This week’s topic in Cee’s Compose Yourself challenge is strong subjects. All successful photos have something that draws the eye. And ideally the photo should tell a story or evoke emotion.
The assignment is to post a few examples of our work where we have a strong, easily identifiable subject.
For some subjects that’s an easy task, like flowers.
I don’t take a lot of photos of people (outside of family snapshots), but sometimes I see something irresistible, like this middle-aged woman throwing rocks on the beach like a little kid.
I like a lot of things about the photo, but unfortunately, there is too much shadow on the front of her jacket and the many rocks on the beach behind her add visual clutter, so I’d only consider this a partly successful photograph.
Where I really struggle is with scenery. I haven’t yet developed a reliable photographic eye.
Part of the problem is that the camera cannot capture the full experience. When I am out somewhere my brain naturally filters what I am seeing for me. A photographer has to force the camera to filter appropriately.
And when I am enjoying a view, my other senses play a large part of what is making the moment special. The scent of dry grasses or lush vegetation, the feel of sun on my skin, and the sound of leaves rustling in a breeze. A photo can’t convey any of that.
Here’s an example of what too many of my landscapes look like. The colors are nice, but it’s still a mostly blah photo. The clouds aren’t dramatic enough and there’s no identifiable subject.
This next one is slightly better. There’s still no strong subject, but the changing color of the trees at least gives you something to focus on.
Strong subjects in landscapes is a work in progress for me.
The bonus challenge this week is to post three photos that illustrate or invoke three emotions listed by Cee.
The first is “something that is beautiful or inspiring.” This is one of my favorite photos.
The second is “something that makes you laugh.” This duck was posing on a dock railing and giving me the eye.
The third is “sad or melancholy.” I like this last photo, but it does sort of feel lonely and subdued.