We all strive to capture eye-catching photos that immediately grab attention, and part of the secret is being prepared to take advantage of every photo opportunity you confront. In the eye-opening tutorial below you learn what one pro calls “the essential elements that every stunning image has in common.”
Duade Paton is a professional wildlife photographer based in rural Australia, and he’s recently pondered what makes some images more captivating than others. After considerable reflection, and a careful examination of the thousands of images he made in 2022, Paton identified what he considers the 11 components that are responsible for his success.
His goal was to determine what makes great images compelling, and why some are more memorable than others. His list also includes aspects that create maximum impact, and the elements responsible for what’s known as the “WOW factor.” While these considerations are certainly subjective, incorporating his advice into your approach to image making is sure to elevate your skills.
This thought-provoking episode is less about camera settings and other technical matters than it is about approaching a scene with an inquisitive mind that facilitates visual storytelling. One way Paton does this is to set a mood that determines how a photo makes the viewer feel.
Another key component is using prevailing light in a way that best compliments the subject of a scene. A good example is the image of a beautiful red fox shot in early morning light by Mark Yuan. The light is perfect for the warm tones of the fox’s fluffy fur, perfectly contrasted by frost on the ground.
Paton also discusses what makes a great composition, including the importance of eye contact with an animal and waiting for an engaging pose. Understanding behavior patterns of the animals you photograph also goes a long way to ensuring a great shot.
This is just a taste of the key elements on Paton’s list, so watch the inspirational video, enjoy the beautiful imagery, and incorporate these tips the next time you’re photographing wildlife in the field.
You can see more of Paton’s fine work, and learn more about nature photography by paying a visit to Paton’s popular YouTube channel. And don’t miss the tutorial we posted from another accomplished photographer, with three pro tips for “retraining your brain” to view the world differently and capture unique images that stand out out from the crowd.