The secret ingredients of a good image Part 2

[ NIKON D5100 - 1/160sec - ISO-100 - Lens : 35mm at f/10 ]
This is a work in progress...

In the second part of this series we further explore the ingredients that help us making a good image.

Use the layering

It is always a good idea to add different layers to your image. These layers contribute to draw the attention of the viewer and keep it alive. You can use layers in various photographic situations, but I find they are quite useful when doing landscape

Natural Park of Els Ports, Catalunya, Spain [ NIKON D750 – 1/80sec – ISO-100 – Lens : 35mm at f/7.1 ]

The first layer would be the darker vegetation in the foreground, the second one the fading mountains, and finally the distant dark skies make for a third layer.

Italian Dolomites [ NIKON D750 – 1/500sec – ISO-100 – Lens : 35mm at f/8 ]

The darker foreground, the middle mountains and finally the sky and clouds make for 3 different layers, you get the idea.

Seize the right moment

Be always ready. You never know when something is going to happen that will make your shot more lively and interesting.

Singing some flamenco [ X-Pro2 – 1/500sec – ISO-250 – Lens : 35mm at f/2.8 ]
No more photos ! [ X-T30 – 1/640sec – ISO-160 – Lens : 23mm at f/4 ] Edited with Classic Negative filter
[ NIKON D70s – 1/25sec – ISO-800 – Lens : 24mm at f/6.3 ]

Add some element that makes the picture more interesting

[ X-Pro2 – 1/500sec – ISO-800 – Lens : 23mm at f/5.6 ]

We could have the same picture but without the seagulls that fly around the main building that is the main subject. This was also a quite stormy day, so the seagulls add to the windy situation here.

[ X-Pro2 – 1/30sec – ISO-3200 – Lens : 35mm at f/2 ]

The moon adds for something more interesting in this night “shadow puppets” picture style.

Work your scene

Try some different angles till you find one that suits better the image that you have in your mind.

Drag handlebar to see before and after

Image on the left, I see the potential of a nice contrast between the girls in black on the left taking pictures and the bride in white on the right. I take a shot but it doesn’t quite work because I’m too far away and there’s too many things in the frame. So I get closer, slightly change the angle and press the shutter. This time it works better for the contrast i had in mind. Retrospectively I think I could have tried more shots because I’m not quite satisfied with the overall composition. It’s true that sometimes you have to be quick with street photography so not to miss the moment, but on the other hand I have to remember myself to slow down once you have your shot, and be patient because you never know if you are going to get a more interesting composition just waiting there waiting for the subjects to move around !

Capture the viewer’s interest

If your picture is capable of driving the viewer’s curiosity then it will work better and retain his attention. I took the picture opening this article in Istanbul. Those kids where trying to catch some little fish or crab. They where debating about the best strategy on how to do it. That’s the moment I choose to capture. On seeing the picture one asks himself about what is going on there, where are the kids, what are they doing etc.. The viewer will make up his own story when looking at the scene. It makes it more interesting.

[ NIKON D5100 – 1/160sec – ISO-100 – Lens : 35mm at f/10 ]
[ X-Pro3 – 1/125sec – ISO-400 – Lens : 23mm at f/2 ]

Here above, with this simple shot and the harsh treatment of light which contributes to the stark contrast we set the viewer’s path and we may wonder, “what’s this place ? where does this lead to ? what remains hidden from our view and what is there to be seen once we get there… “

This is a work in progress...

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