Researching your Photo Shoot [1]

An reflection by Ian Petit, President

“We all get stuck for ideas from time to time when planning to take some images, apparently it even happens to the great professionals.

Whether you are planning a studio shoot with a model and doing some portraiture, still life or flowers, planning a wildlife day, heading out to the local town or city, or even heading for the countryside, you need to have a plan that if need be can be adjusted according to the conditions you are presented with.

So how do you get your plan together? How do you arrive at the pre-visualisation of the images you plan to take, even in your times of creative block?

Each one of us will approach this in a different way and that’s fine if it gets you into the creative grove. I have found a great way to get that inspiration. It’s not about copying someone else’s pictures it’s about looking for ideas of what and where to shoot that great image that has been eluding you for months, if not years.

It’s about having a place to aim for or an image in your head to save you time wondering around aimlessly. Of course you should look around you and not dive into the first image that presents itself, it almost certainly will disappoint.

So where does that idea come from? I use the image library websites they come free and have some great images to get you started.  My preferred site is 500px. This has, in my opinion, better images to a higher overall standard than some of the others around, although sometimes the topic you would like to review isn’t available on the site.  Google Images and Flickr are my second point of call. Here the choice of subject matter and range of images is much greater than 500px, although some of the individual pictures leave a bit to be desired.

I find it particularly helpful to enter the location of the subject matter into the search facility, this initially will provide a huge number of images, sometimes 10’s of thousands.   I then look for photographers whose images I like and look at these in more detail.

For example; we‘re planning a day at Salford Quays. I entered Salford Quay in the search on 500px a number of great images appeared, Having looked at these I found a photographer by the name of Andrew Yu, who has some amazing images of Salford Quays and many other locations.

A real inspiration.

Website addresses

Try using this approach I’m sure you will find it helpful.”

Part one of two. The second items will appear here shortly.

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