Subject matter is more than just the physical content that will be appearing in your photograph. Subject matter is also a mood, timing, context, and juxtaposition. The first thing I try to do is ask myself why am I taking this picture? The answer may be a portrait of my friends or family, capturing the spontaneity of a child’s activity, a reminder of a place, document wildlife, or in most cases for me it is to create a piece of artwork with natural elements.
Asking this question about my landscape and nature photography shoots allows me to focus on the end result of each shoot rather than shooting a thousand photos of the scene or element. If I’m out photographing a planned shoot, my idea has already been worked over in my mind, I have researched the area, and have calculations based on the weather conditions of that day before I even arrive on site. Once I’m there I evaluate the site and work my plan to the best of my ability to capture my “vision” of that nature or landscape photo. Once I have what I think I need to complete the final photograph, I then explore the area for other things that may catch my eye or for a better position of the subject. If I find nothing else, which is rare, I know I can walk away from the scene with at least one salable landscape or nature photo.
As I grew stronger with my creative eye for composition I was able to foresee scenes that I would like to convert to Black and White, or add color processing to enhance the mood or atmosphere of the photograph. Another skill that I have noticed that has matured through practice is the ability to anticipate what is going to happen next and being ready to capture that moment.
I once read that “great subject matter is often the matter of noticing something that others don’t within a familiar setting”.
Leave me some feedback below on how each image makes you feel when you view them.
About the Author and Photographer:
Melissa Fague is an emerging nature and landscape photographer from Bear, Delaware USA. In just a few short years her work has been published over two dozen times and she has won multiple national and international awards for her beautiful photographs. Her most recent accomplishment is her first published photograph in an international publication with a worldwide distribution, “Landscape Photography Magazine”. Melissa is passionate about the art of photography and nature. Exploring areas and creating photographs is her form of stress relief and art therapy, but she also loves to share her visions so that others can enjoy. Her goal is to one day be ranked among the most famous nature photographers in the world. All of Melissa’s nature and landscape photographs are available for purchase, visit Pi Photography and Fine Art.