It’s a fact when photographing I can get lost in the details of framing up-close or abstract compositions to the determent of the “larger” picture. I’ve found this trait in myself a little unexpected because in the past careers of programming and designing software systems and applications I was known for keeping my eye on the big picture, even if working on the smallest of system components/routines.
There have been a few time I’ve returned from photographing and upon importing the images into Lightroom I’ve realized there’s no frame of reference for the images. Sure, I know in my head the who, what, when and where of the bigger “thing” these closeup images are from, but no one else would — it’s like a few ripped pages from a really good book, they may be good reading but they don’t tell the whole story.
And sometimes knowing the larger picture isn’t important…but sometimes it is…at least to me.
To keep myself aware, I’ve developed a mental checklist or mantra to remind me as I photograph — “near, medium and far, be conscious of where you are.” Now I don’t chant this over and over — I’m not a total nut case, yet — but you can bet I’ll think of it every so often.
I’ll still go in for the details and it’s okay if I end up not requiring or wanting the wider shots but I’d rather have them then not and they sometimes end up being the ones I like the most.
Another step I always remember is to turnaround. As many others have stated, you can sometimes find the best shots behind you. Sunrises and sunsets are excellent times to check the other way — oh, and it’s imperative to turnaround when your shooting from the middle of a road or street.
This last photo is an extra. I suspect someone looking to get into boating could do so for a song with this “sailing submarine.” If interested let me know and I’ll send you the Geo-coordinates of where to find it — it’s not like it’s going any place.