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The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs by David duChemin

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Lesson 43. Know Your Subject

It’s easy to mistake the thing we photograph for the photograph itself. It’s easy to get so seduced by the thing we are photographing that we forget that a photograph of a beautiful thing is not necessarily the same thing as a beautiful photograph. It’s important to understand what you are really photographing. Let me give you a couple examples. I photograph in Kenya almost every year. Each time I am there I photograph the big cats. I adore them. They are truly beautiful. But not every image captures what they truly are, or what I am trying to say about them. Some images will communicate their power, some their beauty, and others their speed. In each case, it is not only the cat that is the subject but power. Beauty. ...

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