When I come across a scene I like, I try to shoot as many compositions as possible. Rarely do I stumble upon the best camera angle right from the start. It takes time to explore the subject - shooting it from different positions while varying the lens focal length too. Best yet, I often come up with more than one photography composition that I like.
Seattle, Washington, is one of my favorite cities to photograph. Such a visual variety of subjects! And during the BetterPhoto Summit photography conference in Seattle, we visited the Olympic Sculpture Park.
The color contrast of the park's red chairs and green grass caught my eye. (See the images below.) Fortunately, I was able to shoot the scene on two mornings - with two very special kinds of light. On one morning, the white sky produced beautifully soft light - shown in three of the accompanying photos. On the other morning, a low-angled sun created some fine shadows - shown in the image with the three chairs.
All of these photos were captured with my Nikon D3 camera and 70-300mm Nikkor lens. As with all stationary scenes, I also used a tripod - not only to keep the camera rock steady but also for getting the composition as good as possible.
Here's my tripod "workflow": I begin the shooting process without the tripod - by zooming in, zooming out, moving closer, backing up, checking out the view from the side. Only when I find a photographic design that I like do I break out the tripod and fine-tune the framing.
Spending time with your subject is one of the best things you can do to take your photography to the next level. And when you are able return on another day, all the better!
Note: Learn more about making creative use of composition in photography through Kerry Drager's BetterPhoto.com online photography courses: Photography Composition and Creativity and How to Photograph Close-ups.
Also check out the other online photo courses at BetterPhoto.com.