LAPC #220: One Subject Three Ways

Working a shot is the photographers’ way of refining the shot; to make an extraordinary imagery from the ordinary scene. It is just like a writer wandering about for the plot of story or a painter re-working his canvas for a finished outcome. 

Shivanand Sharma

For this week’s challenge, we’re exploring what professional photographers call “working a shot.” What does that mean? Photographers pick a subject (a place, an object, a person, for instance) and take a variety of photos–by zooming in on the details or stepping back for a wider view. They also vary the angle of the shot–looking up or down or even sideways. They might walk around the subject to get a unique view.

Why? This method can help us discover the best way to capture the subject. I’ve used this method for a while and it never fails to surprise me. Sometimes, the best shot is the last one!

Here’s my first example to get your creative wheels spinning. My subject was a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a thoughtful gift from a friend.

In my first photo, I focused on capturing the bigger picture…the entire bouquet in a brightly-lit room in the morning.

Then I moved the bouquet into the kitchen to get the afternoon sun. This time I focused on the details.


I tried shooting from different angles and got closer and closer to the flowers. This last image of the shriveled bud was my favorite.

For these images, I used the same lens–my 70 to 300 mm.

Here’s another set of a statue that took me totally by surprise when I saw it the other day in the Piazza di San Lorenzo. The sculptor Emanuele Giannelli created a giant golem (a creature made by man with no emotions or free will). It has been on display in various cities in Italy and it’s now in Florence. The giant statue, called Mr. Arbitrium, was placed outside the Basilica di San Lorenzo, its hands pressing against the wall of the church. Was the golem pushing against the church or holding it up?

The giant statue is intentionally ambiguous. The artist states that it’s up to the viewer to decide whether the golem is pushing against the church, its historical importance and cultural significance or supporting it.

In this first view, you see the scale of the statue, which towers over the viewer.

I kept moving closer and closer to the statue and taking more photos. Here you can see the effort it takes for Mr. Arbitrium to hold up (or push away) the church. His muscles are tense and strained from the effort.

In this final image, I moved even closer, capturing just a portion of the golem’s face and arms.

Which one is your favorite? This last one is mine.

I hope you find this technique as helpful as I have. It’s a way of reminding me to slow down, take a longer look at my subject, and experiment a bit, which often results in a better shot.

This week, we invite you to “work the shot.” Post 3 photos of the same subject–from your archives or from a recent outing. Vary your distance from the subject, try different perspectives, zoom out for the big picture, or zoom in on the details. It’s up to you. You can even experiment with processing the photos differently–in black and white or color, cropping, or trying different filters or effects. I hope you join us! Be sure to include a link to this post and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can easily find your post in the Reader.

A special thanks to Tina for hosting last week’s challenge to “dig” for some photo treasures. Your photos were marvelous, varied, and inspiring–as always!

Ann-Christine will host our next challenge, LAPC #221, so be sure to visit her beautiful site, Leya, next Saturday at noon to get all the details. We hope you join us!

Until then, have a safe, inspiring, and joyful week.

153 replies »

  1. I like this theme and we are going to the museum later this weekend so I will maybe get some fresh photos for it…
    and in both of yours, I also like the last images – the shriveled bud and the close up of the statue

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sofia. Thank you! I’m delighted you enjoyed this one….and your post was fabulous!! Finding the statue and photographing it was so much fun. The last one is my favorite, too. Something about that face is mesmerizing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That super large statue is really interesting. I see how it can be advantageous to try multiple angles to find the best way to feature the subject. Great theme, and good job providing the examples. Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, John. Many thanks! I’m delighted you like the statue. I was so happy that we stumbled upon it by chance. I really like this technique. It stops me from being lazy! Looking forward to your post!


  3. This is a great challenge Patti. It’s something every photographer should do all the time. Your examples are wonderful. Now I’ll have to think about what I can do since I don’t keep the images I discard. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved the challenge Patti – a great reminder about really working a subject. Loved your flower example, the third is my favorite. Also loved the statue, preferred the first of those. Isn’t it funny about how differently an audience will react to various interpretations?! Looking forward to seeing our followers’ examples!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true, Tina. Their reactions really vary. So far the popular vote goes to the last photo of each set…but we’ll see! Glad you enjoyed this one. I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with. 😀😀. Have a good week.


  5. Thank you for the challenge Patti. I also do this when I get a bouquet – take as many pictures of it as possible :-). The statue is impressive and I like the second last shot the best – where the effort of pushing the wall can be seen very clearly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A subject after my own heart! I often wonder why so many people take just a single shot of a place or building, and then spend the rest of the time there photographing themselves! I love your examples, and interestingly I find myself drawn to the middle shot in each set of three, although close-up of that statue’s face also makes for a great photo! Here are my own examples:

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A great challenge, Patti! Loved your examples, both of them – very informative and beautiful. I must say I “fell for” the gigantic statue…and the last shot was my favourite too! I tried something like it once in Denmark on a big boy statue, and was so struck by the close up from down under – just like yours struck me. This is an eye-opener challenge of sorts. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting, AC! I think that technique can help in some situations. It really helps me when the subject is overwhelming (like the golem) or has many angles/facets (the flowers). Interesting you had a similar experience. Glad it was a good exercise for you!


  8. A great photographic challenge to learn and enjoy. You have accompanied it with some magnificent images, my favorite is also the last one…
    I would love to participate, I will try even if it is late.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Patti, you have given us a great challenge this week! Your three flower shots are wonderful but your images of the giant statue are fabulous! I can’t decide which view I like better!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, I love this challenge! Since I often am not satisfied with taking just one photo of a subject.

    That’s such a beautiful bouquet. I love the green flower, but I also love the detail of the last in that series. And that sculpture of the golem — just, wow. I like the first one, you can see the size compared to actual people!



    • Hi, Marianne. I’m glad you enjoyed my collection. The flowers were such a lovely gift. And the golem…what a giant surprise to see him in the square. 😀😀. I can see why you like the first shot of him. You really do get a sense of how big he is. Glad you joined us this week. 😀


  11. I lked this challenge Patti. I had one idea right away and took three photos for it. Then today we had a surprise next door to us. I took three photos of the surprise and although I was not able to get any close , close ups I wanted to include three photos of the “surprise” as well.

    One Subject Three Ways


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