Photos in a Series -- Exploring the Subject

This is the second post in a series about taking more than one image of your subject. (You can read the first post here.) Exploring the subject by shooting from multiple points of view helps you move beyond the one obvious picture.

My colleague Doug Johnson recommends:
  • a) photograph the subject in its environment, 
  • b) photograph a portrait of the subject, and 
  • c) photograph a detail or abstract of the subject. 
Taking this approach challenges you to see your subject from different angles, potentially using different lenses, and trying different compositions. The more time you spend exploring your subject, the more likely you are to create new, more interesting photographs.

The images below are my exploration of a local historic church from the outside. I could expand my collection of images by getting permission to photograph inside the building as well.

Church in its environment
1/60 sec, f/16, ISO 100, 47mm

Church portrait
1/200 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 60mm

Church detail
1/200 sec, f/8, ISO 100, 149mm

Alternate portrait from the back
1/50 sec, f/16, ISO 100, 73mm

Church detail
1/400 sec, f/8, ISO 100, 149mm

Church detail
1/30 sec, f/16, ISO 100, 88mm

By taking the time to explore the building from different sides, I discovered views I had not noticed before, such as the three windows and the "reverse" portrait. Try this approach the next time you stop to photograph a subject. I'm sure it will add variety and interest to your photo collection.

If you'd like to explore the idea of photos in a series with a group, join my class at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana, beginning March 6, 2019. Click here to register.