First impressions can overwhelm your photographic senses.
It’s so easy to turn up at a new location and start firing off shots. The machine gun approach will actually damage your results. This simple trick will help you focus your photography.
Great locations seem to have so much to offer. You want to open yourself up to the whole experience. The problem is the new location will offer you too much to take in at once. You simply cannot take pictures of everything. In fact to try will just make your shots boring – you will be diverted from really interesting shots.
Try this simple plan…
When you arrive take these simple steps to help you get great shots:
- Go take the postcard shot that everyone takes – get it out of the way.
- Sit down and consider the whole location in photographic terms (10 mins).
- Think how you might shoot for the unusual views of the location.
- Work the scene.
- Use the “fifteen second appraisal” to check your composition.
Now go and take the shots you have come up with above.
This simple procedure can be applied to any location. It pulls together different photographic skills into one smooth shoot. The result of taking the time to do this full photographic assessment will be properly considered shots. They will be photographs you will be proud of because you have taken the time to consider what is needed to make great images.
Posted in Background Info., Composition, How to..., Shooting specific subjects, Things to try
Tagged Appriasal, Approach, Composition, Landscape, Photographic procedure, Point of view, Unusual point of view, Unusual views, Work the scene
Simple composition leads to great images.
We have all photo-walked with idol intent and fired off a few shots. I find this unproductive. How about a photo-walk with a composition principle in mind? That helps concentrate the mind wonderfully.
Walk with intent…
No, not criminal intent – photographic intent! If you want to go out for a photo-walk then sit down for two minutes first. Think of a random, generic subject. Try something like “squares”, or “wheels”. Even something more challenging like “Feet” or “Glass” would be good. Your idea can be tailored to where you are going to be walking. In the park you might go for “holes”, or “Rocks” or even “puddles”. In other words, give yourself something to focus on, to look out for and to challenge your view of an ordinary scene. The aim is to capture as many different types of your chosen subject as you can and picture them in as many interesting ways as possible.
I have played this game with myself many times. It’s fun and you get home with a memory card filled with lots of pictures with a common theme. This is great, especially for making a diptych, triptych or other sort of photomontage (not a collage – that’s not a photographic term).
A new idea
Today, I came across the video below. It is a great video explaining three simple principles of composition. Back to basics is always a good idea – even for the experienced photographer. It helps re-ground us in a little simplicity from time to time. The new idea I spotted was to undertake a photo-walk with a compositional principle as your photographic theme. In the video Mark Wallace explains about “pattern”, “unusual point of view” and “rule of thirds“. Then in the second part of the video he goes on a photo-walk in the park where he is looking for these three composition elements.
Digital Photography 1 on 1: Episode 32
This idea of a shoot with a compositional theme produces pictures where the content does not necessarily have a common theme. Instead this game is great for helping you to practice putting composition into your pictures. It is a way to renew your enthusiasm for simple composition at the same time as having fun and improving your photography. You can do it for any of the compositional elements. However, keep it simple, this is an exercise in learning about or getting back to basics.
Posted in Background Info., Composition, Shooting specific subjects, Things to try, Video included
Tagged Approach, Back to basics, Collage, Composition, Creativity, Diptych, Pattern, Photomontage, Point of view, Rule of thirds, Simplicity, Triptych, Unusual point of view, Video