What is the secret of fascinating photos? Think about it, I am always asked which camera, lens or setting I used to take this or that photo. Seldom does anyone ask: “How did you come up with this motive?” The subject is always important to me – no matter which camera I use to take my picture. Therefore, I would like to familiarize you with the search for the main subject, one of my most important lessons in composition – what you really want to put in scene. Because this way your photos will be even better!
Who is the main actor in your photo?
Shortly after buying my first SLR camera, I bought a cool 10-20 mm wide-angle lens from Sigma. Wow what a dimension. Now I could get the whole world in one photo. But when I look back today, this visual excess has overwhelmed me. What should I focus on? Photos are like a good film: there is a leading actor. The audience will recognize it, and everything in your composition will help to set it perfectly in scene: light, perspective, focus, design elements and, last but not least, the plot.
What do you see that fascinates you as a motive?
Who should be the main protagonist of your photo? I would like to share with you some tips and techniques that will help you sharpen your focus on the main actor. But the first impulse has to come from you. Who or what do you want to show – how and in what way?
Typical challenges in our subject search
- If the subject is too small, the viewer of your photos may not recognize it as the main subject.
- Are there too many (unimportant) things in the picture? Oh dear, then the meaning of your photo may be lost.
Do whatever you can to find your subject. Your eyes and your brain don’t make it easy for you. They are the perfect combination for an exciting deception. Because if you see the subject, your head takes over the image processing without being asked. Everything that is not important is cut away. But your camera can’t! Your eyepiece is merciless. It shows everything that you depict in the frame and in the four corners of your photo. Stay tuned and keep practicing the technique!
Here I have 5 tips for you to find your main subject
5 tips to find your main subject
- Find what fascinates you
What made you stop before considering taking this picture? That should become your main subject. A great light situation? An exciting face?
- How can you show the fascination in the picture?
Is the subject clear enough in the picture? Is something disturbing the effect? From now on your mission is: Make the uniqueness of the situation visible!
- Separate yourself from the unimportant
Before you doubt your technique or your inability, there is usually too much of what you have in the photo. We’re still learning how to clean up your photo. Because less is more and exactly the little and the emptiness emphasizes your main motive.
- What can you show and what not?
If the subject is personal – the mood of the evening or the pet that means a lot to you – that’s okay. But the connection to you cannot always be shown in the photo. Be critical, think about the effect when a stranger looks at your photos. Good photos work without explanation.
- Have perseverance
Many of my photos that didn’t turn out so well were just not good because of my impatience. Stay tuned to your idea and your motive. Take one more photo and try a new perspective. Don’t give up so quickly!