Photo School Lesson 1- WHY?


Why have you decided to take this image?

Before you even bring the camera to your eye, the best place to start is by asking yourself why you want to capture this moment. Why was it so interesting to you that you want to share it? Is it the light, the colour, the shapes, the movement, a lens on humanity? Whatever the answer is, that’s what needs to be the focus and subject of your image. That answer will inform every subsequent decision you make before you press the shutter. 

What ever the purpose of your image is, fill the frame with what caught your eye. Beat the audience over the head with your meaning. A person doing something fascinating, tiny in the distance, doesn’t make the most poignant image. Unless of course, you are using their figure for a sense of scale or to play with light and shadows. But then, the details of the person isn’t really why you took the image right?

Now you can problem solve and compromise your way to the best technical choices for your why on aperture, shutter speed, ISO and composition. Where will you be using the image, will it need to be horizontal or vertical? How much depth of field will you need? Is it only for web so you can bump the ISO? Do you want to freeze or show the motion? Everything comes back to why.

Activity 15m

Why? This is the question you should have the answer to in your head, before you even raise the camera. Practise leaving space to ask yourself why before you press the shutter. Walk around the block looking for interesting things. Notice why you think it’s interesting and compose your shot before you look through the lens.

Using Format