If you or I were a camera, it would have a resolution of 576 megapixels, 10 to 20 times more than today's cameras. That's a lot of data too much, as it turns out, for the brain to process without imploding, and especially so, given that much of the data our eyes collect is unnecessary to everyday life. So to prevent a catastrophic meltdown, your brain simply ignores much of what your eyes see, which is great, say, when you're driving a car and need to concentrate on avoiding hazards. But not so good when you're taking pictures because what our brain ignores, the camera doesn't with a camera. What you see is what you get with the wig cameras see and record everything. Which brings me to point number one. When you look through your viewfinder, every pixel counts. It's important you take time to explore the whole image space and notice every detail present in the frame, not just the area where the action is taking place or where the subject happens to be, and you have to decide how that d...
etail is going to affect your composition and what to do about it. a simple trick I've learned over the years, irrespective of what I'm photographing, is to review the image space in sections section by Section I mentally divide the viewfinder into small boxes, so in my head it looks something like this. Then I look at what's going on visually in every one of those boxes to assess what part they're playing in relation to my visual narrative. What I'm looking for are positive elements and negative ones. So let's review my scene here. I have a central subject, the lighthouse, the beach huts. Give me some mid ground interest and the track leads the I from the foreground into the picture space. These are positive elements, all adding to my story. But what else do we see here? There's a bent sticking out from this green hut here. There's a light colored stone block and a van, and they're distracting telegraph wires and telegraph poles in the background as well as a concrete building. And my leading lines don't go to the lighthouse. But past it now every one of these objects is a distraction that I need to get rid of before I settle on a composition and press the shutter, which in this case I can do simply by moving my position a few feet to one side. Of course, with some subjects, this is easier, while with others is easier said than done with mostly static subjects, you have time to carefully consider the image space with wildlife or sport to pick two examples. You're often acting in split seconds, and there isn't enough time to go through this process while you're shooting away. Which is why I try to anticipate the action and set my framing before I make the shot. Here is an example of what I mean for this image. I wanted to capture a sense of the bear looming interview. So as the bear approached, I quickly studied the environment and found this spot. I like the way that all grasses and the driftwood create a natural foreground barrier from which the bear emerges and the stony outcrop creates an implied circle that takes you from the foreground around to the bear. The background was nice and Uncluttered, and it gave me the perfect backdrop for the subject, and then I waited to press the shutter, so there was separation between the grasses and the bear. So the next time you look through your viewfinder, remember what the camera sees is what you get, so make sure that what you get is what you want. If you like the idea of dividing the picture space into a grid, most digital cameras have an electronic grid that is turned on by the setup menu. It usually shows that one third grid rather than the more focused one I use in my head, but it's a great place to start now. Another option is to get a screen cover like this and draw a grid onto it. You can then use the LCD screen to review the image space again. It's not perfect as you won't be able to use it for moving shots, but it will work with static scenes like landscapes, and it's great practice for creating the habit of doing it in your head