Welcome to my Seeking Beauty in Ordinary photography blog. I am Poland based fine art photographer, graphic designer & web designer. For almost 20 years, I used to work as an Art and English teacher at all school levels. As a designer working on commission, the needs and tastes of my clients are priority. While photography is my way of self-expression, my true love and passion. I took it up in 2009 and each day I’ve been learning something new about photography, technique, gear, etc. Looking at the world through the lens made me see everything in a sharper way, more consciously. I have learnt to notice beauty in things commonly perceived as ugly, ordinary as well as I have learnt to sense some mystic energy surrounding me each day.

I hope you enjoy my through-the-lens vision of a world I share with you on this site and find my Art language tips useful. Your comments are an invaluable feedback to me.For more information about my work visit my Painted with Light website. Contact with via my BEHANCE Pro Site.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

5 Tips for Beginner Artists & Photographers

Nostalgic Landscape, by Danuta Antas, 2010

Go beyond an ordinary vision

One of the most basic yet important tips I would ever give a beginning artist and photographer is just Go beyond and ordinary ... whether it is landscape, flower, still nature, portrait or any other field of your interest. When you will experiment with composition, perspective, light and try to show things different, it is likely you will develop your own, unique style. When I have worked as an Art teacher, my students always were encouraged to experiment and make their own approach to common themes they were supposed to draw or paint. The most extraordinary ideas that appeared in their creative minds, even such as drawing a picture with a dotted pink elephant, met with my greatest joy, as I knew that imagination has
no limits.
So, if you as an emerging artist, photographer need something fresh for your art, I strongly suggest looking at the world and trying to see things not in a way, you have seen them before. Just remove from your head thoughts and ideas that usually come first to your mind while looking at a certain thing. You may also try a perspective typical of small animals living on the ground. Some call it frog's perspective or a worm's-eye view. It is a very simple method and you may be surprised how great and new dimension it adds to your works.

Experiment with technique and question rules

I myself read regularly various tips for landscape photographers and often hear of certaing rules applying to landscape shooting, of using ND filters, long exposure, proper light, etc. And as fine as they are and using them in your works, you are sure to achieve wonderful results, I can't help that I noticed something worrying to me. Don't get me wrong! I love, if not to say adore, long exposure landscape photography. But, by a applying the rules in a rigid way, there is some danger of losing your distinctive style. Look, for example, on a line of birch trees in the photo above. It was taken on a day that was perfect for long exposure shooting. But if I focused on shooting water movement or dynamic sky, I would definitely missed the above, almost abstract scene. Moreover, to highlight the geometry of lines in this composition, while editing RAW file I overexposed the sky and its water reflection areas to completely remove them from the image. This work is completely different from a typical landscape photo. It has some abstract feel.

Look for contrasts

To the great extend, human eye or rather the stimulus it produces in our brain, resembles digital camera's focus system based on contrast detection. Although our eyes are able to see both, contrastive and similar objects, our brain much better perceives contrasts, things that are different. You must know that in a crowd of colour dressed people the one dressed black will be most visible person. Among white dressed, even the greyish one will attract others attention. It is contrast of lines, shapes I used in the scene below. I was intrigued by the intricate shape of a fallen old,willow tree and surrounding it thin, straight birch wood.

Nostalgic Landscape - Old Tree, by Danuta Antas, 2010
Discover your perceptive mode

We all see reality in our unique way, falling into three perceptive categories, such as visual, auditory and kinaesthetic/tactile. It is why different things attract our attention. And it is also why, two different people will remeber the same scene in a completely different way, as if it was another scene for each of them. It is very good to find out your specific mode of perception and then follow it. Most people think they are primarily visuals, as they remeber images very well. Yet, it may be misleading. While taking part in NLP practitioner course, I found out that I mostly perceive reality in a kineasthetic mode, which is associated with feelings and moods. There are some things, or clue that may help you to find out your inner traits. Pay attention to typical words you use while describing something. Some people tend to use more frequently certain phrases associated with vision, others use more often words associated with sounds, or feelings. For example, I see what you mean, I see she is sad, I see the beauty  of this scene, while other people would say: I can feel her sadness, I feel the smell of the plants, I feel the air, etc.
When you define your mode of perception, then look for tools to express your true nature. If your are tactile, then probably light and texture will be best to focus on. For visuals, certainly colour and light will suit best to explore more profoundly. It is a little bit more complicated for auditory people working in visual arts to find their best suited artistic tools. I think that focus on movement, rythms of lines and shapes is what they may focus on, as we associate sound with some sort of movement.

Approach old themes in a new way  

One of very good exercises for photographers in particular is shooting the same theme many times in as many different ways as possible. It is also good to approach long-ago-shot theme after some time elapsed as time perspective lets us see old things with a fresh eye.
Below, there are two shots I did in the very same place in Ostromecko Gardens. Both were made within one year span.

Ostromecko Gardens, by Danuta Antas, 2010

Ostromecko Gardens, by Danuta Antas, 2011

If you have some useful tips for starting artists how to make a step forward with their art, share with us in a comments below!


  1. fantastic work you have here, brilliant stuff

  2. I am amazed to see such an amazing post. Keep up the good work.

    Hawaii Art


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