In the previous post I wrote that Gene Smith talked about the opener and closer shots, we might also refer to the opener as the establishing shot.

So this morning I decided to try and take an establishing shot of my office. It’s not particularly big but I thought there were probably 3 or 4 options and each option told a slightly different story and it would be my choice as the editor to decide which supported the story I would tell.

documentary photographer studio

This was option 1. The most obvious – the objective was to get as much of the office in the shot as possible using my 18mm (27mm equiv) lens on my Leica CL.

documentary photographer studio

Here’s option 2. Focusing on the ‘hub’ of the office, the place where I work and reveals a bit more about me; such as the dog under my desk that you couldn’t see from the other shot.

documentary photographer studio

And here is option 3. Probably the better option. It gives an flavour of the things around my desk that inspire me, it shows the view from chair over the garden, you can still the dog peaking through. Overall, there are things to find and discover in this shot that aren’t as inviting in the previous two. It feels more human and there are more signposts in this shot for a viewer to relate to, and/or consider.