When you think of what makes a photo a good one, what qualities come to mind?
Is it the way the shot is composed?
Do you take note of the subject matter first?
What about lighting - does that catch your eye more than anything else?
What's so great about photography is that there's often more than one thing about a single photo that compels people to like it.
The collection of Inspirational Photos of the Day from March goes to show that very concept.
Though our editors might have selected a photo to be featured because of its interesting perspective, viewers like you might have enjoyed how it was framed more than anything.
So, even though we might disagree about the best features of the photos below, we can all agree that they are some of the best from the PT Galleries this last month.
Let's have another look at what the most inspiring photographers of the month were up to...
March 1, 2017 - Mariko Klug
This incredible image caught the editors' eyes because of the fairy-tale-like appearance of the forest. For me, what's most impressive is that this image was taken and processed on an iPhone. Mariko Klug is a master of iPhonephotography, and boy does it show! This image is an excellent example of the kind of images that can result from using nothing more than your smartphone. Bravo!
March 2, 2017 - Clive
Another day, another fantastic forest shot from a PhotographyTalk member! This time, Clive pairs the linear forms of the trees with the burst of sunlight from behind. The shafts of light add tons of dimension to the shot, and its golden tones warm up the image, which would otherwise be a touch on the cool side. Something else I like is how the grass on the right side of the photo has a glowing appearance.
March 3, 2017 - Weisser Photography
Talk about a stunner of a black and white shot! Our editors selected this shot in part because the photographer used a 10mm ultra-wide-angle lens. Such a wide view gives the shot an interesting bit of distortion that emphasizes the bulk of the bridge tower in the foreground. And like all good black and white photos, there's plenty of areas of dark, light, and midtones to delight the eye.
March 4, 2017 - Lindsey Stuebinger Photography
This gorgeous maternity photo by Lindsey Stuebinger just goes to show how natural lighting can be used even when shooting indoors. What I like is the texture of the brick wall in the background, which gives the shot some depth without being overpowering. That gown that the model is wearing is something else too! Help mom look and feel like a million bucks by hooking her up with a beautiful and flattering maternity gown for her maternity photo shoot.
March 5, 2017 - Paul Zizka
Like the editors said when they chose this shot to be featured, "Paul Zizka shows us how to add foreground interest with a bang!" I couldn't agree more. Though the Northern Lights are certainly a nice touch, I actually think the lit-up chunk of ice steals the show in this shot. Take a cue from Paul - if you want a more impactful landscape photo, get some foreground interest in the frame.
March 6, 2017 - Rui Santos
I don't know how big jumping spiders are, or if they live in my area, but I hope this is the only one I ever see! As much as humans tend to dislike spiders, you have to admit that this little spider portrait is a real eye-catcher. The detail is just incredible, thanks to Rui's use of the focus stacking method. If you want a final result that's absolutely sharp from front to back, give focus stacking a try! You can even use it for landscape photography.
March 7, 2017 - Sean Scott
When I saw this incredible image for the first time, that song Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid popped into my head. That's the great thing about photography, right? Even though this image is gorgeously framed, has tons of color and texture, and has a strong subject, my mind went past all those great features to a silly song from so long ago. But evoking memories, feelings, and emotions is a great consequence of photography!
March 8, 2017 - Artur Stanisz
Photography is all about storytelling, and this photographer, Artur Stanisz, knows precisely how to craft a story with his images and his words. This photo is drop-dead gorgeous - no doubt - but what I appreciate even more is how Artur gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the photo in the descriptions he writes for his images. It makes you feel like you're right there with him, witnessing the scene in person. Great work, Artur!
March 9, 2017 - Donnnnnny
I love a good shot of the nighttime sky. There's something about the little blobs of light from the stars that makes me think of my childhood. But in this case, Donnnnnny does something else with this shot that makes it a winner - he incorporated that awesome texture from the sand dunes to give this shot much more visual interest. It just goes to show that when there's interesting elements in the foreground that you should switch to vertical format to capitalize on it.
March 10, 2017 - Mark Fox
I'll go ahead and say it - this was one of my absolute favorite Inspirational Photos this month. Between the beautiful colors of the sunset, the texture of the cliff walls that frame either side of the shot, and the smooth, glistening sand in the foreground, there's a lot to like! This photo was taken at Tunnel Beach in Dunedin, New Zealand, and thanks to Mark, it's now on my list of places to see (and photograph) in person!
March 11, 2017 - Katarzyna Soszka
In what might be the cutest photo of the month, Katarzyna Soszka gives us a master class on using props effectively in a portrait of a newborn. The way the flowers frame the baby makes them less of a prop that was added to the shot and more of an integral component of the composition. The colors in the photo are incredible as well - reminiscent of spring when flowers are in bloom. Great work!
March 12, 2017 - Discovery Photo Tours
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I need to visit Iceland! Shots like these shared by Discovery Photo Tours make me realize that there is a lot of beauty in the world that I have yet to see and document with my camera. In this case, the photographer shows us how to create a stunner of a long exposure by adding harsh elements like the rocks to contrast nicely with the smooth, blurry water.
March 14, 2017 - Jianwei
More than anything, this Inspirational Photo of the Day shows us how perspective is everything. By taking an elevated position and shooting downward toward the street, Jianwei created an image that is far more unique and interesting than your run-of-the-mill street scene. My favorite part is the giant "Look" painted on the street. It adds some whimsy and humor to the shot. Those glorious shadows aren't bad, either!
March 15, 2017 - Michael Matti
As the editors noted in their comments for this photo, "Creating pleasing photos in a forest can be hard to do simply because of the range of light encountered in the shot." Though this image has a wide dynamic range, Michael handled it beautifully to create a shot that can only be described as magical. The texture of the moss on the rocks in the foreground is what really draws my eye. What's your favorite feature?
March 16, 2017 - Tony
Another day in March, another gorgeous shot from Iceland! This time, Tony shifts the focus upward, with a very low horizon line that allows the full splendor of the Northern Lights to be on display. And as is common practice for nighttime photography, he kept enough of the mountain peaks in the shot to give the image some context - and to show just how enormous the light display in the sky actually is. That's how you compose a shot of the sky!
March 17, 2017 - Chelsea Haworth Photography
When the editors chose this photo, they wrote, "the colors of the sunset work perfectly with the model's wardrobe to create an elegant shot that enhances the beauty of pregnancy." I couldn't agree more! This photo proves that maternity is a beautiful process, and with the right setting, great lighting, and a wardrobe to match, a gorgeous picture can follow.
March 18, 2017 - Pawel Uchorczak
Usually, nighttime shots of the sky are taken in an area with minimal light pollution. However, this gorgeous photo demonstrates that sometimes the lights of a town add dimension and interest to the shot. Speaking of interest, when photographing the night sky, include elements in the foreground to draw the eye in, like the beautiful old buildings do in this photo.
March 19, 2017 - Luigi Trevisi
When I think of Rome, I think of ancient ruins like those in the image above. What caught the editors' eye was the interplay between the strong structures of the ruins and the softness of the sunset behind them. When photographing architecture - whether ruins or modern buildings - look for ways to add color and texture by incorporating elements of the surrounding environment into the shot, as was done in this one by Luigi Trevisi.
March 20, 2017 - Mariko Klug
In a second appearance on this month's list, Mariko Klug knocks another iPhone photo out of the park with this image titled "Temptation." Not only does this image have tons of texture that give it great visual interest, but it also benefits from using a frame within a frame. The large gates both literally and figuratively give us access to the scene in the background. The composition here is spot on!
March 21, 2017 - Abhishek SenGupta
For me, candid portraiture is where it's at. There is a genuineness about candid portraits like this one that resonate with viewers on a different level than a posed portrait. By including the surroundings in the shot, the photographer was able to generate an image that tells a little more about the subjects, who they are, and what their lives might be like. When taking portraits, strive to do the same and tell a story about your subjects.
March 22, 2017 - Mark Fox
Mark Fox makes a second appearance on this month's list with this unique landscape shot. More than anything, this image demonstrates the benefit of taking a different shooting perspective than the normal eye-level shot. By going low, Mark was able to capitalize on the details in the reflection. What's more, the trees seem lankier and bulkier too. Great work, Mark!
March 23, 2017 - Luigi Trevisi
I live in Los Angeles, so when I think of a cityscape, I think of something much different than what's pictured above. But that just goes to show how different types of photography mean different things to each of us. In this case, the tranquility of this little village just blows my mind. That perfectly still water heightens the calmness of the photo while giving the shot greater depth too. I wouldn't mind spending a morning taking in this view!
March 24, 2017 - Cyndy Doty
They say that the devil is in the details, and that couldn't be more apparent in this wonderful image of a heron. The level of sharpness of the bird's feathers is breathtaking, and the processing technique Cyndy used on the background just elevates this image to another level. Having sharp details in your shots is important regardless of the subject, but that's especially true of wildlife photography. Way to nail the focus, Cyndy!
March 25, 2017 - Destin Sparks
In another addition to my list of places I need to visit, this photo shows the Great Ocean Road in Australia. What a view! Talk about another image with spectacularly sharp details. And those soft, milky waves that resulted from the long exposure are the perfect complement to the jagged cliffs. The high perspective of the shot is a nice touch as well!
March 26, 2017 - Ana
Sure, smoking is bad for you, but in this case, the addition of the cigarette and the smoke trails give this shot a vintage, glamorous vibe. The fact that it's in black and white also helps because the white of the smoke pops beautifully against the dark, featureless, shadowed areas of the portrait. Talk about a stunner!
March 27, 2017 - Nicholas Steinberg
Who knew fog could look so incredible? Nicholas Steinberg was perfectly positioned from a high vantage point to capture these waves of fog. With so much softness in the shot, it was smart to find a location that allowed for the inclusion of stiffer elements, like the trees below. Incorporating the lights helps give the shot some depth and visual interest as well.
March 28, 2017 - Rob
In this photo - the most liked of March's Inspirational Photos - Rob puts his composition and framing skills on full display. Even though placing the church in the middle of the frame breaks the rule of thirds, I think we can all agree that breaking the rule resulted in a breathtaking photo. What's more, this shot shows the value of continuing to shoot after Golden Hour ends, because that Blue Hour light is something else!
March 29, 2017 - Discovery Photo Tours
Winter landscapes can be especially tough to photograph because many camera's metering systems think the scene is brighter than it actually is, which can lead to white balance problems. The other issue is that with everything covered with snow, wintery scenes can be short on the details. This photo suffers from neither problem, as the cool, blue tones are spot on for the time of day, and the icebergs and clouds give the photo plenty of textural contrast.
March 30, 2017 - Weisser Photography
In one of the more dramatic shots I've seen in awhile, this lightning-filled scene has all sorts of visual interest to delight the eye. Though a lot of getting a lightning shot is luck, you can tell by the way this image is exposed and composed that a lot of work went into thinking about the shot beforehand. What impresses me the most is the sheer volume of the storm. I mean, WOW!
March 31, 2017 - Georg Haaser
Georg Haaser is a master portraitist, and that's on full display in this shot. Note the great dynamic range that gives this image visual pop, and how the texture of the model's hair adds dimension to the image as well. Another thing to note - when creating portraits, ensure the model's eye is in sharp focus. If it's not, that missed focus can ruin the image, no matter how beautiful it is otherwise.
With that, you have our March Inspirational Photographers of the Month.
I think you'll agree that we had some amazing photos selected, and I hope you have found inspiration for your own work in these photos.
Our editors peruse the PT Galleries on a daily basis looking for images to feature, so use the inspiration you find in these photos, go take some of your own, and get them uploaded to our galleries.
Your photo might just be the next one we feature!