Photography often comes down to just a few points that really matter to have a big impact on the quality of your results. The same applies for the subject you are photographing and how interesting it appears for your viewers.
This guest article was written by Florian, a photographer from the south-west of Germany. He loves to take landscape/cityscape photography and time lapse movies. You can find his pictures on his website, on facebook and the videos on vimeo.
You can find a lot of posts about capturing better pictures on the web. But I think good is probably not even the right word to describe a photo, because most of the time there is no "good" or "bad" in photography and art respectively. In my opinion a picture has to be interesting because you can't separate photography just in those two directions. A focus point for example, which seems to be set wrong, can make an picture much more adorable than a technically perfectly taken photography. How interesting a picture is can be found out for example by the amount of views or clicks a picture gets via Social Media, compared to other images from the same account or in a similar environment. But how to capture more interesting pictures? For me personally there is only one point you have to consider: Look for the uniqueness.
People like to see things which have nothing to do with their every day stuff. Or to say it in other words: That's why people like to make a journey on holiday even if they life in a beautiful touristic area.
Sunflowers are perfect photography themes for just a short period during the year.
Different ways of creating uniqueness
One possibility is showing rare scenes. In my case as a landscape photographer these scenes are landscapes which the viewer isn't used to. By traveling to other countries you will definitely find uncommon scenes to capture. But there is one stumbling block: Some people or even a lot will know the country you've travelled to and find your scenes are not unique at all. A good example are pictures of New York. Probably everybody knows images of the skyline or from the Times Square. These places are far away, but still not automatically unique and interesting. Of course not every picture of those places is absolutely uninteresting because you can still work with photography techniques like the depth of field, a very special camera position or even special events like "Tribute in Light", when New York turns on those two huge lights for only one evening in memory of 9/11. And of course you can travel to places that aren't crowded by so many tourists, which usually means that not so many people know these places. Perhaps you even find a secret place, a hidden paradise like a waterfall or a little beach only very, very few people have seen before. An important indication to determine the uniqueness of an location is the difficulty to reach it. If you can only get to your little paradise beach by hiking an hour you can be sure not so many people have been there before. A much cheaper way to shoot unique pictures is finding scenes which exist only for a short period of time. That's why I love to take pictures of sunflowers or balls of straw.
Balls of straw are another great example of something, which adds more uniqueness to your images.
You will only find them for some days a year. People can't get used to these scenes, because they are rare although they know the location. But not with these little specials. The same effect can be found in winter landscapes or autumn colored woods. And this is already the perfect bridge to the next two points which are closely related to each other: Weather and light conditions. They are probably the hardest ones to implement: Photography isn't made on your couch! So go out. And it even gets more difficult: You have to go out when the light is perfect. Light and weather don't wait for you. The only successful way to capture interesting light is getting out of your comfort zone: Get up early and shoot around sunrise or go out when it is still rainy and hope for a dramatic sunset. I've done my favorite pictures when the sun just stood above the horizon.
The Mehlinger Heide is a great place for photography when the sun is very low, especially during the early morning hours when there is a higher chance for some fog and when the dew is still visible in the fields.
In my opinion interesting light is the most important part of an interesting picture. And it makes photos more unique than everything else: It is hard to find and exists only for a short period of time a day. In my opinion the most interesting photo will usually contain all of these three factors: It's taken at a location which is hard to reach and not crowded by tourists. There are elements which are there only for some days or even better if they only can be seen for some minutes and the light is stunning.