Today’s image is a re-post from quite a long time ago. Its also one of my personal favorites for many reasons.
I want to use today’s image to talk about concepts in photography and using visual design elements to work with those concepts. I don’t always go out and shoot with clear concepts in mind. Sometimes I go out to shoot just to be out shooting. Sometimes I go out to shoot and I don’t shoot anything. There are no rules you must follow, but there are always opportunities. Having concepts in mind that you enjoy working with will allow you:
1) To recognize new opportunities where you might not have seen them previously;
2) Permission to begin shooting if you get stuck or feel uninspired;
3) To develop a style, or look, to your images that is all your own.
CALM; a concept I work with often on Lake Superior - Shooting a subject with multiple personalities, like Lake Superior, can take a long time to get to know. It has a reputation for being surly, but I’ve spent the last few years photographing it in very different moods. The mood I like the best is when its dead calm, which happens QUITE OFTEN. I have really grown to enjoy this quiet, gentle yet powerful personality of the lake and work with that personality as a CONCEPT for many of my shots.
The visual design elements I used in this image (and many I shoot) were: super-slow shutter speeds combined with BIG WAVE ACTION of Lake Superior, shooting FOR black and white conversion in Photoshop, and a very simple, dramatic line/subject.
Sit down, make a list of adjectives that describe subjects you enjoy shooting, then build on those “concepts” using visual design elements, lighting, etc. to bring the concept (s) forward in your image. Then the next time you’re out shooting and feel unsure about what it is you’re trying to accomplish, come back to the concepts that draw you to the subject matter in the first place.
I’d love to hear from others in the comment section about what subjects they enjoy shooting and what concepts they work with when shooting that subject.