What Makes Your Image Better Than Someone Else's?

October 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment



Kyle Cook




What makes your image better than someone else's who was at that same spot? There are several things! First, composition - is your composition more dynamic? Is there something to draw your viewer into your image, or is it just a picture - flat, with no "movement"? Is your lighting dramatic? Or, is it also flat, with no modeling, no dimension? Did you photograph at the right time of the day? Does your photograph have the harsh light of midday? Yes, sometimes that works, but LOTS of people go out on sunny days and shoot.


Be the one who shoots in fog, early morning or late afternoon light, or in more adverse weather conditions. THAT will give you images that no one else may get. You can't duplicate weather conditions! Are you shooting in the right season? The colors of fall will give you spectacular images - each fall is different - some dull, some bright. Use the color to your advantage - it almost always makes your image beautiful! How about winter? Don't discount shooting in winter to get images different than the status quo. Bring out the lovely shapes of trees that you can't see with their leafy coverings. Water in mountain streams often become a vibrant emerald green in the winter, adding color to an otherwise neutral scene. Snow simplifies your image and lets the eye focus on a more peaceful scene, eliminating clutter that would otherwise be exposed. Spring brings out soft, "fuzzy" color that softens your scene in a more pastel way. Be there when the leaves start to open, and when the blooms of dogwood and red bud add interest to your landscape. Capture the flowers at their peak, when they cover a hillside with vibrant color. Summer is a time to capture the beautiful verdant greens of moss near a waterfall and the shady paths through the woods.  


Choosing your time to shoot a subject can result in a drastically different image depending on when you photograph it. It's a fun exercise to photograph a scene in all seasons. That doesn't mean just taking a snapshot of it in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer - it means to do that, but also capture the moods of that season in your photograph to make people wish they were there. Try to take images that will bring out emotions of longing to be where you were at that same time. This, of course, can't always happen, but it's a great thing to aim for. Get there when other people aren't. Don't wait for something better tomorrow - shoot what you have today! You might miss something if you don't! 


Stop taking snapshots and start making images. Take the season, the lighting, the atmosphere all into consideration when you make your photograph. Then, you will be happier with your images, and others will enjoy them even more.  Now, get out and shoot!


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