move me and that I look up to. The indie artist.

Below is my list. If you have time, be sure to create your own top ten list and share it! It’s easy to do!

Also if you’re interested in taking some workshops at Canon Live Leaning in SF, check the link below!

http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/live_learning/workshop_main.shtml

Article by Andrew Pezzulo

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