Q: How did Tolstoy eventually complete War and Peace? A: One word at a time. Photography is the same. Q: How does a photographer create the best possible capture of a scene? A: With one release of the shutter at a time. The point I want to get across is to realize that the best possible capture of a subject often requires you spend time with it and take multiple shots, one click at a time. Let the natural light grow in intensity, make a slight adjustment of the composition, vary the focal length, etc. If you simply approach your subject accompanied by a single click of the shutter, it will often make you wish you let the situation evolve.
Photographically speaking, what does it mean to Let it Evolve? When things evolve, they get better with time. Spend more time with your subject to watch how the light evolves. Will it look better or worse based on the time of day as the angle of the sun changes? Spend more time walking around your subject to see if you can find a better angle. Move to the left or right to allow the light to emphasize a different aspect. Spend more time to work your subject from a different level. Get down low or shoot from a high angle to create a unique viewpoint. Spend more time experimenting with different focal lengths. If the focal length you’re using is on the long side, try a wide angle to include the environment.
Let what it is you encounter evolve into something with greater drama and impact than what you got with the first press of the shutter. By no means am I dismissing the fact that the first click of a shutter can’t produce the best shot. In that it more frequently happens after multiple clicks, I encourage you to believe in photographic evolution. If you let it evolve, it provides the opportunity to choose which shot is the best when it’s time to edit rather than wish you would have shot it in more ways after the fact.
Study the LCD and ask yourself what you can do to improve the picture. Perhaps a touch of flash to open up the shadows would help. Perhaps the addition of a warm toned reflector would be beneficial. Maybe zooming the lens will add a creative twist. So the next time you choose to “Click and Run,” refrain from leaving your subject too early. Review the image on the LCD and ask yourself how you can apply the above tips to wind up with a winner.