Unfortunately for us, not every single assignment that passes the photo desk is a fantastic visual opportunity. We deal with harsh light, cramped spaces, and lack of moments pretty regularly. In those situations, it’s vital to be able to pull out some tools from your bag and be ready to play around.
I headed out to Selah this week with the task of photographing some of the damage from last week’s wildfire, particularly elk fences. Since I knew it wasn’t going to be super exciting (no people means no moment, motionless objects means nothing I can really try with shutter speed) I knew I would have to play a little bit.
I tried a few angles shooting down the fence, through it, and straight at it, and then I decided to lay down all the way on the ground and shoot up.
I actually like how graphic this photo is, but it really wasn’t telling enough of the story. I’m trying to show the damage of the wildfire, but what I’m showing could just as easily be interpreted as some sticks stuck in the fencing.
So next, I climbed up on my car to see if shooting down would work.
OK, so we ended up going with the first photo I shot in this spot. A layered composition, heavy with leading lines of the fence, wildfire, and just a little bit of the road. It gives the most context of all of the photos, and has a nice sense of balance.
But still, you never know unless you try. Approaching a shoot from a unique angle can add something really special to your photographs, and make your final selections stand out from a group of similar images. Happy shooting!