Getting to know your subject better will help you create more powerful images.
What does it mean to go deep photographically?
When you want to go really deep within a photograph the first thing to do is to choose one subject and spend time with it. This subject can be a person, friend, family or maybe if you’re feeling particularly brave, a stranger.
Spend some time getting to know them, sit down and listen to them, ask them questions and find out what their story is. Take notes and pay attention to your own emotions and reactions. Your subject and also be a landscape, cityscape or just a portion of either of those.
Is there a particular tree nearby that has it’s own story? What about that abandoned building that’s been standing for years? Do some research and find out the story behind your subject if it’s not a person. Think about the best ways you can tell that story in an image or a series of images.
What makes a powerful image?
Everyone and everything has a story. In this day and age, we’re all working to get the postcard shot, the pretty landscape and to record the scene we see. These are lovely and beautiful but sometimes they’re just that and they do not present any further information. Going deep, shooting with meaning and impact and getting to know your subject can help add more to that which would be postcard shot. We can add character, and we can add the why behind a person or scene. These help the viewer of your images feel more and be transported when they look at your images.
Telling a story in photography is sometimes overwhelming. We question how a tree can be a story or an architectural image can be a story. Break it down to make it simple. Choose your subject, choose something or someone that has meaning to you personally. After you’ve gotten to know your subject make sure you know the right times to create the images, the right lighting and the rhythm of the person or subject.
Scout your subject/location and create sketch shots. Take several images in different ways, angles and light. See what works, figure out which lens works best to create that story. The composition is key in storytelling and creating impact. Be sure to arrange your subject and any other elements in the scene in the way that tells the story the best.
Remember, you tell the story different than anyone. Share these stories (images) with your subject, print and frame them and give them as a gift.
Photo BootCamp Magazine
On the following pages, find out what our BootCamp members have created by going deep with their images
And be sure to check out how you can join BootCamp at the end of the magazine!
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Alternatively if you have a slower connection you can view this magazine Here on ISSUU.
Below is a small sample of what’s in this magazine…
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Inside BootCamp Magazine
Let’s take a look at this month’s magazine. Here’s our featured artist of the month, Denise McKay, from the USA.
For her featured image, Denise spent hours with this flower in her home studio (spare bedroom, sewing room, office, etc.). She combined natural light from a large window with a continuous LED light filtered through a white umbrella. She moved the light several times, moved the flower, moved her camera, etc. all in the attempt to capture the feeling of a warm embrace from the curled petals in the center of the rose. Denise then spent more hours in post-processing to accentuate the texture of the rose petals that sometimes aren’t as apparent until you are taking a macro shot. This was her result. The rose was actually yellow, but she converted it to a duo-tone image.
Comment: Brent Mail – “I’m mesmerised by this image of yours Denise – there are so many layers of goodness here. The colours, the texture, the way my eyes drawn into the heart of the flower – I really do appreciate all the work has gone into this image. Planning!”
This month’s featured magazine cover image is from Erez Shilat from Israel. Traditional woodworking. Erez found it difficult to create an interesting image that would emphasize the spirit of the work and would be happy to get improvement suggestions. He tried many setups before setting this one, most were boring. Most light is natural light coming from the image right, but he used a snooted flash low from the left to give the hand and the chisel handle more structure. He wanted the low shutter speed to get the motion blur for the hammer.
Comment: Tessa Blewchamp – “This is great Erez. I love the lighting and the captured movement. Including the detail in the foreground helps to provide context.”
Let’s have a look at these awesome artworks from our active members and be inspired with what they have created by going deep into their images.
Let’s start with Christian Piron from the Belgium. When walking in a big city, there are a variety of different buildings. Among them also high ones with living units and office space. During Christian’s walk between those buildings he not only looked around him at eye level but also upwards. It is sometimes quite remarkable what can be seen. With his picture he tries to visualize how beautiful a manmade construction can be with the reflected colours in the windows and the curves of the construction. Beside this he wants to show the feeling of seeing them reaching to the sky.
Comment: Brent Mail – “Simply stunning Christian! I think what makes this image so good are the blue reflected windows amongst the copper coloured superstructure, it’s like there is a little window into nature within a man made creation. Love all the curvy lines and I think that single white ceiling light within the blue window really grabs my attention. Stunning!”
Next we have Dave Koh from Singapore. This photo is the same dance series that he submitted. Emphasizing on the full stretch and concentration on the dancers.
Comment: Christian Piron – “Dave, great picture with a scene in full action although frozen at the right moment. Good composition. Strong leading lines in the triangle woman-man-umbrella. Personally I like both versions coloured and B&W. Well done.”
And last but not least is from Kerrie Clarke from Australia. Her heart really lies with nature based photography, so for this challenge Kerrie was attempting to get up close and deep within the forest, which is about 10 mins from her house. It’s been about waiting for a shimmer of light to penetrate the forest floor through the tall overhead canopy. Moss on Tree Fern trunk. She then cropped from both sides to eliminate distracting vegetation.
Comment: Denise McKay – “Really nice photo of your forest Kerrie. I like all of the different textures, the moss, bark on the trees, different sizes of trunks, limbs, lighting, etc. It gives me a sense of beginning a mysterious adventure trekking through this forest.”
Aren’t these images full of feeling and meaning? Going deep with images is not always easy. You need to take some time, get to know your subject and learn what the best way to tell its story might be. Don’t be afraid to try. You can also count on the community to help and guide you along the way. If you are not yet a member of this awesome family this is the best time to be one. You can check out the complete BootCamp Magazine and see for yourself!
- Get to know your subject, slow down and spend time with it. This will help you better tell the story.
- Choose your subject, scout locations, create sketch shots to determine the best time of day, best light, which lens to use and what works.
- The composition is key in going deep and creating impact. Simplify and arrange your subject in a way that tells the story best.
Did you enjoy this article? Check out these related articles, too:
- Telling a Story Through An Image Using Patterns
Using patterns to draw your viewer’s attention to you artistic images.
- Photography, Meet Simplicity
Practice minimalism to develop your artistic eye.
- Leading Viewers On A Journey Through An Image!
A creative way to use leading lines to make your images more exciting and meaningful.
Do This Now
Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to know what you think. Brent
I never see photos of food in your emails. I don’t know where or how to start – any suggestions?
Great idea Sharon. I’ll write a blog about this in the future. Brent
Congrats to Denise McKay for being the featured artist and Erez Shilat for you wonderful cover image. So good. Brent