So you arrive at a new scene and start snapping with your camera. then you go home and upload your images and go through them hoping that one of the compositions worked… does this sound like your workflow? If so read on…

I am constantly seeing photographers arrive at a scene and they have their camera in front of their eye before they have even looked at a scene. They are missing one important element to photography technique – ‘Looking’!

My advice on so many occasions is for a photographer to leave their camera in the camera bag and tripod folded up and just stand/ sit and look at what is in front of them for 5 minutes.

The difference between a snapshot and photographic art is the inclusion of feeling. Feeling is what the landscape artist attempts to convey in an image. If a photographer cannot feel the scene, how on earth will they ever be able to convey feeling in their shots? If you rush into a scene and snap away without first looking at the scene, there is no way you can feel it. If you can feel the scene, there is no guarantee that you will be able to convey feeling, but you have a much better chance.

Just relax and let your eyes wander. After 5 minutes you will notice things in the scene that I guarantee you didn’t see when you arrived. You eyes will notice finer details, patterns leading lines. The next stage is to analyse which way your eye moves across the scene and from here we compose.

So often I hear the phrase – ‘If I take hundreds of pictures, of of them is bound to be good!’ Why not take those hundred pictures in your mind before saving the good one for your camera? you batteries, shutter curtain and memory cards will be happier.

Red Dawn

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