Thursday, August 25, 2011

Getting the best photograph

click photo to enlarge
One of the joys of digital photography is the ease and lack of extra expense involved in taking multiple shots of the same subject with the intention of securing the best possible image. Today's photograph, like yesterday's, is one of six that I took the other day of clouds reflected in the glass curtain wall of some London offices.

Here are the main advantages that I see in taking more than one shot of your subject. Firstly, if conditions dictate a low shutter speed that is hand-held, multiple exposures increase the chance of you getting a shot that is sharp. Secondly, you can experiment with the composition by either zooming, changing your position, adjusting the elements that you include in the frame, changing the depth of field etc. Thirdly, you can adjust your camera settings to, for example, control highlights or modify colour saturation. Fourthly, through taking more than one exposure of a subject you inevitably think more about it and that often results in a better outcome. There is a downside with multiple exposures (and indeed the general ease of digital) and that is the amount of storage space required for images if you don't ruthlessly cull the "duds". But, that notwithstanding, multiple exposures make a lot of sense.

However, here's the paradox. When I take multiple shots of the same subject I usually find - about nine times out of ten - that my first shot is the best! Is this because I'm an instinctive or intuitive photographer rather than one who thinks long and hard about each shot? Perhaps. And if that's the case why do I still take multiple shots? Well the answer lies in those approximate statistics: every now and again the first shot isn't the one I prefer, or something went wrong with it, and then I'm very grateful for the "duplicates".

From the above you'll gather that I like yesterday's shot over this one. But, I've been taking photographs long enough to know that many people will prefer the one above.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 12.8mm (60mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/125
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On