Meeting things head-on!

No, this isn’t a post about an upbeat approach to life or a new form of positivity training, but I was feeling both upbeat and positive when I found that for the second consecutive month I’d had an image chosen from one of my image libraries to be used on the front cover of Birdwatching magazine (thanks again for letting me know Gary).

The interesting thing is that in neither instance were they rare or particularly “difficult” subjects to be looking to photograph – last month it was Long-Tailed Tits and this month (perhaps unsurprisingly) it was a Robin: both photographed at my local feeding setup but could equally have been done so in my garden as they both frequent it quite regularly.

It did get me thinking though as to just why they might have been chosen.  I’d like to say that it was because they were simply so stunning in terms of their execution that they were images destined for great things, but aside from some decent thought on composition and space for the designing process, made even easier by the selection of a nice clean background aided by a long lens, I can hardly claim any unique maserpieces here.

One thing did strike about this Robin shot though and that’s that it’s head-on: not always the preferred approach from a classical photographic or even a natural history perspective but it does give just that bit more sense of personality and character and in this instance the inquisitive and almost cheeky charateristics that Robins undoubtedly possess certainly comes leaping out at you.

It prompted me to have a look back through some old images for a number of other examples of this head-on style appeared that I have liked in the past and in some instances done well for me commercially as well as in competitions too: this haughty looking Hare was selected for the British Wildlife Photography Awards book last year and the Puffin was a cover shot on RSPB’s Birds a couple of years back too.

It’s food for thought in these hyper-competitive times when it comes to making any money at all out of your images, but maybe tackling your subjects head-on might just open up some new opportunities. What price this Black Guillemot somewhere soon?

2 thoughts on “Meeting things head-on!”

  1. An interesting and thought proving article Mark.
    I do find that images I personally like are often quite different to those that others choose as their favourites. I guess it is an art form and we all have different tastes or needs.
    I will keep my eyes open for your Black Guillemot on the shelves in my local newsagent.



    1. Thanks Austin – I believe the key is to know what you like but also what you think others do too and that’s where this sort of evaluation becomes so important.

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