Once in a while you might hear a photographer refer to “working a subject”. What exactly does that mean? Well, they are referring to trying to find new way to capture a different image of their subject. Every photographer should learn to work a subject, but sometimes it is hard to find new ways to do so. That is where E.D.F.F.A.T. can help out.
E.D.F.F.A.T. is the acronym for Everything, Details, Frame, Focus, Angle, and Time. Most photographers refer to it as EDFAT, and include the Frame and Focus in the same idea, but I like to include both as separate ideas for images. When trying to capture a subject, these are the five ideas that you should keep in mind to tell the whole story.
For instance, on one of my trips to the Eastern Sierra to shoot the fall colors, I wanted to document what it was like to be in the area during fall when the colors were at their peak.
I documented the area.
This was shot at South Lake near Bishop. It shows the colors and the grandeur of the mountains and the clouds at the same time.
D – Details
I tried to show the details.
Here is a close-up of some of the aspen leaves as they change color.
F – Frame
I tried to get a shot that framed the scene differently than in the original Everything image.
In this image, I wanted to get the pattern of the granite in the mountains and the pattern of the fall colors as they wound their way up the slope.
F – Focus
I tried to change the focus point or depth of field.
In another image I tried to get just the leaves in the front in focus and let the view put the rest of the image together in their mind.
A – Angle
I worked to show the scene from a different angle.
In this image I used a pole to get the camera high and bring the trees, the fisherman, and the color in the background into the scene.
T – Time
I found a way to show how time passes.
By lowering the shutter speed, I was able to blur the water in the stream and show it’s movement over time.
Everything, Details, Frame, Focus, Angle, and Time
I was able to show an entire trip’s experience with just six images.
Give it a try next time you are shooting a subject. By using those six ideas, you should be able to capture the story of your subject.
You can view more of my Eastern Sierra fall color images here.
Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think.