The number one way to improve your photos

The fool proof way of improving a photo is to reshoot it correcting all of the things you didn’t like about it the first time. Every single one of the reshoots I’ve done has resulted in a massively improved image. But reshooting a photo is a painful thing for  a photographer, especially if it’s to correct something technical like focus or exposure. Trying to improve on what you thought was your best solution in the first place is actually the heart of the creative process itself. Whenever I do this, whether it’s a reshoot or just a “rethink” during the initial shoot, I often get past all the obvious pictures and start to add creative value. 

I have included a reshot photo here depicting a “mouse racer”. The man in this story had concocted a system of tubes, pvc pipes and vacuum cleaners to create a mouse-racing track. The racing mice were employed as a fund-raising novelty for various non-profit group.


Mouseracer reshoot was a success.

Mouseracer reshoot was a success.



The first time I shot this I tried to show the elaborate system used  to race the mice but it was so complex and jury rigged that it failed as a photo. There was simply no way to show it that made any sense. When I returned my goal was to illustrate the “idea” of mouse racing rather than the more literal racing event itself.  I was able to control everything in the photo except the mice.(In this shot  one of them even made a detour around the man’s hat on its way down the track.)

It is still extremely difficult for me to reshoot something. Being 99 percent sure it will result in a better photo is the only thing that makes it possible.



~ by keithphilpott on March 19, 2009.

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