They say the a picture is worth 1,000 words. This may be an exaggeration when you consider what words would come to the mind of the average viewer. By including relevant visual detail, you give the viewer enough information to provide a context for the image while giving details about this brief moment.
This shot was made at the Coyote Point Rifle and Pistol Range in San Mateo. If you have never been to a shooting range, they are usually not particularly interesting to look at. In the case of Coyote Point, it appears somewhat barren, being designed with safety, not esthetics, in mind. The challenge was to find a background for a photo that was both unique to the facility and hinted at what actually goes on there. There were other volunteers adding new gravel to the range walkways, but I felt that photo of a Bobcat dumping gravel on the footpaths would have come up short on both accounts.
I am not a "saturation shooter" when it comes to making a shot like this. I consciously try to place my subjects in an environment that suggests something about the story. In this case, I needed some visual elements that would suggest that this was a rifle range, and while you can't show people simultaneously shooting targets and throwing them away, you can find something in the environment that makes the location pretty obvious. I found this "Sighting In Your Rifle" sign at the far end, which clearly suggested what would normally happen at a shooting range. The stacks of target backers awaiting repair were an appreciated bonus.
After viewing this image with a Hoodman Hood Loupe, it became clear that the shooting bench at camera left wasn't adding anything to the image. So I zoomed my lens from 11mm to 16, and moved in for a tighter shot.
Photo #5: Here's the actual photo, right out of the camera. I chose an 8X10 aspect ratio, and in the crop, lost some of the target at camera right. But I believe the final image, seen below, has all of the necessary visual elements to carry the story. You don't have to know anything about shooting to figure out what happening in the photo.
Here's one last look at the final image. Some adjustments in Levels provide a bit of "snap" to the image, and the cropping managed to eliminate portions of the background.
As an editorial photo, you can get a sense for what these fellows are doing. It is much more interesting that the common alternative, a photo with five people, squinting into the sun, standing beside of a mound of gravel. The target backers were going to be cleaned anyway. I just made sure that I was ready to shoot when they started peeling the old targets off the backers, and stayed around until I made the photo I wanted.