Can you “see” a photo before you make it? One person couldn’t.
I recall Darwin Wigget describing how he had his camera set up on a tripod to take a landscape shot. Someone wandered by and asked what he was photographing. Darwin invited him to look through his camera. The person was surprised at the wonderful view and exclaimed, “You must have an expensive camera.”
I like to think that I have made some progress visualizing scenes though I’m sure there are days when I’ve missed some beauties. The challenge is that there’s no formula for what I like. (And we haven’t even started with your tastes!)
For example, given the choice between simple or busy – I thot I would pick simple. After all, the gurus I read have often talked about getting rid of the unnecessary clutter. Then I found two images that I quite like but they are notably different.
I was fortunate to find this beautiful coyote surrounded by multi-coloured grass that blurred together wonderfully into a undistracting background.
My eyes are immediately drawn to the attentive gaze of the coyote with those big, beautiful eyes. It makes a simple composition that draws attention to the unknown focus of the animal with all senses on high alert.
The contrast with the photo below is striking. There are trees, stumps, branches and shadows everywhere and even an elk in the middle of it all. It’s busy.
In this final image, I like how the trees on either side create a border leading me into the forest, the layers created by the ground and trees, as well as the elk catching the light. The attitude of the elk is just a bonus!
I love the golden light that complements the wild natural feel of the place. A perfect spot for an elk to hang out. I’ve driven by this location a few times hoping to spot wildlife to finish the scene.
It’s a joy to catch these scenes and capture the beauty that I visualized and felt at the time. As for the ones I miss, I probably need to get a better camera.