Take your best "Take"

The folks at [Popular Photography][popphoto] recently published an introductory book, [Take Your Best Shot][tybs]. Since I like introductory works, and I wanted to test what a photography books look like in digital form, I purchased it on my iPad through Apple’s iBooks.

By tip 5, I was confronted with a familiar scene:

Excerpt from "Take Your Best Shot"

I lived in SOMA for a couple years. In fact, I’ve photographed this same scene before (on an SD card that got corrupted), so I made a mental note that next time I was there with a camera, to have another (and my own) take on this “take”. Because [I was visiting Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to see my cousin and her son][ybca post], I had a camera with me, though not the right lens or equipment. That never stopped me.

SFMOMA from the terrace
SFMOMA from the terrace
Yerba Buena Gardens South of Market, San Francisco, California

Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G
9 exposures @ ƒ9, ISO200, 24mm

Handheld, and in a rush to catch up to my nephew, I set my aperture to something non-diffractive and eyeballed the hyperfocal distance with my autofocus and held down the shutter for a bracketed exposure.

Even though I’d have much preferred a wider-angle lens, and the most-level bracket had to be chucked due to ghosting, you’ll notice from my take on the “take” shows I much prefer portrait-oriented landscapes. I find [foreground interest][symmetrical comp] contains details often lost in landscape-mode. It also forces the eye to follow much more rigidly down a path toward the background creating a more dramatic image (which I encouraged with post-processing).

(An added benefit: landscape is the way your eyes sees the world, flipping your camera to portrait-orientation forces you (and the viewer) to see the world differently.)

Next time you are out-and-about with a camera and see a familiar scene. Try to copy what someone else did, then have your own take on their take. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

(BTW, I have an iPad subscription to Popular Photography Magazine through Zinio. Always have a subscription to one magazine on photography, just to inspire you.)

[tybs]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1616281219?tag=terrychay-20 “Purchase Take Your Best Shot on Amazon”
[popphoto]: http://www.popphoto.com/ “Popular Photography Magazine”
[ybca post]: http://terrychay.com/article/her-phone-has-more-levels.shtml “Her phone has more levels”
[symmetrical comp]: http://terrychay.com/article/symmetrical-compositions.shtml “Symmetrical compositions”

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