notes on creating more engaging photographs

watching videos by David duChemin and letting his wise advice sink in.

he talks about "reading" photographs, which i totally love. to "look at" a photograph seems like a passing glance or an absent-minded stare. i want my photographs to tell a story, and we can read visual language in much the same way we read written language. and just as a really good book grabs you in the first few pages so a really good photograph captures and holds your attention, taking you on a journey.

three ways to create more engaging photographs.

one. go deeper. i used a wide angle lens and a diagonal line into the picture of the red tricycle.

two. increase the contrast, tonal and/or conceptual. love this photo of the coffee shop patron with deep contrast of black and white and the added elements of his straw hat and the electrical outlet with devices plugged in. an interesting contrast between high and low tech.

three. vary point of view. the photo of the window from the restaurant Kuba Kuba in Richmond is head on and eye level. pretty ordinary, yet the view into the window, those little treasures including a picture from Cuba, add a second point of view - looking in. and the car with the kayak on on top, ready for adventure . . . i sat on the sidewalk across the street, low to the ground, to take this picture so i could include the entire building as a backdrop for the photo. a point of view that documents the downtown neighborhood architecture and a perspective of outdoor adventure as escape from the ordinary view of city/town life.