Learning to Choose Your Subject In Photography




What kind of photographs will you take; portraits, wildlife, street scenes, landscapes, or something else? This is one of many questions when it comes to photography. To create the best photograph possible you will want to have a solid understanding of the basic photography techniques. Most photographers, professional and amateurs alike, have a preferred subject they like photography. Just like other artists have a preferred medium (oils on canvas, material for sculpting, pencil or charcoal on sketch paper, and many more).

Photography is art and requires a certain kind of eye to capture the right image. What kind of subject will you photograph? Basically, what are you interested in? If your interest is in capturing wildlife then you will have to wait for the animal to come in view and pose in a pleasing way. But with people as your subject you have more control and can give direction to pose them. Still life photography gives you the greatest control over your subject. A still life subject will sit where you place it virtually forever, and without a complaining.

Practice and study is important to becoming an accomplished photographer. You have to choose your subject according to the techniques you want to practice. You would not want to use a fruit bowl (still life) to practice capturing motion (panning) – that just wouldn’t work. Many of us have to stay in the area around where we live limiting the availability of subjects. A landscape photographer has to use the land that is around them, unless they are going on vacation some place new. This is another factor in choosing a subject. It will depend on your ability to travel, down the block, across town, or across country.



When a subject speaks to you, shoot it. After a subject has spoken you decide on the technique that will render the most flattering image. Consider the lighting of the area. The angle you are going to shoot from also plays in deciding what the subject will be. The current lighting might not be the most flattering for the chosen subject and the other side of the subject may not yield the best photograph.

Many times the best subject is not the obvious one. To pick your subject you need good eye for details. Think of it as the photographer’s eye. Have you ever looked at something, maybe an old building, and were taken in by its texture or pattern, and not the complete building? We like to see patterns and texture, and that often tells us more about the subject, and is more flattering than looking at the subject as a whole.

Your eye is the best tool for finding a subject to photograph. How you choose your subject will depend on what is available to you, the angle of your observation, and the light. Moving slowly through, or around, an area will help you find a pleasing subject. You never know where you will find an image just waiting to be captured. Look under and around different objects to find something new and interesting to photograph.

Sometimes a person or pet will do something that will never happen again and that is why you want to have a camera that you know how to use without thinking about it, and is easily accessible. Many people interested in photography keep a camera with them at all time. This is a good habit to be in. You never know when you are going to be able to take a shot that results in a photography that you can sell. As you get better at taking pictures you can start displaying your work for others to see, and maybe even purchase.

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