Photography Subjects and What to Shoot?

What to look for when out and about photographing

Photography Subjects Ocean and Sidewalk

Digital SLR Photography Tips: Photography Subjects. When I say "keep ’em peeled", I mean always be aware of what photographic subjects there are around you. Other than what you are looking at because it is a great way to get some candid or different shots! Look up, look down and all around.

With regards to nature photography subjects for example, one thing I learned quite quickly is that you can’t just turn up somewhere, get your shots and leave. It is a combination of patience, luck and/or being in the right place at the right time, of course being ready and aware helps too.

With swans, the shot above is fairly easy to get if you know the signs to look out for. Whenever you see a swan "preening" itself, just hang around for a bit. It may take 10 minutes or so but this gives you ample time to:

  • Set up your camera
  • Frame the shot
  • Wait

Nearly always, a swan will stretch its feathers and show off a little for you after a good preening session.

Spanish Wildlife Photography Subjects

In early 2007 we were chilling out by a Spanish river. I was lucky enough to spot an Osprey circling the water very near to where we were picnicking. Obviously I had my camera with me (see image above). I grabbed the camera with a telephoto lens on and just followed the bird "through the lens". The camera was purposely set to continuous shoot mode and AI focus tracking. It took a while, and my arms were starting to really ache, but then it started a dive.

I started shooting the moment it started to dive and ended up with a whole string of shots as it went for its prey. The shot above actually shows the fish jumping out of the water (arrow) as the bird mistimed its approach.

Also watch out for smaller subjects like insects such as a spider weaving its web early in the morning with dew drops on it, or bees collecting nectar from the flowers. Aim to get a macro lens at some point to "get in close".

Macro Photo of Spider in Web

Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Keep Your Eyes Peeled and Camera Ready

No matter what photography subjects you are out to shoot, always look around you whether you are at a sports event. See fig. 1 below - Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne dropping his shorts. You might even catch out 3 celebrities "adjusting" themselves before the game as in this image.

If you are just out for a drive in the country and you spot a poppy field (Fig. 2 below). If the image looks good, take the time to pull over or stop what you are doing as, chances are that you won’t get the same opportunity twice.

If you are at the beach shooting kite surfers for stock that are flying about everywhere, take time out to look around. Maybe do the "unthinkable" and shoot into the sun or away from the action to get a more relaxed image of the sport (Fig. 3).

Even if you are just wandering about town killing time. Keep your camera with you and keep your eyes peeled for anything "different" that catches your eye (Fig. 4).

Fig. 1 Paul Gascoigne

Fig. 2 Poppy Fields

Fig. 3 Kite Surfers

Fig. 4 Hot Air Balloon

Sometimes the best shots come when you are not looking for them or expecting it.

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