The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Wow Factor

Every photographer is looking for that "Wow!" They look for that one photo that makes others stop and stare – just lose themselves in the photo.

How many times have we all seen the same – or it looks the same – lighthouse photo? I mean really – how many photos of lighthouses do we need?

OK – now someone is going to say similar things about flower photos. I can agree to a point. Once I thought I had taken the best photo of a brown-eyed Susan – until another photographer came along and said it would make a nice greeting card. It was not said as a compliment – it was a nice way to say – "ho hum." I like to credit Georgia O'Keeffe for my interest in macro photography. And, having a backyard filled with flowering plants helps too! So yes, I take many macro photos of flowers. Flowers are such a popular subject for macro photography – the symbol on the camera for macro is a tulip! I try hard to make my flower shots unique, different and just not the same old, same old.

If the goal is to take technically sound photos – sharp, great exposure, perfect contrast – then don't get overly concerned with wowing anyone besides you. But – if you are like me – and you desire that extra, the wow, the type of photo to cause someone to look at it for a period of time and wish they were in it – you need to think beyond f-stops and ISO. You need to think – what makes my photo unique. What about my photo would take someone more than 15 seconds to see all there is to see? Does you eye "travel" through the photo? Is it more than a 'greeting card?'

When I am teaching a workshop – I say I like working with flowers because they don't talk back to me. I would like to end this entry with my absolutely favorite Georgia O'Keeffe quote: "I hate flowers, I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move."

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