yellow sunflower

How to find a better subject

This is another important area to understand so that our images stand out tall and actually showcase what you as a photographer want to show. This happened to me a lot of times that I reach a beautiful destination which is just mesmerizing. Everything there is just awesome, and I clicked a lot of pictures to capture the beauty of the place, capture as much as possible in one single frame and feel elated about it, only to realize later that although the pictures are good but they are not great. They lack that WOW factor, that story that I wanted to tell to the world. They were flat and sometimes even boring.  

Though the image comes out to be technically correct, rightly exposed, well lit but it still lacks that emotional connect which I wanted to portray. May be a little careful composition , following some rules of thirds, or framing, etc. could have helped but only marginally. So, the question we need to answer while shooting an image is that Is it showing the emotion or feeling that you truly want to portray?

An Ace photographer, a master in his art, and sometimes even a newbie, can immediately find an interesting subject and compose it beautifully at the given location. This may be possible with their inherent talent or with lots of practise and diligence. They can portray the beauty of the place, the mood, the emotion , their feelings ,in just a single shot.  

So, next question is How do we develop that natural instinct to capture the beauty of the location? Well the good thing is that it can be learnt, You can develop a natural eye. Instead of clicking multiple images and getting one or two good shots by using composition rules but still wondering what is going wrong when we cannot repeat the similar result ,lets understand certain basics which may help us get a good image most of the times. An image that portrays the true essence and feel of the place.   Lets try and understand this with the following pointers:


Whenever You arrive at a scene, Try to find out something that is Interesting in the scene and how does the place make you feel and the most important thing How will you express that feeling?

Finding answers for these three things will give you a clarity of thoughts which will help you explore the location with a clear perspective. It will also help in eliminating distractions while making a composition.

Here the following picture is trying to express the warmth of the golden sunlight amidst the green fields. Am I able to make the viewer feel my emotion? This question needs to be answered in every image captured.

green- fields-sunlight-sun

Don't Take out your camera:

As photographers, we are so used to unpack the camera as soon as we reach the spot. We will almost instantly setup our Tripod, fix the flash and start shooting. I would suggest that instead of unpacking our gear, we should first take a walk around the place. This will help you to discover various angles which can be more interesting, you may even find things, subjects, objects, that could bring a spark to your image. It may bring out that WOW factor in your image.

It will help you understand the location better, express the emotion that you are experiencing and also give you various different spots to shoot from rather than getting the same kind of result every time.

Here in this image, when a waterfall is shot from a different angle makes it little unique. Did you notice the teeny-tiny spider there?


Break Up:

Ok, so this is not about breaking up your camera but about the scene which you are looking at. Try and break up the scene in different elements present there. Only look at the trees there or only the mountains or water streams, etc.. Because, it’s very easy to capture everything that is in front of us in one single image, but the point is that its pointless. It will not have any subject to grab the attention of the viewer. It will neither have a great story to tell nor the emotion to convey.

So, what can you do to add interest in your image? Cut off all the wasted space. Then, remove all the things that are of little interest , be brutal, otherwise it would be difficult to capture an image which is really conveying your feelings about the place.

You need to follow the process of capture-reassess-eliminate multiple times till you arrive at a satisfying image. Remember, one perfect element can make the image really beautiful rather than stuffing it up with everything available at the spot. This image below eliminates the sky and only captures the greens showing the depth of the place.


zoom Zoom Baby!!

Always try to zoom in at varied lengths to check if there is any interesting element that can help you capture a great picture. The other benefit of zooming is, it helps to eliminate unnecessary stuff from the scene. It will also assist in discovering a subject with a different composition. We may sometimes get such enchanting patters that may just make our day. Look at the beautiful curves created in this image. .


Play with exposure:

Play around with different Exposures. Different shutter speeds and apertures. It will make the subject stand out. For example, if you shoot water with a fast shutter speed, you can show the force of water and with slow shutter speed you can show its serenity and calmness.

If you want to shoot tulip fields, long shutter speed is used to blur the colours when they move in the breeze. Slow shutter speed can be used to create a shallow depth of field and capturing a single tulip in isolation.

Another option could be moving the camera while shooting with a longer shutter speed or zooming in will also create an abstract image that can show a different mood of the scene.

pink-tulip- flower-photography

composition rules:

Once you have found an interesting subject, now it’s the time to apply rules of composition. You can revisit some of the Rules of composition here. These are important aspects that every photographer should know so that you can break it more effectively.

Journey to following these rules of composition is honestly very dull and boring, until you visualise the shot in your mind and that will guide you towards the right shot.

I hope these points would help you shoot better with more meaningful subjects that truly convey your emotions.

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