Sometimes it is the color in the photograph that makes it unique. In this case it was Kodak’s EIR film. Sometimes it’s the subject. Usually it’s both.
Good photography courses will teach about gesture and light. Many times to capture gesture you learn to anticipate, have your camera at the ready and have a DSLR camera with a fast motor drive. Again, carrying a camera in a camera bag will slow your ability and desire to capture something that grabs your eye. Stay ready with your camera on your shoulder. Find a camera and lens combination that is comfortable for you to carry. I like my Fuji X-E1
Sometimes you can pick the right place and wait for the photo to come into frame. As with any discipline it takes commitment, effort and time. In this case I sat down to steady the camera and shot may photos from the wrong position as things progressed. I could have and should have moved my position and actually got the kayakers face in the shot. Duh! On the other hand this shot does not require a model release.
One of our greatest living photographers, Jay Maisel, speaks often about “going out empty.” Jay carries a camera all the time as does Arthur Meyerson and Seth Resnick. I can’t remember ever seeing any of teem without one. Each of these guys give wonderful talks and awesome workshops. Jay always hammers home the importance of going out empty. Some days it can be raining so hard that you can’t go out. If you’re empty you can see the truck through the wet window.
Photography is about seeing. . . NOT about the latest and greatest camera.
Photography is also a state of mind that allows you to see the world not just in front but behind, above and below you. Taking time to work an image from different points of view enables you to understand your subject and craft the image that is important to you. Interesting images are all around you if you are open. One simple fact is you can’t take or make a photograph if you don’t have a camera with you. The more often you carry a camera the better photographer you will be. If you’re serious about improving your images ~ have your camera on your shoulder. Remain relaxed and look around. If you leave your camera in the bag it will stay nice and shiny but you may miss a lot of great shots. What is more important to you? better images or a shiny low mileage camera? The more you carry your camera the better you will become.
Doing something for the first time can be scary . To me it’s like hanging off a cliff. After time and experience I find I can accept my strengths and weaknesses. It is important to ask for help when needed. Attending some photo workshops will really help.