They say a picture speaks a thousand words, but I also say, that a good subject is worth a thousand pictures. And if you have a subject worth shooting, it’s definitely worth giving it all you’ve got at the time or, if not, come back tomorrow or another day, when the light or time is better and plan to take as many shots of it as you can.
For the novice, when a subject first catches the eye, you think to yourself, ’Wow, gotta get a shot of that.’ You will invariably take one shot from the same angle you first saw it at and then move on. Even the most experienced of photographers never think for one minute that they are clever enough to only need one shot!
If you are shooting a bird or an animal, you will want to get in as close as you possibly can and one shot may be all you can manage, before they take flight. Of course, one shot may be all you need for a record of the event, but if there is a chance of a second shot, you may decide to wait for a moment when the subject is in a better light or perhaps a different viewpoint might eliminate background distractions or if there is a chance you can move another couple of steps closer.
Always try to think outside the square and really put your camera to the test. Give it all you have got and use wisely whatever light you have at your disposal. It is no use after the event, when you get your shots up on the PC, thinking you wish you had done this or that, because you may never get the chance again to return to that same scene.
An excellent way to practice this is to go out into your garden with your camera. Shoot the first bright, colourful object that catches your eye. Let’s assume this is a flower. Photograph this flower from your normal height and from wherever you are standing at the time, then take a couple of steps closer and whilst focusing on your target, move from side to side or crouch down on one knee, till you get your background and viewpoint right. Also, check the background for any bright spots or distractions. Use your zoom. Try holding the camera vertically as well as horizontally. When you feel you have it right, get another shot in. Then go through the entire process again for a possible third shot.
When out in the wilds you are confronted by a bird or animal, you never really know what they consider is a safe and comfortable distance from you, so you must try to be very quiet, but get in your first shot as quickly as possible from where you are standing and treat this simply as a record shot.
Then, remembering the steps of the above exercise and how important it is that you get in as close as possible, if there is a chance of a second shot, go through all of those things again in your mind and try to get in as many shots as you can until you are completely satisfied that what you have will be sure to offer at least some good results.