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Look For Emotions

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The setting may be a press conference, speech to a high school class or a local politician announcing he or she will be running for office. You can settle for a mundane photograph if you wish or you can be patient and wait, and wait, and wait until the speaker does something, and that something may only be a short-lived smile, a furrowed brow or a hand gesture... but what ever that change in attitude may be, be ready to take your picture.
Take that same attitude everywhere you go with the camera. Be patient when necessary and wait for your friends to express themselves, naturally, without prompting when possible. Catch their laughter, their anger, their frustration and their joy, whatever is happening, stop the action and hold those emotions forever in an image.
Faces are great road maps to the heart and by capturing those expressions you'll have created photographs that cause viewers to slow down and take notice.
You can take the same approach from the tiniest baby to the aging veteran. Be patient and look for the emotion, what ever that may be. There is no excuse in the day of digital photography for not taking a large number of images.
When we talk about emotions we aren't simply talking about human emotions. Animals also show emotion and by capturing their facial and body language you add to the quality of the photograph you take.
Take a look at the photographs in various areas of this site to find examples and they range from what appears to be a camel in need of a wake up call to a longhorn who feels threatened.
Take many images, sort out the large number of poor and average and settle on only the top one or two photographs.
Once you've settled on the picture, work on the cropping of the picture and bring the focus of the viewer toward what it is you are trying to showcase. Crop out everything that distracts the viewer from what it is you are attempting to show.
Just because the camera caught an over-all view of a situation doesn't mean you have to leave 20 feet of flooring or ceiling in a picture. Crop it out if it doesn't add to the picture.