Deconstructing my photos - October favourites / by Hannah Prewitt

I’d never really thought about looking back at my past images until I read Mikko Lagerstedt’s blog post about how to find inspiration for your photography. By the way if you haven’t checked out his blog, please do. He’s one of the only photographers I’ve come across who write about his process to stay motivated and inspired, which is the kind of stuff I love to read.

Anyway, I got this idea from him to analyse my past work. The idea is that by focusing on the best images I’ve created, it will inspire me to create more, to help me find my direction, and also create work that others like to look at too (I know they say you should create for yourself but knowing that other people appreciate my work is part of what keeps me going). So I decided to start doing this for my most liked image (on the gram), and my personal favourite image each month. And I figured, if it helps me, then it might help you too.

So this first image has actually been my most liked on Instagram of all time, but it also happens to be one of my favourites.

How to deconstruct your photos - 1.jpg

What is the main subject?

The ocean - shallow, clear, tropical water.

What colours are used?

An icy aqua blue.

What is the overall composition?

I’m asking myself this question because, if I’m honest, I feel that composition is the creative part of photography that I find the most difficult. But by studying this image, it’s actually really obvious that it’s horizontally symmetrical.

Deconstructing my images - composition.png

What do you like about the image?

This shot draws me in. The perspective makes me feel like I am under the water right now. I also love the reflections on the surface.

What don’t you like about the image?

I wish it was just a little bit sharper, and less noise in the background.

How could you improve it?

I shot this at an aperture of f/8, so I could use a narrower aperture to achieve a greater depth of field. It could also be more interesting if there were something swimming in the background, so I could try a Photoshop addition.

This second shot is my personal favourite from the whole month. I just love it.

How to deconstruct your photos - 2.jpg

What is the main subject?

An isolated tropical island.

What colours are used?

A steely blue and muted emerald green.

What is the overall composition?

The island is vertically centred in the image but the split in the ocean is slightly lower and adheres more to the rule of thirds. The clouds and vignette of the water also act as leading lines towards the island.

Deconstructing my photos looking at composition.png

What do you like about the image?

I love the colours and the simplicity of this shot. I also love that it’s not completely symmetrical. I think the clouds on the left side offset the shot nicely. 

What don’t you like about the image?

The water line is a bit too thick (which is because of my equipment) and there is a slight blur to the bottom of the island. I’d also like the seafloor to be a bit more in focus.

How could you improve it?

I could stop down the aperture from f/8 to achieve a deeper depth of field and pay closer attention to water droplets on my dome port.

I’ve asked myself some pretty basic questions here, but by doing so, it’s forcing me to analyse my images and hopefully help me to think more about future photos I take, rather than just clicking away.

I hope this helps you too, and if anyone needs some direction, I’d be more than happy to help!

October image deconstruction.jpg