The Photographic Process
all right, so let's talk about the photographic process. We've basically gone through just about everything I can teach you here. And so let's kind of put the final bits together, shall we say so? Five steps in thinking about what you need to do to work on any particular photograph is first up. Identifying what your subject ISS, and really identifying what's most important and everything about it. We'll talk more about each one of these little steps here. Next up is figuring out where you can shoot that particular subject, your point of view. Then you're going to dial in your exposure. You'll figure out your focus, and then you'll find tuned your composition. Now this is the order in which it's often done but not always done. And so sometimes you might know exactly how you want the have things focused right at the beginning. Or you might know the exact composition that you're gonna have and where you have to be. It varies from situation to situation, of course, but this is usually the ...
common scenario of what you need to do first, next, next and next. So let's talk about subject identification. What makes for a good photograph. Well, the first thing to realize is that remember, you have a box. That's all you get in. Photography is you get a box and you've got to put your stuff in the box. And people don't know what's not in the box. For good or for bad. They don't know about that other stop. So try to use that to your advantage by showing on Lee what you want. So I think a good objective is not to try to capture everything that you see, but something that tells a clear story. Whatever that story is, just try to make it as clear as you can. You're gonna want to look around the environment for whatever it is that you're doing, whether you're shooting portrait's or sports or anything else. You know? What are you expecting to find? What would you like to find? What's most unusual? What's the most interesting thing? What is necessary to capture in that particular environment? A lot of people fall in love at first sight, you know, and they really have a hard time. Is there something better? And, uh, you know, there is an understandable choice for this because you know, we may never see it again. And I've led a number of tours to Cuba, and one of things that happens on every trip is you get out of the airport, you get to the parking lot, you start putting your stuff in the bus and oh, my gosh, There's an old car and you take a picture of the old car. You take a whole bunch of pictures of the all time like they're gonna get better. There's more of them here. Don't worry about getting all your pictures in this parking lot because this is not the best cars were gonna photograph. When you're out photographing and you see some flowers or a tree that you want to photograph, you know, Yeah, Part of you says, get the photograph before it's gone and there is a good element of truth there. But there's another part that says, Now, wait a minute. Is there more to choose from? Because we can be a little choosy here. We can choose which one we want to shoot with, and so we're gonna have to judge how good is the subject. And then we also have to judge what can I do with it. There is a reality TV show that I do not watch, but I am aware of. I think it's called The Voice, and it's where singers come on in the audition. And then there's a bunch of other professional famous singers and they're listening and they're listening to see if they're a good singer. But they're also listening if they're the type of person that they can work with to help win this competition. And so it's not just is this a good subject? But is this something that I really have the tools to work with? That I have the knowledge to work with and all of you have your own skill sets and they're going to be getting better, And you can choose to work with something you're not good at to improve. Or you can choose to work with something you're good at so that you can get the best shot possible with it. And so every once in a while I'll look around and I'll see something and I'll be like I just didn't just didn't bring out the super telephoto lens, You know, I'm not gonna bother shooting it cause I don't have the right gear to work with that particular thing. Evaluate your subject. Be really clear about what it iss what's most important about it? Is this the right time to photograph it? Can you come back and shoot it again? And you know, it takes a lot of I don't know, guts or skill or something to go. Wow, this is a great photograph. Not right now, But I'm gonna come back tomorrow. I'm not. I'm gonna shoot it today. You know, that takes a lot of guts. Just, you know, to say I'm gonna come back. And it depends on what type of photography you do is to whether you need to get something right now and I'll come back and get it better later. Maybe if I have. If I have the opportunity, I'm but just be really clear about what you want to shoot. And that box said everything in that box. What you want to be in there? Is there anything that's in the box that you need to diminish or something else that you can do about it? So if there is a problem with it, what can you do about your point of view, and so figuring out where you can shoot this is this is probably my biggest frustration, and photography is Where can I am I? Where am I allowed to go to shoot this photograph? Anyone who shoots professional sports, you know your regulated to certain areas that you can be here and you can't be there because that's for people who pay a lot of money to sit there on. And I get frustrated when I go to a national park and they have a boardwalk and they don't want anybody walking anywhere else. And you have to stay here. You can't go anywhere else. And so I love it when you can get into an environment, you know, like an open park where you can move around and be anywhere you want and so explore every place that you can get. Can you get up and shoot from the second floor? Can you get down here? And she can You get into the moat at Husky Stadium and shoot nice and low? What can you do and where can you get to get an interesting point of view? And then we go through those five basic concepts that we already talked about at length back in the exposure section. Section number four. How are you going to deal with this photograph? What is your main objective? Are you trying to go a shallow depth of field? You want lots of depth of field? Are things moving in there? And it's usually one of those five. Sometimes it's in between two of them, but it's usually just one of those five. That's pretty easy to decide what you're going to do with that particular subject. And then you go through the process of dialing in those numbers and making those equations and trading one for the other and figuring out with the best balances for that particular situation. Usually then I'm figuring on the focusing How my dialing that end by using autofocus manual focus. Single point all the points focused, tracking all those sorts of things. Then I'm kind of worried about this once the exposure is in, and then I'm ready to set the final composition, and this is where once I've got the exposure set and I got my main thing said, That's when I start moving the camera around to adjust left side right side where I want that particular subject. And then if it's important, you better check it. Check the history, Graham, to make sure that you got the right exposure check focusing to see that you got the folks right, magnifying into 100% to see that you got it right. And then check the composition for content that you wanted is the horizon level. And then border patrol is where you go around the edges and make sure that you didn't include something that you didn't intend to be There. All right. And then what should you dio? Well, should you take a second shot? We talked a little bit about this before. You might want to take a second Exxon second shot if it's a tricky exposure. And so maybe issued in a second picture that's over exposed or under exposed from what you think at the time so that you have a backup one to go to if something went wrong on the 1st 1 Sometimes I shoot landscapes and I don't want to close down all the way where I get to fraction. And so I'll shoot at 16 f 16. But then I will close down to F 22 just in case I need it on that shot, so I'll have to different variants of that same shot. But most of the time it's the composition that I'm doing and doing something different and I'm doing something slightly wider for that question that we had earlier off. What if I need this to fit a different format? I need a little bit looser frame and there's a number of situations I can think back. Arched really knocked myself. Should have thought that a little bit wider. It's good that I got it tight, so I got one good shot. But if I had shot it a little bit wider, I could have been able to use it in a different way than I had to because I shot it so tight and so it's okay to shoot a number of images. I don't know what the average number of shots that I shoot for a particular subject. I think it varies quite a bit, but I would say that number is probably around 10 This for us. How many shots I need is the first few, usually not so hot. You know, I came off with an idea and it didn't exactly work. And then I gotta adjust and figure out what looks good. But usually, after about 10 shots, things start settling. In some cases, I'm sure I've shot 100 but not nearly as many. And so figure out how many you need and kind of work through the little process because it is a working process, and so that's what I consider the photo five step.