10 Questions to Ask When Taking a Photo
What goes through your mind in the moments as you raise your digital camera up to take a shot and before you press the shutter? If you re like many digital photographers you re not thinking about too much you just want to capture the moment and then move on.
However getting in the habit of asking some simple questions can help take your images to the next level. Here s 10 questions to get in the habit of asking while framing your shots. I ve included links in each one to further reading on the topics. I hope you find them helpful:
1. What story am I telling?
This is an important question and one that should help you to make any number of decisions in terms of composition, framing, exposure etc. In essence what you re asking is why am I taking this shot? What is it s purpose and what am I trying to convey? Is it purely a way to keep a record of a moment, are you trying to capture the emotion of a moment, is it possibly a shot to give to someone, is it part of a larger series of shots or will it be the only shot to commemorate the moment etc. Read more on telling stories with photos
2. What is the visual focal point of this shot?
What will viewers of this picture naturally have their eye drawn to in this scene? Once you ve identified this focal point you can think about where to place it in the frame (consider the rule of thirds for example).
3. What competing focal points are there?
Once you ve identified what you do want your viewers eyes to be drawn towards and have placed it in the frame scan your eyes over the shot and see if there are any competing focal points and ask yourself whether they add to or take away from the image? Secondary focal points can add depth to shots but they can also be very distracting and so you might need to reposition yourself or adjust your focal length and/or depth of field to accommodate or remove them from your shots (read more on removing clutter from photography ). Also keep in mind that if your shot has more than one focal point that it might be worth taking two shots, one of each focal point, in order to keep things simple.
4. What is in the background and foreground?