Here are the questions I need to ask:
- what thought or feeling am I trying to express?
- what role does color play?
- what would this scene look like with a tighter lens?
- what is it about this specific moment that made me choose it instead of taking the photo a moment sooner or later?
- do my chosen technical (camera) settings help me tell the story in the way they are supposed to?
- what can I use to diminish the "unnecessary" in the photo without diminishing the "necessary"?
- can a shift in my position or change in my lens, make elements in the photo relate to each other better?
- where are the lines in the photo and would a change in framing (vertical or horizontal) make it stronger?
- could I change the lines to better direct the eye?
- what is the light doing?
- is there depth in the image and could there be more or would it benefit from less?
- are there repeated elements in the scene that provide a visual echo or rhythm to the photo?
A good place to start this discussion would be taking a peek at one of the photos I did on the same day in the same field.
Here's the out of camera shot and the edited version side-by-side.
Emmett happened to be a bit further from this horse. See that tree to the left? Well watch what happens to it in this image of Emmett.
So, even though I did not know it, I was applying some of the principles of this week's lesson to my thought process. What thought or feeling am I trying to express? One of serenity, calmness, the beauty of nature and animals together. That was always my intent.
What role did color play? The colors of the sky grabbed my attention that day. The warmth of the sun was an important feature of this session in the field. Although I had thought about a tighter format, what I also wanted to convey was the expanse covered by the sky, the field, and the environment in general, and then bring that all down to one horse (which just happened to be our horse on that day).
Ultimately, below then, is the photo that says what I hoped to say on this day. Emmett very cooperatively moved a bit to his right on his own, and I moved myself around to capture a different exposure. He framed himself nicely between the two trees, there is a good fence line showing, and the sky, while a little changed, is still the expansive backdrop, this time with the sun showcasing Emmett while he grazes.
My new photo for this week is below. We had a bit of snow (just a little) this past week and some pretty frigid temps. Lilah, who normally loves snow, could not get over how cold it was. When she thinks it's too cold to be outside, she sits in a pretty pose in the middle of the yard just waiting for me to say "IN." Cycle that it is, this is just what I wait for to say it. Do you think I asked the right questions in making this image?