Sunday, December 1, 2013

What makes a photo "Popular"?

This morning I woke up and checked my email via my iPhone while still lying in bed.  (Doesn't everybody do this?)  I had an email from 500px that immediately put a smile on my face.  My photo "Taxi Driver" had made it to "Popular" status.  "Popular" is group of photos that I consider the best of the best.   

Last night I uploaded this photo to both 500px and Flickr.  Both of these sites are photo sharing communities where people share their work.  They both have their strengths.  500px is generally the site that only the best photos from an individual are uploaded.  When browsing through the work of others you mainly only see top notch photography.  I feel that 500px is a showcase of photographers best work and photos that they are most proud of. 

Flickr on the other hand can be flooded with photos that are not necessarily the best that people produce.  One of the strengths of Flickr is that photos can be added to groups.  These groups can be very specific (i.e. type of camera, lens, composition, light, subject, etc.).  The group discussions that occur in these groups are fantastic and can be a great resource to improve your skills.

After uploading my photo it received feedback on both sites from others. 

Here's why I think that "Taxi Driver" received feedback on both sites and made it to "Popular" on 500px:

Symmetry in the composition.

Notice the power lines in relationship to the buildings, the lines of the street and the cars in relationship to the subject (the taxi driver).  All these lines bring focus to the central part of the photo where the subject is located.

Color in the composition.

The taxi cabs and the corner building are all similar colors.  These four areas of the photograph circle the subject bringing focus back to the center.

These concepts draw in the viewer to the subject.

Interaction of the subject.

The taxi driver is on his phone but looking closer you can see that he is checking out the woman on the right side of the frame as she is walking away.  This interaction tells a story that is dependent on the viewers interpretation and imagination.

I was in an analytical mood this morning.  Thank you for letting me share.


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