Visualizing an image before pressing the shutter is something really challenging and equally crucial as well. There is a lot of difference between 'ending up in getting a good picture' and a 'thoughtfully made image'! While the former is a matter of luck many times, the latter is a result of sheer thinking and executing to the perfection - and not giving up till you get that right!
Some times pre-visualization demands patience as well! Photography without a barrel full of patience is nothing! We should master patience before mastering photography, and I bet the former is not an easy task!! In my opinion 'lots and lots of patience' is the very basic requirement to start serious photography.
Sometimes I am attracted by some place or space where I see some unique opportunity to make some good images. I try to visualize some aspects which are actually NOT present there but could possibly be if I have some good luck! For example, in the below image, I just imagined a Short Toed Snake Eagle or an Indian Vulture on the edge of the rock and the image would have been stood apart! I had a hard luck that day and so I ended up in having just this image! But I dont regret, I had pre-visualized the shot and my mind had made the image! Its just I was waiting for the camera to make that image!! I knew what image I wanted at that time and that makes sense to me!
I always love to have the total 'thought control' on the whole process of making an image. Many times I fail, but I wont give up! Because I know this is how the journey is..... certainly not an easy one!
On another occasion, during our trek to Kodachadri, it was after the sunset and we are descending from the peak towards the place where we stayed, the sky went fantastically bluish and the colors were looking amazing. When I looked through the viewfinder, my mind made this below image where I wanted a man standing on the peak on the right. But as it was getting dark and even if I ask my friend to go there, by the time he would have reached, the light and the color would have been gone... :( But again no regrets.... happy that I 'thought' that image!
It was my just another visit to Ramanagaram, where I was trying to photograph an Indian Robin with 50mm Lens! I was very much feeling that if I succeed the image would be really 'different'! I waited for more that 45 min sitting at a single place, waiting for the Robin to arrive, which was visiting that place quite often! The wait went on and on and on.... but that lady (female Robin) turned up only once and I was bit unlucky to have her only for very few seconds! If I had got her, you would have seen a female Robin on edge of the rock on the right side...
It was during last year when I visited Manchinabele on a beautiful evening, the sun was set and the light was moody with little bit of foggy feel. A lone cormorant was sitting on the rock. I was thinking to capture its motion when it flies. The thought was difficult to realise as the light was fading away fast. Another possibility was the bird flying away in the opposite direction that I wanted it to fly, spoiling all my effort and patience of waiting!.... I was lucky, it prepared itself to fly and I had only few seconds to realise that it was about to fly.... and there it went... exactly how I wanted, and I got the image as well... exactly how I wanted!... Patience paid off! Many times it does. :)
Dragonflies sometime allow very close approach if we move carefully. One morning when I was out to shoot around Manchinabele, I found many dragonflies around. The light was Heavenly and the place was filled with Stachytarpheta blooms, the flower whose color always challenge the camera CCD to capture them as they are! Initially I spent almost an hour to get the nearly exact color of the tiny flower by changing different color temp settings and exposure settings but all went in vein! Ended up by having a load of non-usable images. But each one of them was clicked after some experimentations. One hour went without any fruitful result! Then this fella came near me and allowed me to stay pretty close to him. The sky was having thin line of cloud and I wanted that also in the frame. So tried the angle from the bottom. The plant which bears this flower will be barely few inches high and you have to go really down to include the sky in the frame. After some adjustments of my tripod, which I had acquired newly that time, I got the angle that I wanted and waited for this fella to give me a proper pose :)
He was kind on me and the result is below... This image made my day! - I titled it - 'The Blues"
I consider pre-visualization as equally important as the actual image. It infact speeds up the process of making some real good images.
Try this next time when you are on field... It may take some iterations to really appreciate what I talked but when you realize it, I bet you feel really happy and who knows you may remember me then! :)