Learn to see before you shoot

How many times do you go out looking for something to photograph? When you find something interesting you fire away from random angles, move the zoom in and out and maybe step back a few feet and do it all again.

This is not the key to getting a meaningful picture. Learn to look at things for a few minutes first. Ask yourself “what is interesting that I might want to bring the viewers attention to?” Go even deeper and ask yourself if the lighting could be different. Could you make that happen right now? Would the light be better at a different time of the day? What would happen if you waited 30 minutes.

This all takes longer of course, but this is what begins to separate an interesting photograph from being just a snapshot.

Ansel Adams called this pre-visualization. Its a technique he taught throughout his career and was the key to many of his famous photographs including the “Half Dome” at Yosemite.