When you’re busy trying to focus on a moving bug it’s easy to forget one of the most important aspects of any photograph: composition.
Take the shot here, it’s fairly unremarkable and I didn’t think much of it at the time I shot it, just took a couple of quick snaps and was on my way. I was mainly interested in the colour of the bug but still not that interested since he was rather small (I prefer them a bit bigger). However, when I came home and looked at it in my computer I realized that this is actually quite a good shot. Not because it’s the most interesting bug in the world, not because the light is brilliant – though I think this is one of the cases where the isolation with a black background works really well – instead it’s the composition that makes this photo appealing. It seems to be telling a story; it’s as if the beetle is at the edge of a great abyss, peering down, feeling his way with a tentative antenna. The fact that the antenna is in focus also adds to the success of the image.
In this case I just got lucky but I think it highlights an important point. It’s very easy to get bogged down in other aspects of the process and forget about the most basic and important parts. That’s especially true in a technically difficult field like macro; sometimes you’re happy just getting anything at all in focus, the way some of these critters move around. I really feel that this is an area where there’s a lot of room for improvement, even though I think I’ve already improved since I got started with this.
Just a short post to provide some food for thought.