One of the big differences between “just snapshots” and art photography is that the artist thinks about what they’re doing, what they’re trying to show, and how to achieve the desired result.
I’ve been reading and studying techniques of composition because … well … that’s one way to learn. The other is way is to go out and shoot, I’ve been doing that as well, and I’m hoping to have meaningful interactions with some of the local photography groups. (We’ll see about that last part, I tried before with one group and had a less than stellar experience. Cliques and in-groups are a thing.)
One book I’ve found useful is Richard Garvey-Williams “mastering composition” It’s inspired me to look again at how I edit images. You can’t always plan out photographs in the wild. You can try, but nature has a way of doing what she wants and the process of observation often perturbs the environment. Shades of quantum mechanics, say what?
Today’s images show what I mean. (and they are or soon will be available on this site.)
The original is pretty, enough, but it’s out of balance and a bit washed out.
Cropping, playing with the image chromatic values (adjusting the image values to remove saturation and then adjusting the midpoint level), and using various trickery to restore the size results in:
This is a vastly better image. The subject dominates the picture and the lines defined by the flowers leads the eyes to it.
Much the same happens with this image of a Swallowtail. Before: