These days I find myself analysing more and more. There are so many excellent nature photos around these days - but why are some pictures more successful than others? There are many elements that make an image appealing: light, composition, colour; and then there's the subject itself. Established nature photographer Niall Benvie has an interesting take: he believes in 'the edge'. The concept is pretty simple really - the edge can represent the end of the season; the coast meeting the land; the edge of daylight, or perhaps the edge of life itself. I've always liked this idea, although for me I'd say that it is the 'transition' that can make the best images - as an example, imagine a plain green barley field in spring, or the same crop just before harvest; both are monotonous in tone and colour, but view the field during that brief period where 'the change' takes place and you'll see a wonderful tapestry of texture with colourful flicks of the new season creating more variety in the scene. That might work for fields of barley, but not for everything.
I've come to the conclusion that the best pictures are simply the ones that linger. Time and time again I find myself drawn to the same images (mine and others) and it's this lingering quality that keeps me coming back. Images where your eye continues to move around, and where you never seem to get bored - those are the most successful of all. So for next year I know what I will be trying to achieve: fresh wildlife images; and ones that truly - linger.