There is a mysterious and seemingly
indefinable quality which lifts some photographs out of the ordinary.
Instead of just skimming past them, as we so often do, we pause to
admire them. How do we put that extra "something", that extra dimension
which we call "impact", into your photographs?
In reality, impact is easier to achieve
than most people realize, provided we have the right techniques which
top professionals and successful amateurs apply almost without
thinking. Concepts such as the "rule of thirds" or "color harmony", and
decisions about where to put the subject in the frame, or whether to
use a vertical or horizontal format actually makes a difference in the
end result of a photo.
The real key is using them systematically
and reliably, instead of on a hit-or-miss basis.
Learning to do so isn't a dull grind, though. You will need a lot of
practice. Take as much pictures as you can. Instead of a single
photograph, take two or three shots of the same subject. Change the
viewpoint, stand on a wall or crouch down low, come closer or walk
further away, shoot one picture horizontally and another vertically.
Shoot "around" the subject, too: show details, people's reactions, and
the same place at different times of day.
There is one professional secret that
couldn't be taught. The way to become known as a really good
photographer is to edit your pictures ruthlessly. Throw the failures
out or (if the subject matter is too precious) put them safely away in
a family album where no one else will see them. Show someone a few good
pictures, and they will look forward to seeing your next shots; show
them the whole album, the good mixed with the bad, and the bad will
overwhelm the good.
In addition, don't show too many similar
pictures. If you have (say) half a dozen shots of a child's first
steps, select just one or two which really convey that first tottering,
wavering journey. Thin the pictures out, put them in order, and let
them tell their own story.
Professionals sometimes shoot a lot
(really a lot!) in order to get just one or two good pictures. You need
not go that far, but as a rule of thumb, at least one-third of the
pictures you shoot should probably be edited out. Although you will
need extra memory card, times and effort to filter out the bad, and
some or most of your pictures will never be seen, the selection that
you do show will build your reputation as a photographer.