Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to speak with Michael Furman, an incredible automotive photographer who gave me insight on how to expand my knowledge in the world of eye-catching photographs. We talked for about an hour, discussing my future with photography as well as some important tips and tricks he learned through experience. Since I am new to the wonderous world of photography, I was extremely lucky to get to interview such a knowledgeable and understanding photographer. We had a great conversation that I will be able to apply to my photography skills and improve my results! 

Here are some of the important tips Michael and I discussed:

Knowing the history of photography is essential to know where and how it all began. It’s very helpful to know how photography was done in the past compared to today; it will give you an appreciation for today’s photography techniques and science. Understanding how limited cameras were in the past will help you achieve better pictures without having to take hundreds of photographs at a time.

By observing other photographers’ work, you can find your own style. The world of photography is huge, so trying to learn how to take pictures of everything all at once won’t benefit your skills as a photographer. Find a type of photography that suits and interests you. Do you prefer portraits of landscapes? Color, or black and white? Finding what and how you want to take your photographs will also help with the next step.

Your pictures must have a story and/or reason why you took that photo. It is also your responsibility as the photographer to make sure the story is understood by your audience. As the one who held the camera and took the picture, you must take responsibility for it and understand why the audience did or did not understand your reasoning. Use this acceptance and responsibility to improve your work.

Michael also taught me that photos are an abstraction from reality. They may be highly detailed or look incredibly real, but they’re not. A photograph can’t exactly capture the sounds, smells, or temperatures of the real world, but they can communicate the aspects of our reality. You want your photographs to communicate your desired abstractions to your audience.

Finally, Michael discussed with me that light is the only constant within all photography. It is the job of the photographer, especially when photographing very reflective objects, to mitigate reflections. Learning how to do that will improve your general knowledge of photography.

My interview with Michael Furman went way better than I expected. I would like to thank him for taking the time out of his day to speak with me and help me improve my own photography skills. The advice he provided will stick with me throughout my career and future with photography!

Written by Adeline

Adeline

Adeline

Team Member & Spokeswoman

Adeline is a high school junior who is on the fast track into the automotive and motorsports world. While she dreams of creating the next form of transportation, she is getting hands-on experience driving, wrenching and fabricating as a member of the inaugural Athena Racing team. Her goal is set on Carnegie Melon and gaining expertise in mechanical engineering and robotics so that she can lead teams into the future in the automotive and aerospace sectors.