I have done this blog now for several years, and it hits me more now than ever that the most important thing people miss when they take photos, is “seeing” a photo. How do you “see” a photo? Is it that you just walk up into the canyon and put your best foot forward and do the best at composition? “Seeing” a photo is something that is all around you, and it’s the little things that people miss, when they are standing right next to the subject they thought was so important.
Let me give you some examples. I have been finding these photos as well in various places, mostly Facebook because you have so many photographers putting their work on Facebook.
In the photo above, you may have seen photos like this of Southern Utah / Northern Arizona. The big tall mountains of rocks in the distance. But, look at this photo more carefully. Did this photographer “see” something different than everyone else? Oh yeah! This photographer wandered around the site that probably every photographer stood, and captured the real starkness of this desert: the dead trees and sagebrush struggling. This photo is just so much more than the photo of the steeples of the rocks. You have to learn to look around.
There are so many beautiful photos of the ocean done with a long shutter speed to get the “dreamy’ effect, where the water is blurred. It makes for a great photo, all of them. But, can you see what we have been missing all this time by not taking the photo of the waves using a high speed shutter? I am guessing the photographer got wet taking this photo, but, isn’t this unique?
Yes, this is an image of a penguin. Do we really need to see all of the penguin? Yes, but, also looking up close, what do you see that you don’t see when you get the whole bird. The coloring of it’s bill, the tiny spots on the head, the small eyes. All that is more amazing than the whole bird. Now if we could only put their odor in the photo (haha).
Here’s another photo of “seeing” a photo. I am sure the photographer went out to get a picture of the sunrise (sunset). As you look out into the field, you can see what a nice photo that would be. Most photographers will miss the fence in front of them all covered in frost. A chain-link fence is not something you would think of. Take your time and walk around and find these little things that most people would miss.
Here’s another great example of “seeing” a photo opportunity, or being prepared to capture more than the usual pose. Any animal might give you a totally different photo that the one you took, IF you take the photos with your motor drive doing it’s thing. You might end up taking 10, 15 30 photos, but, there might be a photo that is so unusual that it might be an award winning photo. Try it. You know, at some point you can delete all those other photos that you don’t need or use.
Taking photos of people is fun to do. I do one thing, and every one of the people I do this to, like it. And that is to start taking pictures before they get ready, and to continue taking pictures after you have done the original photo you were taking. The Photo above, the guitarist wanted a picture of him playing his guitar. Now isn’t this a better photo, to get him in action. So, don’t stop taking photos of people once you have taken the original photo. Keep the motor drive running with people as well.
This photo above is an award winning photo from Japan. This brings me to the point that you should never stop taking photos during action time. Keep the camera rolling and you too, might get an award winning photo.
More amazing photos NOT missed by learning to “see” a photo: