Making an Image, Not Just Taking an Image

Making an Image Not Just Taking an Image

In this inaugural episode of the Images in Focus Photography Show, Juan Pons and David Swindler discuss the thought process behind making great photos. Topics include choosing your composition, defining the background, how to tell a story, and what kind of shot settings you should use! Learn how to plan your shots before you ever get out into the field. Take your photography to the next level with these pro tips.

While you are in the field, there are a number of small things you can do that will dramatically improve your compositions. Watch the video to see how I was able to completely change the feel of the photo below by just moving off the trail and climbing up a few feet higher. If you know what to look for, you can make these corrections in the field and your resulting imagery will be much more compelling!

Canadian Rockies Backcountry Skier

Many of my best shots require careful planning. It’s rare that things just fall in place just through serendipity. For this full moon shot of the Seattle Space Needle, I did some careful location planning ahead of time using apps like The Photographer’s Ephemeris and Photopills. In the video I talk about the intricacy needed in planning a full moon shot and some tips regarding time of day, height, and angles.

Seattle Space Needle Full Moon

When photographing wildlife, paying attention to the background can be very important. We were really excited when we first found these polar bear siblings sparring in the water. We hurried and took shots of the action as it unfolded (first image). But then I realized that the background was very messy. By simply moving a few degrees to the left, we eliminated the messy background, resulting in an image that is much cleaner and more eye-catching (second image below).

Polar Bears Sparring in the Water
Polar Bears Sparring in the Water

Interested in improving your photography while experiencing grand landscapes and wildlife? Join us on an upcoming photo workshop! See what we have coming up here:

Links mentioned on this episode: –

PhotoPills –

The Photographers Ephemeris –

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