Anatomy Of A Photo: Change Things Up

Sony a9 | Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
1/50 sec. at f/14; ISO 100
October 4, 2017
Grand Teton National Park

Whenever I’m leading a workshop, I keep an internal timer while monitoring what my students are up to. For the most part, they do a good job of regulating their time at any given location, but every now and then, they need a gentle reminder to change up their position or their composition. Too many times, I’ve seen attendees get quite disappointed when they import their photos only to see 400 of the exact same composition because they didn’t change things up.

I understand the importance of locking in a composition and waiting for the ideal light to occur, as was the case on this particular sunrise. However, at some point, you need to remind yourself to move on and look at things differently. In my case, once I got enough photos of the sunrise over Schwabacher Landing, I needed to clear my head and did so by changing my focal length altogether. Instead of a wide lens, I went long and looked for tiny details amongst my surroundings.

It just so happened that I caught the sun bursting through a little hole in a leaf above me. I aligned myself in such a way that I caught the burst through the hole, as well as the beautiful backlight rimming the edge of the frozen leaf. Ironically, this turned out to be my favorite photo from that sunrise shoot!


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