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It happened a couple of days ago when I was lounging on my couch, lost in thought and sensing a hint of stubbornness in the air. It was one of those moments when all I wanted was to stay home, cozy up with a book, and shut out the world.

Then my phone started ringing, a dear friend calling. Honestly, I wasn’t really in the mood to answer it. I simply craved some solitude. However, after three missed calls from her, I mustered up some courage. Decided to pick up.

As soon as I answered her call, she erupted with excitement. Shared an idea that would alleviate my boredom—an expedition to the magnificent Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas. Initially, I didn’t show interest; after all, who gets excited about visiting a palace? But her infectious enthusiasm quickly rubbed off on me, and before long, without persuasion, I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly. I boarded a bus eagerly anticipating what lay ahead; as I arrived at our destination, I saw Jackie near the entrance wearing a grin.

Stepping through the grand doors of the palace, I was immediately captivated by the breathtaking beauty that surrounded me, and suddenly my feeling of stubbornness disappeared. The palace’s ornate façade, decorated with sculptures and adorned balconies, left me in awe.

As we stepped into the palace, the opulence of the interior was just as enchanting. Lavish rooms with gilded ceilings, beautifully designed furniture, and an exquisite collection of porcelain greeted us at every turn.

But it wasn’t just the physical beauty that drew me in; it was the rich history that seemed to seep from the very walls of the palace. Learning about the Marquis family and their legacy was like stepping back in time. As we walked through rooms decorated with centuries-old art and artifacts, we couldn’t help but be transported to a different era.

Quoting one of the palace’s historians, who once said –

“The Marquis of Dos Aguas Palace is more than a structure; it stands as a testament to Valencia’s glorious history “perfectly encapsulates the true spirit of this remarkable destination. Here, the intertwining realms of history and art converge harmoniously, creating an experience”

At this point, I was feeling quite excited and energetic, as if Jackie had transferred her feelings to me J; we both took our cameras out of their covers and started taking numerous photos to preserve the memories of this splendid palace. The delicate porcelain collections, in particular, fascinated me. Each piece was a work of art, and I couldn’t help but snap photos to share with friends, family, and, of course, my readers later.

What I loved most about the Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas were the unexpected surprises that it gave us around every corner. From the hidden courtyards filled with lush greenery to the impressive collection of carriages, there was always something new and exciting to discover.

Out of numerous things, what I liked the most about the palace were:

  • In the first picture, simply show an apple.
  • For information purposes, you could, for example, cut the apple open and show what’s inside. – Picture 2.
  • And for the emotion, you let someone bite the apple or put it in someone’s hand. You show the emotion that the apple can trigger. Picture 3.

This exercise is so simple, almost banal, and yet so effective at the same time (if you do it consistently ;)). The more you use it on different subjects, the more you’ll find that you’re no longer satisfied with just pointing the camera at one subject and shooting. It’s no longer about the camera but about the picture you take with it.

You will automatically start to question – what else could I show about this motif, how could I present it differently, what aspect am I missing at first glance that might be even more interesting at second glance than the first… And yet you define what “better photos” actually mean to you. What does “better photos” mean to you?

And that’s exactly what brings you to the photos that people look at for more than a second in this dense noise of images that overflows us at every corner. This is how you find your own way to stand out and take photos that only you can take.

I deliberately do not show any further examples in this exercise. The most important point about the exercise is the thoughts you put into it.

Sometimes, the thousands of tutorials and inspiration you can find online today are more part of the problem than part of the solution. We don’t learn by “replicating” individual pieces of a puzzle. By practicing these individual skills and doing them the way they were shown to us.

We learn when we have to strain our brains. When someone puts us on the right path, shows us how to put one foot in front of the other, and then lets us fall on our face and then immediately picks us up again, gives us courage, and maybe tells us where our mistakes were.

They say that if you put ten photographers in front of 1 subject, you will probably get ten very different pictures of the same subject.

Precisely because your thoughts, your perspective, your perception, and your interpretation are so much more important than the camera and any other piece of equipment in photography. Cameras, flashes, and all the other expensive fun are just tools, just like the pots for the cook. What you make of it is entirely up to you and within you. And unlike a camera that anyone can buy, the way you look at things actually makes your images unique. This is your only chance to stand out and find your own style. And my goal is not to show you a single recipe that you can then cook. My goal is to give you a basic understanding of how the tools and ingredients work so that you can use them to create your own dish