I think we can all say we are guilty of this. A bird flies into an area or we spot our subject..we get in position..then that is it. Our feet become cemented to the ground and we don't move. We shoot off 300-400 pictures if the subject allows. We get home and all of them look the same..same background, slightly different pose maybe but no major difference.
Now don't get me wrong if the setting your looking at through the viewfinder is magical and there is no way you can bet what you see then by all means sit and shoot...but for me personally that might happen 5% of the time. Again as I mentioned before I'm guilty of the cement feet but I try and remind myself in each situation to move around if the subject or area allows me. Lets look at an example from this past weekend.
We have been very very lucky to have a Peregrine Falcon take up resident at Quidi Vidi lake. I've only photographed him three times over the past three years. One of the main reasons is that his favorite perches and location just doesn't allow for very interesting pictures in my eyes.
Sure you can get beautiful detailed full frame shots of him at 700mm as you can see here
For me personally the image does nothing...there is no depth, nothing of interest other then this stunning bird which for some that is enough.
So what do we do...we move...as mentioned we don't always have the luxury of moving but since this Falcon is so cooperative we can.
I want to create some kind of depth..with a simply perch and blue background its hard..so I move more to the side...making the perch more at an angle and having our viewer look down the perch at the subject instead of straight on.
k ok its a little better but still nothing to do back flips over..again many might disagree.
So I search...move around more...then move further back from the subject...hmmm a very distant hill side by quidi vidi village..could work?..it has a few houses on it but I spotted one small area that is clean and the falcon fit perfect
ow we're getting somewhere..much more interesting background, nice side light but I'm still not full happy with the image. For me the main tree to the left is a little over powering and well no catch light in the eye but unless I used a flash I won't get any from this angle.
So I move again..a little more to the right and in slightly closer...this time using a different more distant hill side.
nd there it is..the shot. Nice clean perch, interesting background, interesting pose from the subject..beautiful side light to highlight the fluffed up feathers. Since I was on a slope as I moved to the right I went down slightly so I couldn't get the full hill as the background but I'm still happy with it. Only thing I would change would be catch light in the eye but I don't use flash so nothing I can change there.
So if you can try moving around. I always take a few "Safe Shots" so that if the subject does take off I know I have something but after those shots move around...in 90% of the cases there is always an interesting background to be found.