Here is a simple
acronym to keep in mind when you create or evaluate an image.
I – C - T "ice tea"
IMPACT----------------- How do you react to the image? Does it Grab Attention & hold it?
COMPOSITION-------- Does the image
have a sense of order or balance? Is there an 'eye path' to the subject?
------------- A deliberate, quality focus, exposure and more?
The subject dominates the image
and forms the viewer's first impression. The viewer's eyes may move to explore
other areas of the image, but the eyes are drawn inevitably back to the
The viewer can immediately
identify the subject.
you look at the photo, what is the first thing you see?
holds your eye the longest?
other elements compete with the subject for attention?
what you see first, what the photographer really had in
mind for the center of
There should be a sense of
Composition rules like “Rule of
Thirds”, use of negative or empty space, leading lines, framing-w/in-the-frame, etc., are helpful starting points, but they are useful only as long as they
enhance the overall image.
--- Keep it simple ---The fewer the elements in a photo, the stronger the
statement the image makes because it helps to prevent the viewer's eye from
--- Fill the frame --- Filling the frame helps establish the
center of interest and it helps exclude competing background details. You can
fill the frame by moving closer to the subject or by using a longer focal length
lens or zoom in.
--- Control the background ---A non-distracting background helps bring attention to
the subject of the photo. You can control the background by moving your own
position or moving the subject to avoid background distractions. Or use a wider
aperture (smaller f-stop #) to blur the background.When possible, eliminate or rearrange distracting background
--- Organize the elements
---If you apply
the Rule of Thirds in photography you simply imagine a
tick-tac-toe pattern on the viewfinder. Then, when you place the subject of the
photo at one of the intersection points, the result is a pleasing sense of
order. Using Negative Space by placing your main subjects
with large open backgrounds, can make the subjects stand out and create a
stronger sense of balance in your photos.Leading Lines can help the viewers eyes find the main
subject/message of the image as can Framing within the Frame
there a sense of order/balance in the image that helps lead the eye through the
the elements included strongly contribute or distract from the subject/message?
the depth of field, lens focal length, lightingand perspective enhance the image?
the crop enhance the composition?
Sharp focus is one of the first
things that viewers first notice about an image. The sharpest point of the
picture should identify what the photographer sees as the most important aspect
of the image.
Remember, so-called rules have
The photographer may
"break" rules intentionally.Ie., a subject is intentionally unfocussed to show
motion,created soft for a
portrait, or even, placed dead center for a theme, etc..
--- Exposure ---the photographer’s choice of lens
focal length, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO should also enhance the intent
of the image.
the sharpest focus on the center of interest of the image?
the depth of field enhance the subject, mood, or look of the image?Does it distract?
the focal length enhance the subject and meaning of the image?
the color appear natural and/or does it help set the mood of the image?
the image have good overall contrast for the type image the photographer
the lighting reveal what's important in the image and set the overall tone of
thoughts beyond I – C – T…
When you hear someone say "Tell a story" with your photo what do they mean?Here's my take; The difference between
a photo that is rememberedand one
that is quickly forgotten depends on whether the viewer can relate to it.That means a "connection" is made. Perhaps it's a recognition of a similar "story" from their past ...or something their
imagination...or their immediate "gut feeling". You've
conveyed a story of the scene or subject the evokes an emotional
response.Good, bad, big
or small, that emotional response makes the image memorable.
the photo elicit an emotion?
you relate to the subject or the situation?
the photo make a statement, convey a story, that you can sum up in a few words?
The best creative images show
the subject/message through the photographers' eyes.A personal perspective.Revealing the subject, conveying the story in an unique way.Perhaps stirring the viewers in such a
way it keeps them interested in what the image is "about".
It is done in PP (post
processing) and / or while-you're-shooting those SOOC
(straight out of camera) images.Ie., converting the photo to Black & White, or sepia tone,
processing with HDR, using filters, shooting for bokeh, tweaking the white
balance, ISO, shutter speed, "taking a risk" and tossing aside conventional "photo rules"...
this creativity disclose something more about the subject?
this method appealing, fun, thought provoking?
the unique approach help make it a stronger image?