The Most Important Thing

In photography, the most important things is the camera. No! Not by a long way. The photographer? No. The background? Not quite. The subject. Yes!

If a piece of art does not have a "thing" for the audience's eye to look at, study, and be moved by, then, frankly, what's the point.

So every photo must have something that stands out and says "look at me".

As a sidebar, when I say "every photo" from now on, I mean "our photos". I don't mean those other gazillion boring ones that are posted to Twitbook every day. We're doing something to make our photos be distinctive and exciting.

The subject can be anything. A crying child. A wilting flower. A bowl of juicy, colourful fruit. A washing machine. A bird. A recently married couple. The point is that anyone viewing the photo should instantly know what they are looking at.

What about landscapes? Often a landscape is just a wide scene of some pretty mountains or colourful sunset. The best landscapes will draw your eye to two or three interesting components that together become the subject, and perhaps they will help you to feel like what it is to be there in that place.

Your Challenge

This is your practical assignment to do what we have discussed. There is going to be a Challenge for every topic. The only rule is that you pick up your camera and take photos after reading this. No cheating by diving into your archives! It doesn't matter what camera you have, but the assumption is that it is of the style of a DSLR or mirrorless, with interchangeable lenses.

Your subject for this challenge can be anything. Your partner. A bowl of fruit. Your pet. Since we are going to need a subject for challenges in the future, perhaps the most patient and cooperative subject might be a fluffy toy. Or a pineapple. I'm going to assume you are using a fluffy toy.

Prop your fluffy toy up on a chair. Go quite far back so that you can get the entire chair in the frame. Take a shot of the fluffy toy. Step forward. Take a shot. Step forward. Take another shot. Keep going until you are so close to the fluffy toy that your lens won't focus any more. You'll probably have about about ten to fifteen photos.

Now look back through that series of photos and pick the one that really says "this is the subject and you love it!" I'll bet it was the second or third to last photo you took, because you're in close to your subject and there is no doubt about what the photo is about.