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How to take a unique photo

It may not seem easy taking a completely unique image as the world and its inhabitants have been thoroughly photographed over the past 100 years. However, with a bit of imagination and planning, there's always an opportunity to snap something in a way that nobody else has managed to do. If you take a particularly unique shot, you may even be able to sell it as a customised gift or have it reproduced on printed bags.

Composition

Comparing your image There are many ways in which an image can be composed. A flower, for instance, can be photographed from the top, the side, from below or even from very close up if a specialised lens is used. The best way to see what has already been taken is to browse online galleries or read photography magazines. This will give you an idea of how you can adapt your composition to make your image unique and personalised.

Colour variations

Experimenting with tones Most images we see on a daily basis have been taken in colour, but there is no hard-and-fast rule that dictates that this should always be the case. For instance, you could experiment with black-and-white or sepia tones in order to take a photo that doesn't resemble anything else. By doing so, you can help to ensure that your image stands out as unique. In addition, these make desirable printed gifts for family or friends.

Lighting

Shadow and light Many photographers wait - or create by artificial means - the best lighting for their images. However, it is important to remember that some of the most aesthetically pleasing images are those of dark, moody skies or the interplay between shadow and light. Creating a unique image means waiting for a lighting opportunity to take something that hasn't been taken a million times before.

Experiment

Trial and error Don't expect to take a unique image without experimenting. In fact, you may have to take more than 100 or even 1,000 shots before you get something that is even remotely original. Many of the most outstanding original photos look as if they were created without much fuss but that's an illusion: you may have to try different angles and compositions at different times of the day and under variable lighting in order to get a shot that is truly unique.

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