Great Post by Thom Hogan on Making Standout Photos
I've been in a little bit of a photographic rut lately. Winter in Canada is depressing, work's been busy, and between the two I haven't felt I've been able to produce much in the way of unique photography because I am - literally and figuratively - treading the same old ground.
I really enjoyed this article by Thom Hogan (love him or hate him, he's as straight-up as any industry analyst I've read), and it raises this point very well. It's really difficult to take a unique photo if you're in the same place as everyone else, and ultimately, it doesn't really matter how good your camera is - special moments in time captured with a phone will still be more interesting than another banal shot of the same old thing with a DSLR.
Point Number One: Find things others haven't seen before.
Point Number Two: Study what others before you have done so that you know when you're just repeating it versus showing something new and unique.
"That said, the bottom line is still the same: unique vision, unique experiences, and competent technique or better often lead to unique images, and unique images tend to win. Copying something or doing the same thing as every else in the same places just isn’t the answer to being a great photographer. Being a better observer, putting yourself in unique situations or places, trying things that haven’t been tried before, those are things that give you a chance to stand out. At least until everyone else decides what you did was great and starts trying to copy you. "