I know it probably sounds obvious but it certainly warrants making a post about the importance of finding a creative composition whenever you’ve got a camera in your hands. Of course, if you’re simply looking to take a photograph of a receipt or the storefront of a nearby restaurant for recall purposes, you could probably get away with ignoring the creative component of the composition. However, if your goal is to express yourself to others with your photography, there are few better ways to do so than by conveying it in a way that makes the viewer do a double take and actually start thinking about your photo.

One of the absolute greatest compliments someone could ever pay to me is by saying, “You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen X, Y or Z taken this way.” Now, so much of finding a creative composition comes with the frame of mind that you’re in while you’re with your camera. It also helps to not force the situation if your muse just decided to pound back some shots at the local pub. Sometimes, all it takes is experimenting with a different focal length or an unusual vantage point, like a few inches off the ground. Hey, try shooting in the rain or in the dead of night with a flashlight. Do things differently. If you keep photographing the same way, odds are that you’ll end up with the same photos. Always be open to changing things up.

I took this photo in White Pocket, within the Vermilion Cliffs in Arizona. My good friend, Chris Lazzery, was gracious enough to jump from one ridge to the other for this photo but because of the exertion (and because he had his own shooting to do), I only had two chances to get the photo. I used my Sony A7 and my beloved Canon 15mm Fisheye Funkbuster lens. If there is one lens that can so radically change how you see the scene in front of you, it is a Fisheye. I had my Really Right Stuff TQC-14 travel tripod as low down as I could while tilting the camera upward, giving me this really funky distortion in the brain rock. I set the camera to high burst mode and basically prayed that one of the frames had Chris in mid-air, full extension. Stylization was a basic treatment using Analog Efex Pro 2, part of the Nik Collection by Google.