Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 17745
Country: United States
+1 @ Jim
Sometimes we have an emotional response to our experience associated with the image. It can be a moment in time of a child playing or the scene at the end of a long mountain trek. In those kind of images, the emotive response we have internally is being registered in part from our memory of the event/moment in conjunction with our response to the image itself. For our viewers ... only the image before them has any input to their emotive response (and any triggers it might have to their memory of similar experience).
So, for your viewers response, the image has to stand on its own merits. To that end, the questions of "What's the point?" and "What is the message that you want to convey to your viewer?" begs to be asked and answered. Sometimes, the answer is very specific, other times it is rather vague. IMO, the more vague YOUR ANSWER is to the question, the less likely you are to produce an image that conveys a clear message to your viewer.
Our images are always a communication to our viewers, and like a well written book, article, speech, etc. ... the ability to convey the message in a way that captivates your audience, reader or viewer (in our case) begins with knowing what the message is that you want to convey.
Sure, we all take shots that we thought were "really cool" ... only to have them fall short of generating the excitement in others that we experienced. This particular image reminds me of my pictures of the Red Ibis in Trinidad flocking back to their nest at evening. Or seeing a seagull/pelican feeding frenzy. They were cool experiences ... but both bombed as an image to convey a message. Admittedly, I was so caught up in the experience, I was just a tourist with a camera ... not a photographer with a vision, point or message to convey ... and it clearly showed.
Back to your pic ... once we answer the question of "point" / "message" ... then we can begin to decide how to proceed with what you can do to better generate / convey that message for your viewers. Depending on what that is, adjustments to crop/comp, color, contrast, etc. can help you push/pull the image toward your goal for it.
Sometimes I see an image, and I can "get it" as to what the vision was and proceed toward it. Other times, I'm left going "huh". In those "huh" times ... I may just "make up something" for an intended point / message and then work toward that.
IMO, better images provide good direction to help the viewer arrive at the "point" or get the "message" ... but first the creator of the image has to know what that point/message is in order to drive the viewer toward it.
Of course, then there's just some plain ol' fun "eye candy" ... but even then, the point is to provide some "eye candy" for tantalizing exploration. Then there are those images, that the point is to showcase the lighting, or showcase the color, or ... well, you get the point.
The point is, that without the point being clear to the viewer, they miss the point ... even if we are strongly attached to the image as augmented by our emotional response to the experience of the image. Our viewer is largely limited to the image as presented.
A bit of psycho-babble ... but I hope it gives some perspective on why we can be so attached with our pics, yet they "fall flat" for others.
BTW ... +1 @ you recognizing that your voice & vision is an evolutionary process. It all starts in the "gray matter" ... and never stops.
As to this pic ... I get "lot of birds", but the detail / similarity doesn't project "different species" for the average viewer. Most viewers need more help to see things than you might otherwise think. This one doesn't really "speak to me", but here is an alternate crop/rendering ... just 'cause ... trying to retain the "lot of birds" but without "stretching out" the viewer as much.