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on Apr 1, 2014 in WRP Ed Zone

What’s the Subject?

Yaquina Lighthouse 0207

This has to be the #1 question I ask photographers. Why? Because we’re visual storytellers and to be successful, we have to not only know the subject, but the viewer of the photograph has to know what it is as well. In this photo, what’s the subject? At this point, I hope you say it’s the lighthouse. That’s because I did something to make sure you see it first. The mind’s eye goes to white and bright first when looking at an image. Until I “lit” the lighthouse, the mind’s eye beelined right to those waves. But they are an element, not the subject. So by lightening the lighthouse just 1/3 of a stop in post, now the mind’s eye goes there first. And what amazes me about knowing this is, the lighthouse is one of the smallest elements in the frame but you see it first. It’s a very simple but very important lesson when it comes to photography.