Did the image on the right capture your attention? Chances are you’ve clicked and viewed it’s larger size. Yes, those are two tractor’s dumping thousands of floating rubber ducks over the side of the Huntington Beach Pier. It was part of the Duck-A-Thon fundraiser that takes place each year in May.
The picture also shows why most people fail to take images that “wow” or peak a viewers interest. I’ll explain in detail.
If there’s a story, capture it all in one image
Each year, thousands of people with camera’s attend the Duck-A-Thon event. And each year most of them are up on the pier taking pictures of the tractors up close as the ducks fall into the ocean.
At best they captured the top of people’s heads, (see close up picture by clicking on image) part of the tractor and only a portion of the ducks falling. This doesn’t tell the full story.
Only by stepping back, and I mean way back, shooting from the shore could one include the crowds at the pier, the full drop of the rubber ducks and the people in the water looking on.
When photographing anything, think ahead and choose the angle or location that best tells the story. Of course not all situations are the same, so one must often rely on experience. That’s something I talk about on my earlier article on steps to taking better pictures.
Use the right tools – eliminate chance
To capture the image above, I took 19 to 20 shots continuously from the start of the drop to its conclusion. I shot it with a DSLR, a Nikon D7000 to be exact. To be sure I wouldn’t miss any part of it, my camera was set to a “CH” (continuous pictures at high speed), which allowed me to take a series of shots. This is almost not possible with a compact/point & shoot camera.
Although I’ve taken great pictures with my Canon G12 compact camera, taking any action shot because of the camera shutter “lag” often leaves the final shot to chance. That’s something I don’t recommend.
Having the right tool is crucial in creating photos that you’ll be proud to show. In this case the right tool was choosing a DSLR over a Point & Shoot. Don’t leave things to chance, use the right tools.
It’s all about framing your shot
The photo above is a crop of a larger image. While knowing that I would end up using different versions on separate online sites, I carefully framed my shots. You can see a wider version (yet still a crop) I posted on a webpage dedicated to pictures of Southern California.
Not only have I created one “interesting” image but several. Besides having the right camera, choosing the right angle/location, framing can include or exclude part of the story.
Whenever possible shoot several pictures of the same subject. Pan out, zoom in, shoot horizontal and vertical.
Finally, remember that the camera captures the image, but the photographer creates the picture. It’s the job of the photographer to make the picture interesting to viewers. Photography is about creating not capturing, leave that to the camera.