You know the old saying: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”? Well, I think that you do, photographically speaking. For me, a first impression of a subject is a judgment of whether or not I think the object has merit as a photographic subject. This judgment can be colored my own feelings that day, more specifically if I’m tired, ill, or just having one of those ‘Been there. Done that moments’.

Working the shot
As most photographers that I’ve met are wont to do, they share ideas and things that they have learned. During our travels in the car, Kate and I share things that we might have learned from other workshops. One of the things that she has shared with me is something that she learned in a Frans Lanting workshop. It’s called working the shot. The premise is that if you find a subject that calls your attention for some reason, make sure that you give it your attention. My implementation of it is that I don’t just shoot one or two shots and then move on. I work the shot. Try it from every conceivable angle that I can think of, even if I think it is silly. Today, I saw how that could really pay off, IMHO.

Seeing is believing

Today, after our sunrise shoot, I wanted to put this technique into practice. To be honest, it wasn’t foremost on my mind. Breakfast was! πŸ™‚ However, Kate wanted to stop and shoot some plants, so I obliged. Initially, I didn’t really feel like shooting anymore and was content to sit on a dune and watch the light. Eventually, many things started catching my eye. So, I got into a prone position and started shooting. After about 30 seconds, I really got into it.

I came upon a yucca plant. The needles were interesting, but I’d seen hundreds upon hundreds of them already and wasn’t really interested. So, I snapped a few and then decided to work the shot. After a bit, I started seeing how the stiff breeze was blowing the needles to and fro and thought that it was good for an abstract. To make a long story short, I shot about 40 frames from various angle and spent about 10 minutes with this one plant. I was glad that I did!

Note: Both pictures were taken with the Nikon D300 with a 50mm f/1.8. I did not use any filters nor did I modify the shot using Photoshop except to add a little bit of sharpening. The final shot was ISO 100, 1/3000 @ f/1.8. And yes! It is exactly the same plant!!!

So, what do you think about the first impression vs. the final product? Was it worth the effort?

Someone's missing: 49/50
Taking a break from the sand: Looking around