Two Small Changes Can Make A WOW Image :: Digital Photo Secrets

Two Small Changes Can Make A WOW Image

by David Peterson 8 comments

A lot of the technique of photography is not choosing WHAT you photograph, but HOW you photograph it.

Here's an example from the March Photography Dash that dramatically shows this.

One of this week's topics for the "Manual Mode" dash was to take a photo of a park bench. Now there was more too the topic (the lesson was also to teach how you can learn settings from your camera) but who says you can't have fun while learning!

Here is the first image uploaded to our private Dash community by one of our participants, Ankush Jain:

It's a perfectly acceptable image of some rather colorful park benches. Ankush said:

Clicked these benches in a park near my home at about 8 in the morning. The early morning spring sun was at its best revealing all the details and texture in the benches by its brilliant golden light.

Now most of us would be perfectly happy with that image. However, by changing just a few things, Ankush has turned these benches into a photographic work of art.

Isn’t that a dramatic difference! Look at the eye catching colors on the seat, and the wonderful shine on the armrest's curve. The out-of-focus background contrasting with the sharp foreground certainly gives the image a WOW factor.

Here's how it was done. The second shot was taken by making only two changes :

  1. moving the camera away closer to the bench to accentuate the curve of the frame; and
  2. taking the shot at night to add color, drama and some wonderful bokeh lights.

That's it! Just two changes. With only two differences, you get a much better shot.

The same camera was used (a Canon 6D, which is a higher-end SLR). The SLR camera would have made taking the night shot easier, but both shots could have just as easily been taken with a point and shoot camera.

It can be that simple. Next time you’re out shooting, try this experiment :

Just after you take a shot, make one change. It could be:

Try the shot again. If you have time, repeat this process 3 or 4 times and see if you can get a better image.

If you'd like to comment on his images, you can see his first bench image here, and his second image here. Note: you'll need to be participating in the Manual Mode Dash to see the comments on his initial image, and a Dash participant for February or March to see the second image.

Thanks to Ankush Jain for permission to use his images. And well done, Ankush.

Most people think this post is Awesome. What do you think?


  1. Eileen O'Rourke says:

    Love getting your information has been very helpful

  2. Nancy says:

    Thank you for breaking the complicated process down into simple and smaller steps, very helpful. I learned a lot.

  3. Antara says:

    Thanks David learning many photography tricks tips from your posts.your post are amazing .

  4. Ken Khor SK says:

    It was really amazing and helpful tips & tricks. Thanks David & appreaciated that.

  5. willem grobbelaar says:

    Your tips is most valuable.Unfortunately we suffer from a very weak exhange rate which results difficulty in buying your courses

  6. Brenda vd Spuy says:

    Appreciate all your tips and "secrets",wish I can memorize all your advice!! Blessings!!!Brenda!!

  7. Lyn says:

    Love getting your emails = so many helpful hints-what difference to the park bench shot-loved it.

  8. mary says:

    your samples are very awesome!!!

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About David Peterson
David Peterson is the creator of Digital Photo Secrets, and the Photography Dash and loves teaching photography to fellow photographers all around the world. You can follow him on Twitter at @dphotosecrets or on Google+.