Tips On Capturing Interaction!

To me, “Interaction” is an intriguing theme for this contest. By definition, the topic almost forces you to tell a story with your photograph.One of the many things that come into my mind is the great photojournalist who would place himself in area where the lighting was perfect, the scene fitting for his story, and the leading lines in the scene thought out and arranged ahead of time. The photographer would then wait until his subjects came into his camera frame into the exact spot he had pre-visualized them to go and then take the picture. The resulting photograph would look like it just “happened”. The interaction would be spontaneous, not forced or posed.

People often are amazed that their candid snapshots of life around them don’t turn out like the pictures from these photojournalists. How can those photographers get so lucky as to capture such a special moment in the perfect scene with the perfect lighting to boot? The point is that they aren’t lucky. They ponder, plan, prepare, and then pounce when everything comes together as planned.

This week, consider what events or ideas you want to capture to convey the word “interaction”, and then think about what lighting would best complement your subject(s). Go over the string of events likely to happen and position yourself in the scene so as to best create a stunning photograph. Of course, you can “help” things to happen so as to get the photograph you have in mind!! The point is to practice pre-visualizing what you want and then go through the steps to get that shot.

It doesn’t matter who or what your subject is. These ideas apply to anything (that I can think of right now!).

This is an exciting hunt! Once you prepare, you never know what may happen. Life never goes exactly as planned. Be flexible and adapt! You may come away with a photograph  better than any you had planned for in the first place. But, by planning ahead, you will be in the right place at the right time! Magic can happen! The moments of interaction you capture will be more than just snapshots. It will be a piece of art worth studying.

One more thing. You don’t have to tell the whole story. You can leave questions that the viewer must answer himself. Often, the most memorable photos are the ones that leave you thinking long after you first see the image. They make you wonder and come back again to try to decipher what the outcome was.

What story of interaction will you tell?

Just a few ideas to get you started….

Most of the following links don’t follow all the tips I listed above as in they may not all have the best lighting, etc. You can, however, use them as a spring board to jump start your creative juices!

People interacting with their environment:

People interacting with objects:

Animals interacting with eachother:

People interacting with eachother:


Definition: Interaction
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way causal effect. A closely related term is interconnectivity, which deals with the interactions of interactions within systems: combinations of many simple interactions can lead to surprising emergent phenomena. Interaction has different tailored meanings in various sciences. Changes can also involve interaction.

Casual examples of interaction outside of science include:

  • Communication of any sort, for example two or more people talking to each other, or communication among groups, organizations, nations or states: trade, migration, foreign relations, transportation,
  • The feedback during the operation of machines such as a computer or tool, for example the interaction between a driver and the position of his or her car on the road: by steering the driver influences this position, by observation this information returns to the driver.


July Contest

Hi guys!

This month’s contest is right around the corner! Get your creative juices flowing as you think about how to capture the idea of “interaction” in your photo. Our fine judge will be Laura Johnson. She is going to post some tips for us about this month’s theme, so be watching for that.

Remember to have your entries in by Sunday, July 27th and check out the contest page for further details. As always, feel free to email me at if you have any questions.

Best wishes as you shoot!


Ascending Rungs

There are times when inspiration just appears but a lot of times we have to work at it. You may not but I do. This contest was no exception.

"Ascending Rungs" by John Hainline

“Ascending Rungs” by John Hainline

Because I live in an area made up of rolling wheat fields, “High Places” are pretty few and far between. This grain silo wasn’t very inspiring but I worked the angles and here is the result. I’ve heard Greg’s thoughts on this image and now I’m interested in hearing yours.


P.S. This post is pretty late in coming and I’m sorry but I hope you enjoyed the slight glimpse into a subject I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about lately – inspiration. I hope to solidify my thoughts into something more complete and post them.