I have visualized myself capturing the Georgia Straight and the mountains of Vancouver Island beyond from Dakota Ridge on a sunny day. I finally had that chance at the end of April. Even better, I was able to capture this scene at sunset.
When it comes to photographing sunsets, I like the colours of the sky to be bold and dramatic. In order to accomplish this, it takes a little experimentation and also timing. The ideal sunset shot is just before and after sunset. However, as the photo above indicates, I was impatient. I whipped out my camera, selected the best location for the shot (on top of a snow bank) and set my camera on manual mode with the aperture, shutter Speed and ISO set to obtain the most accurate exposure. I can’t say exposure of the above photograph is correct, hence the reason I normally don’t photograph outdoor scenes before sunset. However, I just wanted to experiment!
I am now training myself to think like a professional photographer. Previsualization is one part of professional photography. I have previsualized photographing this scene several months before I captured it. However, photography is just like writing a story. A photo should grab the viewer’s attention, evoke emotion and stimulate imagination or desire for a certain thing or to visit a particular place. In other words, a photo should tell a story.
I was once the amateur photographer who snapped away at anything that grabbed my attention. Until now, I focused on getting familiar with my Canon Rebel, learning how to shoot in difficult lighting situations and how to obtain the milky waterfall look when making photographs. While I still am learning by playing with light, I am now at the stage where I previsualize an image before I make a photograph.
I now need to treat photography like I do my writing. Before I photograph a scene, I must ask myself, “Why am I photographing this scene or object?”
What is the purpose of this photograph? What do I want to portray to my viewers and what emotion do I want to evoke in them?
It takes lots of practice and lots of effort to think like a story teller when making photos, but in time, it will come to me.