Move around your subject

A coil of rusty steel cable

Changing the angle of the image again
Fujifilm X100S, 1/120 sec, ƒ4, ISO400

Sometimes you can make an image you’re happy with in just one frame, but most of the time you really need to move around your subject. Don’t be afraid to work the scene.

Look. Frame. Shoot… repeat.

Making a pleasing image takes consideration. You need to consider what your subject is and how it will be best represented. You need to think about it’s shape, colour and size. You need to think about how all those things fit together and what it was about them that drew your attention. What was it that “grabbed you” and made you want to make a photograph?

An old coil of rusty steel cable might not look like much when you first look at it, but there’s something there. Something you can’t put your finger on. Take a photograph, move around, then start to make your image.

An abandoned coal mine

The old State Coal Mine on the outskirts of Wonthaggi in Victoria, Australia
Fujifilm X100S, 1/45 sec, ƒ8, ISO200

You might start off with an overall view of the roll of cable, showing it’s location and surroundings. It might not look like much at all and the resulting photograph might be boring. It could be completely bland and “meh!”… but don’t stop. Move closer and start to move around your subject, honing in on the final shot you can see in your mind.

As a photographer, you sometimes “see” something, but it’s not crystal clear in your head. You need to experiment, move around and try different things.

A coil of rusty steel cable

Moving in closer to the rusty coil of steel cable
Fujifilm X100S, 1/680 sec, ƒ2, ISO200

You might change your angle, or change the shutter speed or the aperture. It doesn’t matter what you do, the important thing is that you move around and explore your subject. Keep changing things until you get the image you “saw”.

A coil of rusty steel cable

Moving in closer and changing the angle of the photograph
Fujifilm X100S, 1/160 sec, ƒ4, ISO800

Sometimes you should just walk around and look at your subject without even lifting the camera to your eye. Learn to see how your camera sees and start looking around you. You’ll be surprised how quickly you start to know when the shot will be what you envisioned.

A coil of rusty steel cable

Changing the angle again
Fujifilm X100S, 1/280 sec, ƒ2.8, ISO400

Don’t settle for your first shot… unless you look at it and know you nailed it!

A coil of rusty steel cable

The final shot!
Fujifilm X100S, 1/120 sec, ƒ4, ISO400

Your final shot might not be the same choice that someone else would make, but that doesn’t matter. It’s your image and your interpretation of the scene. Just remember to move around your subject until you arrive at the image that you are happy with!


Photography is about vision; I love making photographs that tell a location’s story – the place, the people and the culture. I'm a photographer with a relaxed approach. I'm an experienced traveller and love teaching others about photography. Images can be made anywhere - right in your back yard or in exotic overseas locations. I can teach you not only to look at your surroundings, but also to really "see" what's there. Photography is more than just pressing a button. It's also about vision. Let me show you how to look, see and capture your world.

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