A key point for me in life is to not try to be better than someone else, but to be different. Stand out, be the exception not the rule.
In photography there are SO many super shots that on many levels they all looks the same. Check out the beautiful sunsets, the killer wedding shots, the vacation photos. But to me they all start to blend together, all good but all boring.
As I study the top photographers they are all on the edge of creativity, all doing new imaginative work. Some people will like it, some hate it. I am OK with that. Taking a strong fundamental base and then pushing your self to get a shot that no one else has done is quite a goal. After awhile this actually becomes your own style.
I am trying to do this now, especially at events like the San Jose Obon this weekend. So many many great photo ops, but how do I get a shot that is unique?
The above unique with the wide lens, low view, post processing, etc.
I love these shots where there are strong lines and hidden faces. An "open" shot if you will.
Ok to shoot the above shot especially if documenting the family/friends but no need to post or use in the portfolio.
Pro tip: To move from a good "different" shot to a portfolio (from a note to a song) I need to also keep the post processing close to the same. High contrast black and white works for me.