White Chrysanthemum

6 Questions To Ask Before Taking A Picture

When you think about it, the photographer has to answer a lot of questions before you can actually take a picture.

How is the picture being made?   What’s the real conditions and environment for the picture and what are my responses to those conditions?

  1. Am I using my camera in the horizontal position or the vertical?  What fills the viewfinder better.
  2. Am I using a very fast shutter speed to get a crisp clean look, or am I going to use a long shutter speed to blur the image a bit?  Realistic or artistic?
  3. What lighting source do I have?  Do I have natural lighting, like the sun or moon, or artificial, like street lamps and /or studio lighting.
  4. What’s my angle?  This is important to getting a great picture.  Sometimes the best angle is directly above the subject and sometimes from below.  A question I sometime have to ask is ” Do I really need to lay in that mud to get the shot?”
  5. Do I need to follow one of the rules of composition for this, if so, which?  I could choose to use the rule of thirds, the rule of lines, or the golden ratio.  Maybe I don’t want to follow the rules.  Maybe I’m feeling rebellious and wish to wing it that day.  Each rule or “way” can have you placing your subject in a slightly different place in the viewfinder of your camera.
  6. Do I need to change the scene?  You have a great shot of a beautiful flower.  Everything works out great until you get it home, load it on the computer, and then discover that one of the leafs on the plant next to the flower had a dead spot on it.  Your attention to the flower is totally dominated by this dead brown thing.


Its possible to ask and answer some of these questions in the same breath.  I can imagine that those people who take thousands of photographs a year probably know the answers almost before the question is even asked in their minds.  Nonetheless, this is  only a beginning of the questions you ask of yourself before you start snapping away.


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