Today’s tip sounds simple and looks easy to do. But time and again, I’ve seen people miss the shot they’re after because they stop shooting after only one or two shots.
• Start shooting before the key moment and keep on shooting after.
Suppose your friends are fooling around, and you sense there could be a good photograph on the way. Don’t wait for that moment, but photograph from the get-go, immediately. With each change of position or gesture, shoot and keep shooting. In normal life, there’s usually a few seconds between each step leading up to a big moment. So, you’ll be making a shot every few seconds.
There are advantages to following action in this way:
• You get into the “groove,” moving with the action, following it better than if you watched passively.
• You are less likely to miss the big moment as you’re moving with the action.
• If you do miss the big moment (someone gets in the way, for example), you have the buildup to it. This action sequence can be just as much fun.
• It’s tricky to know what the best moment or best composition is until you’ve had time to check it out at leisure. Give yourself many options to choose from. For example, in the beach shot above, it was so bright, I couldn’t see what I was shooting on the phone’s screen. As people moved around and the scene changed, I just kept shooting. Only later did I make my choice from 28 shots.
Giving Yourself Options
It’s tough for any photographer to be sure of the best shot when action is flowing quickly or when there are many things going on at once, like in a festival or parade. That’s why pros shoot so much. It’s because they know the best way to catch the peak moment is to keep shooting.
To improve your options further, try these ideas:
• Frame your subjects in different ways: Place them in the center or put them near the picture edge.
• Shoot both upright (portrait) format, as well as sideways (landscape) format shots.
• Step in to shoot from close to the action, and also step back to get more of an overview.
For fast action, like someone jumping into a lake or a flying bird, use burst mode: many pictures shot in a short time (burst mode). Some give you options of exposure, focus, and so on (smart burst). Learn what your smartphone offers and try them out.
And a final word of advice: Don’t delete images you don’t like. Not yet! Your tastes may change. And you may see things in your photos later that you miss now. Keep your options open!
Tomorrow, let’s share a so-simple secret to making ravishing portraits.
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