Boy With Balloons, India Photograph by Kamala Kannan (SOURCE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC)

By photographing the shadow of the child running with balloons rather than the actual child, the photographer captured an image that immediately stops us in our tracks. Though the shadow is flat, it has so much movement and life. What is most surprising is how vibrant the colors are, and this is because the background is white/off-white.Photograph by Kamala Kannan

Photo Tip: Keep your eyes open and notice what’s all around you—the primary subject may not actually make the most interesting photo.Tips From Photographer Catherine Karnow

Pub, Uganda Photograph by Leslie Alsheimer, My Shot (SOURCE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC)

A successful image is often one that makes viewers think. The mystery of why these six children are peering into the cracks of this “pub” in Uganda is what makes this photo amusing, delightful, and curious. The use of the wide-angle lens indicates that the photographer is physically close, but the children are so absorbed that they don’t notice. The wide angle is particularly appropriate for this shot—it adds quirkiness to the quality of the image.

Photograph by Leslie Alsheimer

Photo Tip: An image that leaves viewers questioning what’s happening can be intriguing, but choose your lens carefully. In this case, the wide angle emphasizes the sense of mystery.(Tips From Photographer Catherine Karnow)