Every year over 3 million people visit the Statue of Liberty in New York. It is a safe bet that all of them have a camera and take one or more photos. That means that over 3 million images of the Statue of Liberty are taken annually. With odds like these you may wonder if it is still possible to obtain a unique photograph of the famous statue of the lady in the harbor.
You will need to shift your main focus from the static subject of your scene and concentrate instead on the changing landscape around the subject if you hope to create a composition that is uniquely your own. Keep in mind that while the subject is fixed in space two things are not: you and your position relative to the subject, and the weather. Taking advantage of these changing elements will result in an image you can call your own. One thing is certain: the weather as reflected in the cloud formations over your subject is constantly changing and will never be exactly the same twice. Make a compositional design relationship between the weather and the subject and you will have something you can call uniquely your own.
This photo is of a statue at the Gettysburg Battle Field monument. Careful placement of the clouds create a swirling effect that emphasizes the running motion of the soldier.
First you must train yourself to look beyond the subject to the surrounding area. Too often photographers "see" only the main subject they are photographing and ignore the subject's environment.
Working with clouds can often make a bad day look good.
Sometimes you luck out with an unusual cloud formation. Here the clouds form a halo effect above the church cross on the Island of Mykonos. All I had to do was change my position to align the clouds with the cross.
The weather does not have to be sunny to provide an opportunity for dramatic cloud compositions.
The church was placed over the bright area of the stormy sky to help define its silhouetted shape.
Forming your composition by incorporating cloud formations in relationship to your main subject is a great way to give your photos a special look, and one that is impossible to duplicate ever again. The photo becomes a reflection of your personal experience with a scene at a particular time and place. Isn't that what good photography is all about?