Throughout the year I make many visits to camera clubs around the Essex and Kent areas to present a number of different talks on various photography subjects. One of the most popular talks is entitled: “creating impact and mood in your photography”.
This talk concentrates on the thought process behind taking a good image. So I thought as it’s the start of the year this would make a good subject for my latest blog.
As photographers we all spend a lot of time developing our “photographer’s eye” so that we can identify a photogenic subject and good composition. But I think when it comes to creating a great image, the process starts way before we get the camera out and start thinking about the composition of the shot.
In many cases it’s about visualising the image in the mind first, so that an element of pre-planning can be achieved.
So, what do I mean? Well I have a location book in which I jot down various locations that have photographic potential. I will then think about what conditions in terms of weather, light and time of year will suit my subject. I’ll then also plan what focal length of lens, depth of field, shutter speed and any other technical considerations will help make the shoot a success. There are of course times when something will just happen and you need to capture the event or moment of great unexpected light. That’s also what photography is about. But in general the more effort you put into an image beforehand the better it will be.
Look at the image below. A lot of planning and effort went into this photograph. I wanted to shoot this location at sunset, but in order to have the banks of silhouetted reeds appear on the right side of the picture I also needed to shoot the picture at about twenty minutes before or after high tide. If I photographed the scene earlier or later, a load of distracting mud would be on show or the tide would be too high and you wouldn’t see them at all.
So in order for this image to work I needed a good sunset to coincide with the exact right tide time. It took a good many attempts before everything came together. Persistence and good planning pays off in the end. So why not spend a little more time thinking about the images you would like to create in 2015? A late new year’s resolution perhaps.