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inspirational photosEvery so often I try to link to Flickr’s Explore photos to view the most favored and selected images from around the world. Images that appear in what is called Interestingness, are shot and produced by both professional and non-professional photographers using both professional and sometimes point-and-shoot cameras.

You can of course view these photos for their sheer artistic expression, but you can also learn photo techniques and strategies for capturing similar images.

So the following are seven images from “Interestingness” with brief descriptions of what I think stands out in these selections, as well as what techniques the photographers may have used in making the images.


I of course invite other photographers to share their insight as well, for each of us sees something different in works of art. These images are samples of what I believe can be captured by anyone who is serious about photography. Following each description is Exif data, which includes the exposure settings of the camera when the photo was taken. This data is typically embedded in digital photos.

Please link to the photos and give the photographers some much deserved positive comments.

Lost Leg, by mav_at

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Often I see elements of graphic design in subjects for photos. In this photo, the photographer crops out much of the subject and captures recurring squares in both the pool and the tile. The nice curve that runs through the middle of the image completes the composition.

You can find subjects for these type of photos nearly everywhere in downtown buildings and other forms of architecture.

Exif Data: Nikon D300S, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, 50mm, ISO 400

Factory Contest 2010, sTe

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For an action shot like this one, you have to be prepared. You can’t point and shoot at the subject to capture an image like this. The photographer used both a slow shutter speed of 1/40th of a second and he panned his camera with the movement of the biker as he clicked the shutter.

This technique freezes the subject in the foreground  and blurs the background. If the photographer had used a fast shutter speed, he would have not got the blurred motion effect. Be prepared to take several shots at these type of sporting events to capture one really great one like this.

Exif Data : Olympus E-420, f/1.0, 1.40 sec, ISO 100, QuickTime software

Sunset Pier, by Eric

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Every serious photographer should capture at least one sunset shot in his or her lifetime. This image features a very nice silhouette with the setting sun in the background. Silhouettes should be very distinctive and their shapes very familiar in these type of shots. You typically want to shoot using a tripod with a relatively wide aperture or slow shutter speed.

Notice that the photographer used a very slow ISO (light sensitivity setting) which helps reduce graininess in the image. These type of shots are typically not spontaneous. You will probably want to visit the venue several times to capture the right moment.

Exif Data: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, f/8.0, 1/640 sec, ISO 50, 200mm, Aperture 3.0 software

Red and Green, by rosyrosie2009

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Close-up photos of raindrops on flowers or tree leafs like this one can be so striking because they capture and depict such a beautiful part of nature. As soon as the rain stops, it’s a perfect time to grab your camera and tripod (to avoid camera shake) and set up for this type of shot.

This photo is appropriately titled because the contrast of the green blurred background and the red foreground compliment one another so strongly. The photographer”˜s use of a telephoto lens helps create the strong shallow depth of field which strengthens the detail of the foreground.

If you’re a serious photographer, definitely try to shoot these type of images.

Exif Data: Nikon D5000, f/7.1, 1/125, ISO 256, 185mm, GIMP software

Termino la Fiesta, by joshico

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This shot, in a section of Valencia, is very picturesque. The contours of the street and apartments lead your eyes into the image. The rich color and tones make this photo almost like a painting. You almost walk into a subject like this and visualize how it will look before you take the shot.

Exif Data : none

Hiding Place, by Jonathan Hackett

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The drama of the cloudy sky and the smooth silky texture of the water in  this black and white image convey both an awesome and eerie feel. The lighting of the rich and powerful architecture of the silhouetted  bridge is well controlled both in the taking of the shot and in post production in Photoshop.

The shot was taken with enough light to see the bridge”˜s reflection in the water. Nearly anytime you can capture reflections in a photograph, the subject of the image stands out more. The photographer more than likely used a tripod so as to capture a sharp, detailed image.

Exif Data: Canon 50D, f/29, 100 ISO, 20mm, Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Orange, by John Baird

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Many images are powerful for the simplicity of the subject. This is the type of photo you capture just driving around in any city or town. A lone abandoned car, truck, trailer sitting against a bright colorful background is just waiting to be photographed.

There’s nothing to set up about this image. On a bright day, you can capture it hand-held. And don’t be bashful about bumping up the color contrast in Photoshop to make the colors stronger and richer.

Exif Data: Canon 30D, f/2.8, 1/250 seq, 50mm, ISO 100 Adobe Photoshop C3

If you are a beginner or intermediate photographer, please check out my MUO Guide to Digital Photography A Beginner's Guide To Digital Photography A Beginner's Guide To Digital Photography You may think that picking up a digital camera, turning it on, and taking the photo is all that you need to know about digital photography. Think again. Read More for additional tips for shooting photos. If there are images on the net that inspire you, let know about them in the comments section.

Image credit: Shutterstock

  1. Bakari
    October 16, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Okay, sorry about that. I’ll do better next time. Thanks.

  2. Bakari
    October 16, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Okay, sorry about that. I’ll do better next time. Thanks.

  3. Bakari
    October 16, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Yeah, William. I'm just saying that the part of the purpose of the article is for readers to add their own input and insight. I didn't claim to make comments about every major aspect of each photo. I wanted readers to contribute as well. Perhaps if I had more time with writing the article, I might had pointed out the slow shutter speed in "Hiding Place," but because I didn't, readers like yourself could contribute insight that I didn't point out. Thank your for your input.

    • William Brand
      October 16, 2010 at 9:16 pm

      Well, you did mention that it had a smooth and silky feel. In fact I think that's the entire draw to the photo, and that's why I found it very odd you didn't mention the cause of that smooth and silky feel. You didn't even put the shutter speed in the EXIF info.

  4. Bakari
    October 16, 2010 at 8:29 am

    “I of course invite other photographers to share their insight as well, for each of us sees something different in works of art“

  5. Bakari
    October 16, 2010 at 6:29 am

    “I of course invite other photographers to share their insight as well, for each of us sees something different in works of art“

    • William Brand
      October 16, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      Was that supposed to be a reply to me?

  6. William Brand
    October 16, 2010 at 6:18 am

    I find it strange you didn't make any comment about the slow shutter speed in "Hiding Place." That's really what made the image.

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