How to Make an Extraordinary Photograph

     Morning Rise, CM

What makes a photograph go from simple to extraordinary?

There are many different paths to take that get you there.  Some people are more capable than others, but the opportunity can always be found.

The most important thing is that the making of an amazing photograph starts with the eye of the beholder.  It’s what you see, feel, hear, and think.  Then it’s how you translate that into solid form.

I am no professional, just an art admirer who likes to dabble in some photo taking.  However, through the years I have picked up a few things.

At first I thought, all that matters is taking the picture at the right moment.  That may be important but that is just one of the steps that lead to a great photo.  Here are some things you can experiment with…


I believe that you can take a picture of almost anything and make it look interesting.  You just have to find the right set up.   Things centered is a big no in the art world.  It can be done, but it is not suggested.  Placing the focal point off center makes for a stronger photograph.

Horizon lines should lay flat, or else it can get distracting.  If you have a specific place you want people to focus on, you want to look out for anything that might distract your viewer’s eyes.

Most importantly, you want to create an imaginary line that leads the viewer’s eye back into the photo.  You want to find a way to keep them locked in to your piece of work.

Version 2
Offering, CM

Version 2

Anniversary, CM

These two photos are of the same subject, just composed two different ways.  Do you think they tell the same story?


Finding the right lighting is so important when making a good photograph.  It can create mood, it can create depth, and it can create space.  However, it can also erase parts of your photo.  If a photo is too bright, or too dark, it can hide the detail of the object being photographed.

In order to prevent this, you need to know how to adjust the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture.  Putting your camera on Auto may help you reach the right exposure.  However, if you want to create extraordinary photos, manual is the way to go.


Just like lighting, the color of your photo can effect mood as well.  Do you want your picture to exert a happy feeling or a sad one?  Once you decide the type of feeling you would like your viewer to experience, you can then change the color accordingly.

Version 2 Version 4

                                                                                                                                  Stand Tall, CM

As you can see, this is the same photo, just expressed in two different ways.  Do you get the same feeling while looking at both?

Find Your Voice

Last but definitely not least, try to find who you are behind the camera.  What kind of stories do you want to tell?  What do you want people to see?  What type of subjects do you get a thrill taking?  Is it Landscapes, Travel photos, Wildlife, Portraits, Fashion, Black & White?  You have the power to choose.


                                                                                                                       Merchant in Florence, CM

Just remember that people may not always see exactly what you want them too, but they’ll see something.  That’s the beauty of art.  You can’t get the wrong answer, because no matter what someone is going to notice something different than someone else.  It’s versatile, it’s poetic, and it’s extraordinary.

There are a million other ways to make an impressive photo.  These are just a few tips that have stood out to me through the years.  Don’t be afraid to break the rules and show people different ways to look at things.  Be creative, find your voice, and have fun with it!

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