Anytime you bring your camera up to your eye to take a photo there is something about the scene in front of you that makes you want to stop and capture it. Maybe it’s an emotion you’re feeling. Maybe you’ve come across a stunning landscape or beautiful building. Or maybe it’s the innocence of a child at play. Whatever it is that caused you to stop in your tracks and push that shutter release button it’s important to know why you’re taking the picture. Understanding the reasons for taking a picture will lead to better choices about composition and framing, lens choice, and exposure settings so that the mood and subject of your image are exactly what you visualized.
The image of the large Buddha statue above was taken in Surin, in the east of Thailand. I found the statue down a quiet tree-lined, dirt path off of the main highway. At the time there was no one else around, and with a slight breeze blowing through the trees it was a very peaceful setting. I took a few photos of the full statue but those images seemed more impressive and grand, and they didn’t convey the sense of tranquility I was experiencing. As I continued to try different compositions and settings I found myself drawn to the hands at rest, resulting in the image you see here. The mood of this image is much more in line with what I felt at the time.
So the next time you’re out with your camera and you stop to take a picture, ask yourself why you stopped and what type of image you’re trying to create.