One of my pet peeves (I know, I have many) is to be at some fantastic locations and have someone walk up and "CLICK", they got a shot, then leave. It is probably OK that they leave. But not taking the time to really "SEE" the image is a real downer. I always wonder how many times I will come back to this spot under these conditions and have this opportunity again? Never, more than likely. Same holds true in your own back yard or neighborhood. One of the killers we have to seeing photographically is familiarity. How many times have you driven down a familiar street and seen something new that has been there "forever"? I know I do it. Because we already "know" what is there we don't see; we may look, but we don't see. Same holds true for a really beautiful scene in front of us, in say Rocky Mountain National Park. If you have ever been on the loop walk around Sprague Lake and gazed across at Hallett Peak in the distance, then you have seen this view before. Maybe not the exact scene but one very similar. This image is scanned from a slide many years old, probably from the 70's. Even though the scene may not be that "familiar" to those of us who live in the great plains, we all know that it is a mountain with a lake and some trees, so there is something familiar in it. In fact driving up to this area in the park you will have seen many magnificent vistas so maybe your brain has become a little numb to the view. Slow down and see!
Here is the full image:
This is an OK composition and shows the lake in the foreground with the peak looming above the trees. The reflections are nice. The image is balanced with equal weight right and left, top and bottom. Exposure was very good. Not bad for a fully manual camera and one exposure. But what else is in this scene? If you really sat there for a few minutes (and if my memory is good, there is a park bench at that very spot!) and tried various compositions with either your zoom lens or by changing lenses there are many possibilities in this one place.
In just a few minutes, using Lightrooms Crop Tool, I made several optional views of the same subject. All seem to be OK but would be missed if you just walked up and took one image and walked away. I might also add that most everyone on the trail that day did JUST that, a single exposure and to my horror they shot horizontals! LOL. This image was just begging for a VERTICAL layout.
Give this technique a try in Lightroom sometime this winter when you are stuck indoors and have a large image with a lot of elements in it. How many "other" compositions are hiding in that one single exposure? And when you are out in the field, slow down and try seeing the numerous other images hiding in the one large expanse in front of your lens. Take off the wide angle lens and put on a telephoto. Scan the scene with the telephoto by moving from place to place in the overall scene and see what else you can find that compositionally says "SHOOT!"
Selective Focus Photography