Most Inspirational Photographers of the Month - May 2017
Well, another month has come and gone, and we've got another round of incredible images to share with you.
We're always proud of the collection of images we offer, and May was no exception.
These photographers have mastered their craft, whether they use a Nikon D810 or their iPhone.
Have a look, get inspired, and enjoy these amazing photos!
May 1, 2017 - PJ van Schalkwyk
One thing you can do to deal with challenging lighting is to create silhouettes.
Instead of worrying about getting your subject perfectly exposed, you can use the intensity of the light to your advantage and create a dramatic shot like the one seen above.
Something else that adds drama is incorporating action. In this case, the act of casting the fishing line creates the beautiful arc of the fishing pole.
Well done, PJ!
May 2, 2017 - DuMarc
Even when you're photographing something as stunning as the Northern Lights, it's still important to have supporting elements in the shot to add depth.
In this case, DuMarc included all sorts of elements, from the rocks and water in the foreground to the city lights and mountain peak in the background.
The result is a well-balanced shot that still highlights the beauty of the Northern Lights perfectly!
May 3, 2017 - Ian
When it comes to bird photography, there are a lot of challenges photographers face.
One of them is ensuring that the bird stands out from the background, which Ian has done masterfully.
The blurry, bokeh-filled background ensures the bird is on full display, and with the inclusion of the stump on which the bird is perched, there's a bit of depth and texture in the shot to give it additional interest.
May 4, 2017 - Astrodave
Much like the image of the Northern Lights above, shots of the Milky Way also benefit from having other elements in the shot to give it a little context.
In this case, Astrodave incorporated the interesting shapes and textures of the Valley of the Toadstools to give his image an otherworldly appearance.
Even when your subject is the heavens above, it's still important to think of ways to frame the subject to add more interest to the image!
May 5, 2017 - Luigi Trevisi
When creating a long exposure, it's obviously necessary to include something that moves - in this case, the waters of the sea.
But it's also important to ensure that other elements in the shot do not move - for example, the flowers in the foreground.
Luigi managed to balance these needs beautifully in this shot that has stunning foreground interest, delightfully smooth water, and gorgeous sunset colors. There's a lot to like in this one!
May 6, 2017 - Abba Color Photography
When photographing an expecting mom, the goal is to make her look and feel her best.
You can do that in many ways, but the wardrobe selection is one of the best ways to make her feel gorgeous.
In this case, the deep purple color of her gown helps mom stand out in the shot. You can just tell by the look on her face that she feels confident and pretty!
May 7, 2017 - 정임
When photographing a landscape, there are plenty of decisions to be made about the composition.
One of them is where to place the horizon.
In this case, the low horizon allowed the photographer to highlight the Golden Hour lighting of sunset.
However, a high horizon would have also worked given the interesting colors and textures happening in the foreground.
As a rule of thumb, try your landscape shots using both methods to see which one is most pleasing.
May 8, 2017 - Jens Klettenheimer
When most people think of landscape photography, I'd be willing to bet they think of an image in horizontal format.
But this beauty by Jens just goes to show that turning the camera to the vertical can help you take some pretty amazing landscapes!
Extending the frame vertically allows for the incorporation of more foreground, which is a great idea when the foreground has so much detail and richness, like the rocks and the water in the image above.
May 9, 2017 - Alex W Photography
They say timing is everything, but so too is understanding how to combine multiple exposures...
In this case, Alex combined a number of images taken over 15 minutes to get all the glorious details in this shot, from the incredible lightning strikes to the long light trails of passing cars.
Together, those two different light shows help make this everyday, suburban scene look pretty incredible!
Who says you can't take great photos right in your own backyard?!
May 10, 2017 - Mark Fox
One way to give your photos a greater sense of space is to use an ultra wide-angle lens.
Mark shot this image at 10mm, giving us an incredible side-to-side view of the beach, the sunset, and the cliffs that frame them.
That gives the image a beautiful contrast between the lightness of the sky and the darkness of the beach sand, as well as the smoothness of the water contrasted with the ruggedness of the cliffs.
May 11, 2017 - Robert
Capturing birds in flight is a tough task. Capturing a bird in flight catching its dinner is even tougher!
Bird photography is really all about timing and preparation.
In this case, taking up a shooting position that gets us low to the ground helped create a much more dynamic shot.
The sharpness of the details in the image is striking as well, as though you can reach out and touch the Osprey's feathers!
May 12, 2017 - Stuart Levine
When you're in a rut, the best way to get out of it is to challenge yourself to try something new with photography.
Something we don't see much is images like the one above, which take on the look of an impressionist painting.
Stuart simply framed the shot on the reflection of these trees for a much more unique take on this landscape. Great work, Stuart!
May 13, 2017 - J-Tom
Sometimes a classic take on a landscape is all you need...
In this case, J_Tom uses Golden Hour lighting to perfection to highlight everything from the grasses in the foreground to the mountains in the background.
Including foreground elements also helped make this a winning shot - the boats add a bit of whimsy and humanity to the image.
You can imagine yourself enjoying a quick boat ride in this scene, can't you?
May 14, 2017 - Lior Yaakobi
The challenge of photographing a foggy scene is the loss of detail and structure as the fog envelops the area.
However, Lior did a fine job of adding structure to this image with the inclusion of the arching bridge with its beautiful curved lines.
Also note the human form in the middle of the shot. Adding a person to the scene gives the image a bit more interest and helps draw the eye inward. Great work!
May 15, 2017 - Roberto
Ask anyone what the most ubiquitous rule is in photography, and I imagine they'll say the rule of thirds...
And though the rule of thirds can help you create a more balanced shot, sometimes, you just need to cast the rule aside!
In this case, Roberto uses perfect symmetry to create an image with impeccable balance and beauty.
Take this shot as inspiration to break the rules now and again!
May 16, 2017 - Bryan
If you're wondering what a 90-second long exposure looks like, this is it!
Bryan paired the beauty of Golden Hour with the beauty of architecture quite nicely in this stunning photo.
Note the texture on the water created by its ebbs and flows over the course of the exposure. Talk about beautiful!
May 17, 2017 - George
Black and white photography relies on things like shape, texture, and light and shadow to create interest in the lack of color.
This image by George certainly has all of those features!
George used a low shooting angle to accentuate the height and length of the trees, which helps accentuate the shape of the tree trunks.
That means that even though this image is wider than it is tall, we still get a feel for the height of the trees in the scene. Nice job, George!
May 18, 2017 - Mike Reyfman
Making order out of chaos can be a challenge for photographers, but Mike demonstrates how impactful it can be.
By filling the frame with these buildings, we get a front row seat to inspect the interesting lines and textures of the city.
Also note how the pops of color on the window shutters adds just a bit of interest to the shot as well.
May 19, 2017 - Peter Coulson
A great element to add to a black and white portrait is mood.
The question is, how does one do that?
In the image above, Peter used natural light coming through a window to add soft, gorgeous contrast between the model's skin and the dark background and floor.
Talk about a stunner of an image!
May 20, 2017 - Lior Yaakobi
One of the difficulties of photographing wintry landscapes is the brightness and starkness of snow-covered landscape features.
However, you can get around this by photographing the area during Golden Hour, that way the warm colors of the sunset warm up the shot.
As you can see in the image above, it makes for a gorgeous juxtaposition between warm and cold!
May 21, 2017 - J_Tom
When photographing a landscape with a definite horizon like this one, it's imperative to get that horizon absolutely level.
If not, the entire image will be ruined, no matter how beautiful the rest of it is!
To get your photos level, get a tripod with a built-in level, add a hot-shoe mounted level, or use the rule of thirds grid on your camera's LCD to get things nice and level.
May 22, 2017 - George
When thinking about ways to add visual interest to a shot, think about adding colors that contrast with one another.
In this image, the bright yellow of the leaves pops against the dark blue of the sky.
Another element that adds interest to this image is the extreme upward view. It's unusual and immediately makes this shot more compelling.
May 23, 2017 - Ed
If you need an example of how framing can make a shot, this is it!
The way that the tree seems to be reaching toward the North Star in the center of the star trails gives this shot a completely other level of impact.
Speaking of the star trails, framing the shot with the North Star in the middle helped create these beautiful circles. It's all about preparation and planning, that's for sure!
May 24, 2017 - Roberto Pavic
Creating shots that resonate with the viewer requires that the image has something with which the viewer can connect.
In this case, I'd argue that the mood of the shot evokes a feeling melancholy and loneliness, two feelings that are powerful and intimate.
The addition of all the detail helps too - the long lines and arches of the bridge, the boat and person in the midground, and the city buildings in the background.
Put it all together, and you've got one incredible image!
May 25, 2017 - Ryan Stout
This eye-catching panorama of the Milky Way is special for a lot of reasons.
First, the composition is spot-on, placing the arch of the Milky Way smack in the middle of the frame in full view.
Second, it has gorgeous supporting elements, including the texture-filled, rocky shore of the lake.
Lastly, this photo was taken with the help of Arsenal, the world's first AI camera assistant.
Not bad, eh?
May 26, 2017 - Keith
One of the simplest ways to add visual interest to a landscape is to add elements that provide structure.
In this case, the beautiful, cloudless sky benefits from the inclusion of the walkway and the building in the foreground.
The interplay of vast emptiness with defined structure helps take this photo to the next level.
The silhouettes aren't a bad addition either!
May 27, 2017 - Ryan Stout
Believe it or not, this long exposure was taken in broad daylight without a neutral density filter...
What made it possible is using Arsenal, the intelligent camera assistant Ryan has been developing.
What Arsenal does is take multiple exposures and stack them together in-camera to create a final, beautiful image.
Say goodbye to your ND filter and hello to Arsenal!
May 28, 2017 - Bryan
Pulling off a minimalist shot like this is much more complex than one might think.
When you have very little in the way of subject matter, you have to ensure that it's placed perfectly in the shot, that the lighting is ideal, and that the composition adds interest to the scene.
This gorgeous photo certainly ticks all those boxes for a final result that's breathtaking in its simplicity.
May 29, 2017 - George
Some landscapes aren't suited well to black and white photography, but the Maroon Bells certainly are.
With tons of interesting shapes and textures, it's a delight for the eye in the absence of color.
The dynamic range in this shot is perfect for black and white as well, with bright whites, dark shadows, and a range of gray values in between.
May 30, 2017 - BeautiFly Photography
When thinking about ways to make a maternity portrait more interesting, there are plenty of options when you take the mom-to-be outside.
In this case, the colors and textures of the background - though softened in post-processing - give the image just enough context to add some depth.
Additionally, the movement of the gown as it flows in the breeze gives the photo another eye-catching element.
This isn't your typical maternity photo, is it? That's why it's so successful!
May 31, 2017 - Mark Fox
What sets this image apart from other sunset shots is the sheer darkness of most of the photo.
Combined with the pops of bright, deeply saturated colors of the sunset, you have the makings for one heck of a dramatic image!
The long shutter speed to smooth out the movement of the water and the foreground rocks add more depth and dimension as well.
All in all, I think this is a pretty inspirational photo!
With that, you have 31 exceptional photos to help inspire your creativity.
If you aren't inspired by this collection, I don't know what it would take!
Let's all see what we can do in the coming month to aspire to create better photos.
And when you do, be sure to upload your images to our galleries for your chance to be featured!