Can’t find things to Photograph – Use the SWIM approach

Dew drops in Grasses Morning in Wikie Watchee, FL
Dew drops in Grasses Morning in Wikie Watchee, FL

Keeping our images simple. That’s what the Digital Photo Mentor discussed recently. See for the rest of the story.

This took me back to one of the biggest gripes I hear from people. “I can’t find anything to photograph.” Consider the SWIM approach.

What is the SWIM approach? Simple Winning Image Method.

When I think about Swimming, we can either swim against the current, banging our heads against logs that are flowing downstream, or we can swim with the current, the easy successful way.

Last of the seed pod - Specie unknown
Last of the seed pod – Species unknown

The camera is designed to let us see exactly how the image in the viewfinder will look with the lens opened up all the way, so I simply set my lens that way, to the largest aperture opening.

I also set my camera control to Aperture Priority so the shutter speed sets automatically to provide proper exposure. It helps get those special images in quickly changing light conditions.

Celestine Bud (Wood Poppy)
Celestine Bud (Wood Poppy)

By doing those two things I’m swimming with the current. I simply look through the viewfinder – If I like what I see I release the shutter. The SWIM approach.

That approach will work for 80-85% of the images. The other 15% will require adding more depth-of-field by adjusting the aperture smaller or something similar.

If one is already shooting on manual, first set the aperture, then adjust the shutter speed for the exposure desired.

Frog in Florida bog Bob Grytten Photo
Frog in Florida bog Bob Grytten Photo

Using a Telephoto Lens…

By using a telephoto lens we can eliminate about 80% of distractions around an image and

by moving closer to the subject we can defuse the majority of distractions in the image. The result will be a pleasing, striking, winning image.

If the design of the lens does not allow us to get close enough to cut down background distractions use an extension tube. It allows us to get both closer to the subject and blow out the background.

Using a tripod will help keep the camera steady in low light.

This simple process will open the door to 80% more possible images. Scanning the area we are at, especially  using a telephoto lens, provides opportunities not seen before. The more we look, the more we will see.  I think you’ll like what you see.

Boy With Pizza, Saorge, FR Bob Grytten image
Boy With Pizza, Saorge, FR
Bob Grytten image

More info on Aperture…

The subject of Aperture, Exposure, Shutter Speed and such has been brushed over in this blog due to space constraints. However for those interested Bryan Peterson explains this subject in the most interesting way. I’ve been a fan of Bryans ever since I first learned of him. I found this book Understanding Exposure on Amazon, that he has authored. It has great reviews.

Click here for

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