Composition: Don't Stop Now ... Keep Shooting

Have a photogenic subject? Work it in as many ways as you can!

by Kerry Drager

Self-Portrait & Truck 1a
Self-Portrait & Truck 1a
© Kerry Drager
All Rights Reserved
Whenever I find a photogenic (and static) scene that really motivates me, I work it every which way I can within whatever time constraints I have. This means trying different compositions, different focal lengths, or different lighting angles. But this process also might mean the following:

Try different f/stops ... in order to experiment with the depth of field (the range of sharpness in the scene).

Try different shutter speeds ... in order to experiment with subject motion - by freezing the action or by showing a soft blur of movement.

'42 Ford Dump Truck
'42 Ford Dump Truck
© Kerry Drager
All Rights Reserved
If possible, I�ll even go back for seconds - maybe even thirds! Here�s why I do it, and why you should, too:

The act of shooting a subject, inspecting the results later (especially after the initial excitement of the shooting session has cooled down), and then returning for a re-shoot is a valuable way to develop your self-critiquing abilities ... while also improving your photographic vision.

This article is excerpted from Kerry Drager's BetterPhoto.com course: Field Techniques: Light and Composition





About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Kerry Drager
Photography Instructor: Kerry Drager
The content manager and course advisor for BetterPhoto.com, Kerry Drager is also the co-author of two books: The BetterPhoto Guide to Creative Digital Photography (2011) and The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Light (2012). In addition, he teaches photography online at BetterPhoto's digital photography school.

Be sure to check out Kerry's Pro BetterPholio website - www.kerrydrager.com.

Also, he is the author of Scenic Photography 101, the photographer of the photo-essay books The Golden Dream: California from Gold Rush to Statehood and California Desert , a contributor to the books BetterPhoto Basics and Daybreak 2000, and a co-photographer of Portrait of California. In addition, Kerry was profiled in the April 1994 issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine and in Vik Orenstein's 2010 book The Photographer's Market Guide to Building Your Photography Business, and his website was showcased in the January 2003 issue of Shutterbug magazine. Plus, his work has appeared in magazines, Hallmark cards and Sierra Club calendars, and in advertising campaigns for American Express and Sinar Bron Imaging.

Also follow Kerry on Facebook, where he posts photos several times a week that include shooting tips.

Kerry lives with his wife, Mary, on California's Central Coast, with their three Newfoundland dogs, four cats, and a mixed terrier.