Do You Plan Your Shots?

Home Photography Forums General Photo Chit Chat Do You Plan Your Shots?

This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Mike Dean 5 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #92605

    A lot of folks talk about “planning a shot” in their head before they shoot it.

    Don't get me wrong, I do that on occasion and I think it's an important skill for a photographer.

    But how many do you actually plan before you raise the camera to your eye?

    I would say for me, probably less than 5%

  • #92658


    @admin – when shooting by hand, I am with you in the 5% range. With a tripod then usually it is a planned shot.

  • #92660

    That's actually a good point @ehpem and exactly the same for me.

    If I have to lug around a tripod, I am usually thinking about exactly what I am trying to do before I do it! 🙂

  • #92664

    tom dinning

    How much planning is considered planning, @admin?
    I'd say I'd plan 95% of my shots. This planning can range from deciding where, when and what before I go out shooting to equipment needed, expected settings based on weather, lighting, possibility of movement or unstable conditions and whether I have Christine in tow.
    More than not these days I do have a sort of vision well beforehand of what I want to do. Something I see triggers a range of thought processes which play around in my head from a few minutes to sometimes weeks. Often I will return to a place several times before I take a shot or I might experiment a bit and take the shots home and give it some more thought.
    Gone are the days of sponaneity, except for the few occasions when Christine calles me and demands I bring the camera because the grandkids are doing something cute.
    Personally, I am finding I am more and more satisfied with the results as I grow older. That could be because of my failing eyesight. On the other hand, it may be because I do put more thought into the shots I take.
    Mind you, it doesn't mean I take a long time getting the shot. I think its the planning that helps with that.

    Take this shot for example.

    _DSC0946” alt=”” />

    Seems ordinary and mundane enough and reasonably spontaneous by the look of the composition. Trust me. I knew the day before how I wanted it to look and I had to wait quite a while before it appeared.

    “Why so much trouble for a crap photo?” I hear people say.

    Even crap photos can be planned.

  • #92682


    @tomdinning you describe a place I would like to end up

  • #92697

    tom dinning

    What? @ehpem.
    A grumpy old man with bad eyesight, doing deaf, riddled with arthritis and locked in the dungeon most days?
    Not a good look for a person of your stature.
    Like your photos on the blog by the way.

  • #92729


    I always plan my shots……..

  • #92784


    Ha! @tomdinning I can check half of those things off my list already! Fortunately my house has no basement, and neither does the the office, so dungeons are not on the list.
    I was, of course, referring more to your increasing satisfaction with shots, and your ability to plan and foresee what you want to capture. The two are, I am convinced, though not from experience, closely connected.

  • #92794

    Beverley Aston

    I plan the odd one or two but more often it's a case of seeing something that catches my eye and then I take the shot..

    I think if I did more landscape work then I would plan where, when and especially to take into account of weather etc..

  • #93639

    We really plan a lot before we head out to shoot. Location, time, compositions… I try to have a really strong idea of what we're trying to accomplish with our project before we step out the door. Mind you, our work is a little different from other folks in that we tend to do a lot of kind of “photojournal” work with our blog etc. Many of our shoots are scheduled well in advance. For example, I am heading out in about 10 days to hang out with my good friend @ehpem and you can rest assured that shutters'll be a clicking that day! 🙂

  • #93653


    @toadhollow – shutters will be clicking away for sure. It's going to be a lot of fun, though perhaps we need to finish planning details so we know where exactly will be best to end up 🙂

  • #93751

    Woohoo! Light Stalking meetup! 😉

  • #93812

    Great notion, my friend… I am scratching my green little head right now working on that!

  • #94064

    Mike Dean

    I think I plan some of my photography… An example. On the train to and from work I see an allotment in amongst the high rise council flats and offices. It has rows of flags hung above it, I guess to deter the numerous birds (mostly pigeons), that have become a little sun kissed and faded.
    I've passed it more times than I care to remember, but until last month I didn't bother getting off the train (I'll add that it's quite far from my workplace) to attempt a shot. Basically on this day the sun was actually out, although it was a little cloudy (but it wouldn't be England if there was sunshine for at least a full day!)…
    I thought I'd planned quite well. I knew how to get there and the kind of shot I wanted. Turns out I had underestimated the height of the wall surrounding. I'm not short at just shy of 6 feet, but I still had my arms at full stretch with the camera in live view.
    I got a few shots off before feeling like too much of a stalker to carry on (builders were watching intently from across the road and someone was working on their potatoes under the flags). I am quite pleased with the results, but I'll mark it down as a test for now.
    Sun kissed flags...

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