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The 5 Key Elements to Great Photographs

The building with red awnings is the headquarters for Europol. Europol is the Law Enforcement Organization that handles international criminal investigations for all EU members.  It’s located near the seaside suburb of Scheveningen in Den Haag, or, as we know it – The Hague.

While travelling through the Netherlands one summer afternoon, I was wandering aimlessly, as I tend to do wherever I travel, I noticed this building with striking red awnings – lots of them (which I later learned are retractable electronically).  I knew immediately that I had to photograph it, what I didn’t know, was that an opportunity was fast approaching.

When I saw the bicyclists rolling towards the building at a quick pace, I knew I had only a few moments to park, grab a camera, get into position, calculate my exposure, and……..click, click, click!  It was over in a matter of seconds.

I had the one shot I wanted.  I had the shot because of five key elements –  Desire, Foresight, Awareness, Preparedness, and, good old fashioned Luck.  I find these five elements are almost always present during a great image capture, no matter what I’m shooting. I always try to practice the first four on the list every day, that way I’m ready when the fifth one briefly visits.

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© Dana Bowden


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