When preparing a photo for competition or for show and tell, I try to pick a photo that has two major factors, well maybe three. They are:

  • Impact
  • Does it tell a story
  • Placement or composition

If you find yourself wondering what the point is with a particular photo you may want to reconsider showing it. Better yet, ask yourself what is the point of this photo.  Yes there are varying degrees of the above qualities. Anyone of these qualities may overpower the other two and win the day.  A firemen running out of a building on fire with a child in his  hands has more impact than the composition. A bird such as a raptor gliding is nice but what is the point. If it had an animal in its talons or beak that would be better and a story teller.  That is not to say that the underbelly of a full spread Red Tail Hawk against a blue sky is not beautiful. All I’m saying is add impact to the shot somehow or perhaps you should move on to another photo. Then again maybe the sheer beauty of the bird is the impact and story wrapped together. Each photo has to stand on it’s own merit of Impact, Story Telling and Composition.

Hand and Hoof

Blog_Hand and Hoof

Impact- yes; tell a story-yes (look at the steam, shoe and those burly arms); composition- ok follows the rule of thirds somewhat; nice mat to contain the photo and make the eye focus on the POINT.

Feed Me Now

Feed Me Mom

Impact-yes (ah how cute); story- yes (baby wants to be feed) ; composition- yes- not quite rule of thirds but the two are off-center and towards upper left quadrant of photo

Next week I will address how to take an ok photo and put some juice to it. I know my purist bird photographer friends cringe when making adjustments to bird photos. And, some competitions frown or will not allow you to make major changes to your photo.  So my tips will be up to you to decide how you want to proceed.