Well that’s a bit of a provocative title, especially coming from the guy who quotes Ansel Adams in the signature of all his emails: “There are no rules for good photographs. There are only good photographs.” If there are no rules, then that kind of makes cheating pretty unlikely, doesn’t it?
However, I think there are some things a photographer can do that are likely to increase the visibility of an image among casual viewers. Macro photography is a good example. Who doesn’t give a double-take to a 1900 pixel wide image of a ladybug, regardless of how poorly focused or lit it is?
High-speed strobe photography is another. How many of us have tried our hand at the drop of water photograph? (Parenthetically, this technique was invented by Harold Edgerton, whom my mother used to tell me is a distant relative, though I have never been able to confirm this and remain highly skeptical.) (Also parenthetically, I myself have never attempted do do a photograph like this, though I’m not ruling it out.)
Yet another way, of course, is to take an image from an angle not generally seen by the general public. This used to be easier than it is today. An image of the city taken from a hot air balloon would have been impressive back in the day. Now you can get something very much like it from Google Earth.
Well, here’s my attempt to get undeserved hits on my blog with a mediocre image. There’s not much of a subject here, nor anything much in the way of color. But the only way you’re going to see something like it is to lay down with the side of your head squelched in the mud. I took it at a very tight aperture and relatively long shutter (though not as much as I’d have liked) to give some fluidity to the water – if that makes sense. This is another shot with the camera mounted upside down on the tripod, just an inch or so from the ground.
Just to see if I can get even more hits yet, I’ve stuck this mediocre photo into a blog with a controversial title – a fourth way that one might commonly use to to get undeserved views.
But, you know, if I got you to click on the link to Harold Edgerton’s site, then this post hasn’t been completely wasted. It’s certainly worth the visit. And he might be a relation.
How To Cheat At Photography by Anthony Bopp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.