Visualising The Shot
Learn to see the shot in your head before shooting
What do I mean by "visualizing the shot"? Well, something you can teach yourself to do automatically when out shooting is to imagine how you want the shot to look in your head. Try and picture the type of shot you want, i.e.:
Try to see past what you are looking at and imagine the image processed. Imagine it cropped, finished and coming out of your printer.
It is like anything in life, do it enough and once you perfect it, it becomes second nature. Here is quite a radical comparison:
In my skydiving (freefall) days when I was learning to qualify, one of the most difficult things to do was to perfect a 360° turn effortlessly. I only needed to make the slightest movement and the force of the 120mph wind would throw me unstable at any given opportunity. With practice and persistence, it gradually got easier until I didn’t even think about it anymore.
It is hard to describe but it got to the point where I would simply think about turning and it would just happen. My body automatically knew what to do through repetition.
It is the same with photography. You arrive at a scene and automatically pick out and focus on a section and viewpoint that would make a good shot. Most people simply record the entire scene from where they stand!
The more you read and study other peoples work, especially the award-winning stuff, the more that any particular styles and techniques will stay with you. Gradually it sinks in and then you are pretty much visualising the shot in any situation. This is especially useful for stock photography.
You may look at a scene and in a split second, think for example;
If you can get to a point with your photography where you really can start visualising the shot before you take it, (obviously not all the time as all those voices in your head would drive you crazy), then you will find that you improve a lot and also have fewer shots to delete.