Good photo composition can make any subject salable“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” —Elliott Erwitt

Good photo composition can turn the things we see every day into something more. Keeping it simple, even minimalist, using repetition, focusing on texture, or defocusing your lens, are all ways to make the mundane more abstract and interesting.

To make this abstract photograph, I took a few strings of beads I had around the house and shone a light on them. It has earned me over $1,200 in stock photo royalties.

I simply walked out the door to shoot these trees in my yard, which I’ve licensed for two calendars. However, my timing was carefully planned.

Light is the most important aspect of photography. For landscape photography, choosing the right time of day is essential, as is learning all you can about the natural world. I shot this photo in early November at 9 a.m. Morning light is softer. You don’t get the harsh shadows you would as the sun rises higher in the sky.

Inspiration can strike anytime. Even when it rains.

I was hanging up my iPhone when I noticed the play of light from the setting sun on the raindrops on my daughter’s windshield and immediately took this picture. Having a camera that is always with you leaves you open to possibilities. 

I “cross-processed” it in the Photoshop app to give it a moody feel and uploaded it to Stockimo, a site that sells artsy stock images, all from my iPhone. It was a hit on Instagram and fine-art sites, too.

The billowy cumulus clouds that fill the sky right after it stops raining are one of my favorite phenomena. I was struck by how the clouds’ reflections spread across the pond’s surface and spilled over into the puddle inside the canoe, creating a wonderful pattern, which I emphasized by decreasing the contrast and using targeted filters and brushes to make the surface appear flatter, giving it a more surreal dreamy feel.

A New York City gallery owner chose it for a juried show.

My grandmother gave me my first camera when I was six. This month, I turn 60 and have just become a grandmother myself, but I’m still learning. Taking classes and visiting museums and galleries are essential to me.

Although I’m in the midst of downsizing, I have a pile of photography coffee table books that I will never part with. They inspire me to improve my craft. As Imogen Cunningham said, “Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”

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