SWIM Photography Method

Swimmers on Lake Junaluska

We’re deep in the mountains of North Carolina and the Azaleas are in full bloom. What to shoot?? This is where many people get confused. The camera, too often, gets in the way of our photography. Which dial does what? We need a starting point.

If you’re not certain, most likely you’re tempted to set on Automatic. The camera will work that way, for sure, and you will get pictures. Shoot enough and some of them will be really good. For sure having fun and being outdoors is the most important. Do that first. Then, if you decide to find out what the BIG DEAL is about, try this…

  1.  Set the camera on Aperture Priority
  2. Open the lens all the way – the largest Aperture. (Strangely, that will be the smallest number.)
  3. Focus.
  4. If you like what you see, Press the Shutter Release Button.

Well – BIG DEAL. What now?

Now, we can begin to develop our sense of LIGHT and COMPOSITION. That will take a little longer. BUT, be patient. Rome was built one brick at a time.

Pinkshell Azalea

What now? Now, move closer to your subject. How close can you get? That is your minimum focal distance – the closest you can get to your subject.

This is what your image will look like…


If you only take pictures like that, you will instantly attract attention.

A compact camera or smart phone will not allow you to blur the background which is important to isolating your subject. Two other areas to check for distractions is around the edges and for bright spots in the background. Re-position your Tripod and select another subject.

This is our introduction to the SWIM Method of Photography – Simple Winning Images Method.

The swimmers on the top image have nothing to do with the SWIM we’re discussing but I couldn’t resist the tie in. Plus the light was so fantastic. It happened in a moment and then it was gone. That’s the other reason I use this approach in photography. There are fewer controls to fool with. Just point, focus and shoot.

In nature, light and animals change quickly. Check earlier posts for more tips on composition. If you come to Western North Carolina look for one of our programs. Lens Luggers recieve discounts on workshops. Thanks for looking in. Share, like and come back…

Bob says… Thanks


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