People take photos for all types of reasons, from keeping a memory or expressing an emotion to just simply trying to capture the beauty of life. Photographs have become so common that they can easily be taken for granted, especially when viewed on an internet search engine where a single image has to really stand out. With 50 or more images on a page it can be difficult to make sense of what you are looking at in the mess of alternatives that are often essentially the same image.
So why do some photos just seem to leap out at you when the others seem to get lost?
Well, it might be that the focus or contrast is better in some, or alternatively you might find that some colour combinations appeal more to you than others, but the main reason for choosing one image over another is what appeals to your imagination or inner eye. Something that the original photographer had noticed in that fraction of a second from when they first saw it and decided to press the shutter to when you the viewer, finds something in that photo that resonates and stands out from the others on the page.
The moment when you press the shutter and it captures that fraction of a second only you’ve seen is still where the magic is. That second becomes timeless and not only records the scene you have taken but can often say something about you. This form of self expression is so simple and immediate that you can look at that second years later and remember not only the scene, but the time, the temperature and the mood. Sometimes even fixing something timeless to the image that changes a nice photo into a great photo.
Photography shows how everyone sees things slightly differently depending on their relationship to their surroundings. Imagine separating a group of people in a wood and asking them to take photographs of what appeals to their eyes. Everyone would return with a slightly different way of capturing their experience. Some might be interested in detail, some might be aware of the size of the trees or the light filtering through them. Whatever way they chose to photograph the subject their eyes and the shutter will display an expression of themselves and their relationship to those surroundings.
Keep using your eyes all the time when taking photographs and try not to focus on anything else. Selfies and setups are fine, but try to focus with your eyes instead of trying to get an expected and predictable result. Be aware of the relationship between your hand and eye first and your photos will improve each time you use your camera. Learn to see what you are looking at, hold the camera still and press the shutter and you will quickly become a better photographer.
Article Written by Peter Walk