Tag Archives: 6

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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What Are Your 6 Resolutions For 2013?

The New Years holiday is one of the most challenging holidays for photographers.  Some photographers will work tonight, others, like myself, will spend the last waning hours of 2012 opening a bottle of Asti Spumante and celebrating quietly in the peaceful bliss of my living room. While sipping the Asti, I’ll be thinking about last year, this year, and the year to come.  It’s the most dangerous time of the evening when people start thinking about their New Year resolutions.

New year resolutions are like promises that you make to yourself. Oh, there is the typical promise to exercise or to lose weight.  But let’s be real here.  Those will probably last a few weeks and then be forgotten.  It’s the small resolutions that count.  Here are some examples.

  • I want to use the equipment I have on hand to make better pictures.  I would love to buy a new macro lens and a wide-angle lens this year.  Realistically, I’ll be fortunate to buy a lens cap.  So, I need to use the equipment I have to the most effect.


  • I want to ask one of my friends to take a portrait of me.  I need a new picture for social media and other functional things.  This one is hard for me.  I’ve always liked taking pictures because I’m the one behind the camera and not in front of it.  I’m not camera-shy, I just don’t like my picture being taken.  Kind of weird isn’t it?


  • I want to go someplace new this year, like Savannah, Georgia or Yosemite National Park.  Adventure!  Excitement!  Alaska!  Of course, there is always Bora-Bora and Italy.  Hey, if you’re going to dream, dream big! I’ll have to see what my lens cap budget says.


  • I want to spend more time with other photographers.  I have a friend that shoots weddings and fine art.  He has invited me to go get coffee and just talk.  I’m going to take him up on the offer.  I also want to meet other photographers and start talking more.   I have a lot to learn about photography and a book will only get you so far.


  • I want to take advantage of opportunities as they become available.  People do not take advantage of the opportunities that are given to them.  Most of the time it’s because our thoughts are “in the clouds” and not concentrating on what is important at that moment.   I want to become more aware of those personal and business opportunities so that I can use them for others and mine benefits.


  • I want to spend more time with my wife. This one is the most important resolution. This New Year will mark 20 years of aggravation and financial uncertainty that marriage can bring.  It also marks my magic 5th year of being a cancer survivor.  All of which my wife has been there for and supported me during all of it and I am the better for it.


I’m interested in what your resolutions are.  How are you going to help yourself or others become not only better photographers but better people?  Comment below!

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