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| p.1 #8 · Experienced shooters: would love your input! |
Russ, I hear you about an unintentional impression - but I do think you can quantify the basics of every great image to a point. Those that defy the rules/basics and still work are far and few between (in my opinion). Meaning, if you don't have these basics you're likely done before you start. Think of it as a way to frame or structure the feedback.
Your exercise of finding images that have all the elements but still don't shine is fascinating. If I have the time, I'm going to start trying find images like this. Do you have any in mind? I would love to try to find the common element or quality that keeps an image that has all the elements from being "great." Blame it on the scientist in me! To some degree, I would argue that "greatness" is subjective but to the degree that I can objectify it, I'd like to.
All this being said, this is not meant to be a checklist but more of a way of helping folks think about how to make sense of their image. No face, no ball, no peak action? Well, then why does it work or is the lack of these components why it doesn't work? I'm attempting to help these two folks think intelligently about their own images and the images of others in a bit of a systematic way. I believe it's easier to get the nuances once you have the basics, if that makes sense.
And yes, much of the "teaching" is about looking at the work of great photographers and figuring out what they were doing that made them great. Timing? Location on the field? Composition? Intelligent lens selection? Thank you for sharing your thread on your own evolution! That will be a valuable tool as well - any chance you can go back through your archives and show photographs that illustrate each stage? Even if not, my guess is I can find my own photos to do the same...at least the first several stages!
As for off-action photos - they still need to be tack sharp, exposed correctly, usually have a face or eyes, have a straight horizon, ect. So I'm not sure an off-action photo requires different basic elements, does it? Can you think of questions that you'd put in the section on "coverage" that would pertain to critiquing the image (as opposed to the process of the shoot)?
Eric, if I take what you're suggesting and put it in the form of a question that one can use to critique an image, would you say it's "was I in the best spot to capture this particular image?" As a "mentor" I've gone over picking your spots on the field/court so that you maximize things like depth of field, exposure to faces (hard to get the face of the running back as he heads down field past you at the 20, right?), etc. What I'm trying to do is help the guys structure the way they think about the image after it's been taken. My sense is that your question may be more about the process - which I think Russ may be getting at? This could end up being a really valuable way to evaluate the shoot via the images.
Thanks guys! I've been told that the best way to firm up your own knowledge and skills is to try to teach someone else. I may not be the best mentor, but I'm loving the process!