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Photography How-To: The Fruits of Impact

Making bold, impact-making statements with your images



I'd like to address probably the most important ingredient of any image
, and that is impact. I'm always encouraging clients to fill the frame with the subject, and is why I'm occasionally addressed on our photography tours as 'Johnny impact'!

However, impact can manifest itself in different forms from 'in-your-face', to the subtle. We're all familiar with the former, so let us begin with the latter . . .

The Dolomites, Italian Alps.

The impact in this shot is in the lighting, i.e. high contrast, while the scene itself falls within the low impact realm.

Geyser, Iceland.

Guanaco, Patagonia, Chile.


Once again, the image at left has 'light' impact in the form of a back-lit geyser eruption. At right, the impact hits us via the proximity of the Guanaco's face. On that note it's a fact that close-ups of faces, be they human or animal, will always be excellent impact material.

Icelandic ponies.

Decide for yourself . . . is the impact of this shot the result of an unusual perspective, the tight framing, the back-lighting, or the selective focus technique? Perhaps it's all of these ingredients?

Lone figure on a Normandy beach, France.

This particular image contains an empty expanse, but I'm assuming it stirred some form of emotion within you, right? Good, that's impact! Now last but not least, the humble silhouette . . .

Wheat, the Palouse, Washington State

Point du Raz, Brittany, France.

Place a good solid black subject in front of the sun or a sunrise/sunset and you have immediate impact every time. This is true regardless of the subject of the silhouette, even power lines. Not so sure about that? OK, how does this impact you?! . . .

Power lines at sunset.

As you can see, impact comes in many forms, and I encourage you to go out and add this useful tool to your photographic toolbox.

You can read more regarding 'The Power of the Silhouette' here.

Remember that whatever you photograph, the end result is limited only by your imagination!



Written and photographed by John Baker, Photographer/Guide, Travel Images Photography Tours

All images and text are strictly copyrighted by John Baker Photographer LLC/Travel Images Photography Tours, 1988 - 2024.

Permission in writing must be sought for any form of reproduction.


Do you have questions or comments about 'Photo How-To'?

To share your thoughts or suggest a photography subject you'd like to see addressed, please Email me.

You're also welcome to submit images for critique, which run the risk of being used as a Photo How-To topic!


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