The folks at Popular Photography recently published an introductory book, Take Your Best Shot. 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:
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, I had a camera with me, though not the right lens or equipment. That never stopped me.
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 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.)