working your subject

A common mistake made by inexperienced photographers is to not work their subject. How many times have you (or someone you are with) just taken the shot as soon as you stumbled upon the scene and then simply moved on? Instead, you should explore your subject. Try to envision what it would look like from a different angle. Walk around it. Get down low or up high.

Each of the following images was taken of the same ramp system in Atlanta’s High Museum of Art. Notice how I did take the straight on shot. However, I then started moving around and exploring the ramps from different directions and heights.



I climbed to the top floor and discovered these wonderful converging lines.



I then shifted over a few feet and discovered that I could get the line of the top rail to cross over the other lines.



I even walked into the ramps and started to see something completely different.



My point is that you need to work your subject and engage your imagination. If I hadn’t taken the time to explore this ramp system, I would have never discovered the wonderful lines and tones that it contained.

The next time you approach a scene, take the time to go the extra step. You just might be surprised by what you discover.


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