Tips for photographers: Choosing your subject

FINDING GOOD SUBJECTS is crucial, regardless of whether it’s a landscape, person, or activity. It is not only about capturing people and places in travel and adventure imagery but also about creativity. Your imagery should be creative and appealing to viewers.

First, you need to understand that not all images are the same. Why? Because the viewer isn’t seeing what you see.

Ask yourself why this scene appeals to you before you take a photograph. This is the thing you should emphasize in your photo. You could use expression, contrast, colour or the scene’s soul to accentuate it.

It is impossible to relate this to your viewers. Sometimes, you have to look for your subject. Photographers who are good at photography take in the surroundings and look for interesting angles or perspectives.

Finding good photography subjects

Nathan recommends that creativity is key to capturing the best shots.

“Once, I photographed Chung King Mansions in Hong Kong. This was Life Magazine. I tried for days to climb up onto the roof to photograph the drug dealers from Nepal, but I was unsuccessful. It was too dangerous. One day, I was walking along the filthy corridors when I came across a group seated there. I said hello, and we smoked cigarettes. I then told them my story. One of the older men looked at me and asked, “Do you want to see the real-life in this place?” I did and got some amazing shots.

Sometimes your subject is right in front of you, and you need to be creative. An American adventure photographer, Mike Tittel, says that he loves images that show a new angle or take on a familiar subject. “The best photos of travel/adventure are those that convey a sense of place and highlight the activities in a unique way.”

This helps you create a story in your head, and your photos reflect that. It will help if you are looking for details that add value to your photos, such as weathered faces or close-ups of food. Finally, remove everything that is not necessary. If you are taking a portrait, wait for the person in the background to pass. If it is a landscape composition, crop the power lines.

Photography is subject to the KISS rule, keeping it simple and stupid.

Photographs of freezing action

A shutter speed of 1/250 sec is the minimum shutter speed used to freeze fast-moving subjects. Fast sports will require a shutter speed of 1/500th to 1/1000th sec.

Photographs of panning

Pan the image and blur the background to separate the subject and the background. You will need to use a smooth panning technique with your left hand on the camera and your right hand on it. Shoot at approximately 1/15th to 1/30th of a second.

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