Eight forms of corrosion

Eight Forms of Corrosion

by: Fontana & Greene, 1967

The idea of describing the various ways corrosion can damage metals by it appearance had be used by many before Fontana and Greene coauthored their famous book in 1967. McKay and Worthington were already discussing various forms of corrosion in their 1936 book on corrosion. following Alan Pollitt in his own book published thirteen years sooner, i.e. 1923. However, the classification that follows seems to have gained the widest acceptance with subtle variations between authors.

It is convenient to classify corrosion by the forms in which it manifests itself, the basis for this classification being the appearance of the corroded metal. Each form can be identified by mere visual observation. In most cases the naked eye is sufficient, but sometimes magnification is helpful or required. Valuable information for the solution of a corrosion problem can often be obtained through careful observation of the corroded test specimens or failed equipment. Examination before cleaning is particularly desirable. Some of the eight forms of corrosion are unique, but all of them are more or less interrelated. The eight forms are: (1) uniform, or general attack, (2) galvanic, or two-metal corrosion, (3) crevice corrosion, (4) pitting, (5) intergranular corrosion, (6) selective leaching, or parting, (7) erosion corrosion, and (8) stress corrosion. This listing is arbitrary but covers practically all corrosion failures and problems. The forms are not listed in any particular order of importance. Below, the eight forms of corrosion are discussed in terms of their characteristics, mechanisms, and preventive measures. Hydrogen damage, although not a form of corrosion, often occurs indirectly as a result of corrosive attack, and is therefore included in this discussion. (reference)

Uniform Attack

Uniform attack is the most common form of corrosion. It is normally characterized by a chemical or electrochemical reaction which proceeds uniformly over the entire exposed surface or over a large area. The metal becomes thinner and eventually fails. For example, a piece of steel or zinc immersed in dilute sulfuric acid will normally dissolve at a uniform rate over its entire surface. A sheet iron roof will show essentially the same degree of rusting over its entire outside surface.

Uniform attack, or general overall corrosion, represents the greatest destruction of metal on a tonnage basis. This form of corrosion, however, is not of too great concern from the technical standpoint, because the life of equipment can be accurately estimated on the basis of comparatively simple tests. Merely immersing specimens in the fluid involved is often sufficient. Uniform attack can be prevented or reduced by (1) proper materials, including coatings, (2) inhibitors, or (3) cathodic protection. (back to top)

Galvanic or Two-Metal Corrosion

A potential difference usually exists between two dissimilar metals when they are immersed in a corrosive or conductive solution. If these metals are placed in contact (or otherwise electrically connected), this potential difference produces electron flow between them. Corrosion of the less corrosion-resistant metal is usually increased and attack of the more resistant material is decreased, as compared with the behavior of these metals when they are not in contact. The less resistant metal becomes anodic and the more resistant metal cathodic. Usually the- cathode or cathodic metal corrodes very little or not at all in this type of couple. Because of the electric currents and dissimilar metals involved, this form of corrosion is called galvanic, or two-metal, corrosion. It is electrochemical corrosion, but we shall restrict the term galvanic to dissimilar-metal effects for purposes of clarity. (back to top)

Crevice Corrosion

Intense localized corrosion frequently occurs within crevices and other shielded areas on metal surfaces exposed to corrosives. This type of attack is usually associated with small volumes of stagnant solution caused by holes, gasket surfaces, lap joints, surface deposits, and crevices under bolt and rivet heads. As a result, this form of corrosion is called crevice corrosion or, sometimes, deposit or gasket corrosion.(back to top)


Pitting is a form of extremely localized attack that results in holes in the metal. These holes may be small or large in diameter, but in most cases they are relatively small. Pits are sometimes isolated or so close together that they look like a rough surface. Generally a pit may be described as a cavity or hole with the surface diameter about the same as or less than the depth.

Pitting is one of the most destructive and insidious forms of corrosion. It causes equipment to fail because of perforation with only a small percent weight loss of the entire structure. It is often difficult to detect pits because of their small size and because the pits are often covered with corrosion products. In addition, it is difficult to measure quantitatively and compare the extent of pitting because of the varying depths and numbers of pits that may occur under identical conditions. Pitting is also difficult to predict by laboratory tests. Sometimes the pits require a long time-several months or a year-to show up in actual service. Pitting is particularly vicious because it is a localized and intense form of corrosion, and failures often occur with extreme suddenness.(back to top)

Intergranular Corrosion

Grain boundary effects are of little or no consequence in most applications or uses of metals. If a metal corrodes, uniform attack results since grain boundaries are usually only slightly more reactive than the matrix. However, under certain conditions, grain interfaces are very reactive and intergranular corrosion results. Localized attack at and adjacent to grain boundaries, with relatively little corrosion of the grains, is intergranular corrosion. The alloy disintegrates (grains fall out) and/or loses its strength.

Intergranular corrosion can be caused by impurities at the grain boundaries, enrichment of one of the alloying elements, or depletion of one of these elements in the grain-boundary areas. Small amounts of iron in aluminum, wherein the solubility of iron is low, have been shown to segregate in the grain boundaries and cause intergranular corrosion. It has been shown that based on surface tension considerations the zinc content of a brass is higher at the grain boundaries. Depletion of chromium in the grain-boundary regions results in intergranular corrosion of stainless steels.(back to top)

Selective leaching

Selective leaching is the removal of one element from a solid alloy by corrosion processes. The most common example is the selective removal of zinc in brass alloys (dezincification). Similar processes occur in other alloy systems in which aluminum; iron, cobalt, chromium, and other elements are removed. Selective leaching is the general term to describe these processes, and its use precludes the creation of terms such as dealuminumification, decobaltification, etc. Parting is a metallurgical term that is sometimes applied, but selective leaching is preferred. (back to top)

Erosion Corrosion

Erosion corrosion is the acceleration or increase in rate of deterioration or attack on a metal because of relative movement between a corrosive fluid and the metal surface. Generally, this movement is quite rapid, and mechanical wear effects or abrasion are involved. Metal is removed from the surface as dissolved ions, or it forms solid corrosion products which are mechanically swept from the metal surface. Sometimes, movement of the environment decreases corrosion, particularly when localized attack occurs under stagnant conditions, but this is not erosion corrosion because deterioration is not increased.

Erosion corrosion is characterized in appearance by grooves, gullies, waves, rounded holes, and valleys and usually exhibits a directional pattern. In many cases, failures because of erosion corrosion occur in a relatively short time, and they are unexpected largely because evaluation corrosion tests were run under static conditions or because the erosion effects were not considered.(back to top)

Stress-corrosion cracking

Stress-corrosion cracking refers to cracking caused by the simultaneous presence of tensile stress and a specific corrosive medium. Many investigators have classified all cracking failures occurring in corrosive mediums as stress-corrosion cracking, including failures due to hydrogen embrittlement. However, these two types of cracking failures respond differently to environmental variables. To illustrate, cathodic protection is an effective method for preventing stress-corrosion cracking whereas it rapidly accelerates hydrogen-embrittlement effects. Hence, the importance of considering stress-corrosion cracking and hydrogen embrittlement as separate phenomena is obvious. For this reason, the two cracking phenomena are discussed separately in this chapter.

During stress-corrosion cracking, the metal or alloy is virtually unattacked over most of its surface, while fine cracks progress through it. This cracking phenomenon has serious consequences since it can occur at stresses within the range of typical design stress. Exposure to boiling MgCl2 at 310°F (154°C) is shown to reduce the strength capability to approximately that available at 1200°F.

The two classic cases of stress-corrosion cracking are «season cracking» of brass, and the «caustic embrittlement» of steel. Both of these obsolete terms describe the environmental conditions present which led to stress-corrosion cracking. Season cracking refers to the stress-corrosion cracking failure of brass cartridge cases. During periods of heavy rainfall, especially in the tropics, cracks were observed in the brass cartridge cases at the point where the case was crimped to the bullet. It was later found that the important environmental component in season cracking was ammonia resulting from the decomposition of organic matter.

Many explosions of riveted boilers occurred in early steam-driven locomotives. Examination of these failures showed cracks or brittle failures at the rivet holes. These areas were cold-worked during riveting operations, and analysis of the whitish deposits found in these areas showed caustic, or sodium hydroxide, to be the major component. Hence, brittle fracture in the presence of caustic resulted in the term caustic embrittlement. While stress alone will react in ways well known in mechanical metallurgy (i.e., creep, fatigue, tensile failure) and corrosion alone will react to produce characteristic dissolution reactions; the simultaneous action of both sometimes produces the disastrous results.(back to top)

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Corrosive Definition in Chemistry

  • Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College

Corrosive refers to a substance that has the power to cause irreversible damage or destroy another substance by contact. A corrosive substance may attack a wide variety of materials, but the term is usually applied to chemicals that can cause chemical burns upon contact with living tissue. A corrosive substance may be a solid, liquid, or gas.

The term «corrosive» comes from the Latin verb corrodes, which means «to gnaw». At low concentrations, corrosive chemicals are typically irritants.

The hazard symbol used to identify either a chemical capable of metal corrosion or skin corrosion shows a chemical poured onto a material and a hand, eating into the surface.

Also Known As: Corrosive chemicals may also be referred to as «caustic», although the term caustic usually applies to strong bases and not acids or oxidizers.

Key Takeaways: Corrosive Definition

  • A corrosive substance is defined as a material capable of damaging or destroying other substances on contact via a chemical reaction.
  • Examples of corrosive chemicals include acids, oxidizers, and bases. Specific examples include sodium hydroxide, nitric acid, and hydrogen peroxide.
  • The international pictogram indicating a corrosive chemical shows a surface and a human hand being eaten away by a liquid dripping from a test tube.

Examples of Corrosive Substances

Strong acids and bases are commonly corrosive, although there are some acids (e.g., the carborane acids) that are very powerful, yet not corrosive. Weak acids and bases may be corrosive if they are concentrated. Classes of corrosive substances include:

  • strong acids — Examples include nitric acid, sulfuric acid, and hydrochloric acid
  • concentrated weak acids — Examples include concentrated acetic acid and formic acid.
  • strong Lewis acids — These include boron trifluoride and aluminum chloride
  • strong bases — These are also known as alkalis. Examples include potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, and calcium hydroxide.
  • alkali metals — These metals and the hydrides of the alkali and alkaline earth metals act as strong bases. Examples include sodium and potassium metal.
  • dehydrating agents — Examples include calcium oxide and phosphorus pentoxide.
  • strong oxidizers — A good example is hydrogen peroxide.
  • halogens — Examples include elemental fluorine and chlorine. The halide ions are not corrosive, except for fluoride.
  • acid anhydrides
  • organic halides — An example is acetyl chloride.
  • alkylating agents — An example is dimethyl sulfate.
  • certain organics — An example is phenol or carbolic acid.

How Corrosion Works

Usually, a corrosive chemical that attacks human skin denatures proteins or performs amide hydrolysis or ester hydrolysis. Amide hydrolysis damages proteins, which contain amide bonds. Lipids contain ester bonds and are attacked by ester hydrolysis.

In addition, a corrosive agent may participate in chemical reactions that dehydrate skin and/or produce heat. For example, sulfuric acid dehydrates carbohydrates in skin and releases heat, sometimes sufficient to cause a thermal burn in addition to the chemical burn.

Corrosive substances that attack other materials, such as metals, may produce rapid oxidation of the surface (for example).

Safe Handling of Corrosive Materials

Protective gear is used for personal protection from corrosive materials. The equipment may include gloves, aprons, safety goggles, safety shoes, respirators, face shields, and acid suits. Vapors and corrosive chemicals with a high vapor pressure should be used within a ventilation hood.

It’s important that protective gear be made using a material with high chemical resistance to the corrosive chemical of interest. There is no single protective material that protects against all corrosive substances. For example, rubber gloves may be fine for one chemical, yet be corroded by another. The same is true of nitrile, neoprene, and butyl rubber.

Uses of Corrosive Materials

Corrosive chemicals often make good cleaners. Because they tend to be highly reactive, corrosives may be used in catalytic reactions or as reactive intermediates in the chemical industry.

Corrosive Versus Caustic or Irritant

The term «caustic» is often considered synonymous with «corrosive.» However, only strong bases should be referred to as caustic. Examples of caustic chemicals include sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide.

A dilute corrosive chemical acts as an irritant. However, at higher concentrations, corrosive chemicals produce a chemical burn.

While corrosive chemicals may be poisonous, the two characteristics are separate. A poison is a substance with a systemic toxic effect. Poisons may take some time to act. In contrast, a corrosive substance causes an immediate effect on tissue or a surface.


Types of borer grinder and methods of struggle

Beetle grinder is an insect that poses a serious threat to wood. It hits furniture, the floors of a wall made of wood and even paper, books, cardboard. The scale of damage that this beetle can cause depends on the species of the insect.

Features and Varieties

Insects belong to the order of coleoptera. Depending on the variety, the size can vary from 0.2 to 1 cm, the most popular specimens are 0.5 cm. Beetle grinders have combed antennae, which consist of several segments. The greatest harm is caused by larvae, and not by adults.

The first have very developed legs with claws, which allow the insect to fix firmly in place and eat wood. After that, on the surface of the affected area, small holes, twisting passages and yellow tritium are observed.

A distinctive feature of the grinder is that it produces a sound similar to the work of a clockwork. This occurs during the period of insect reproduction.

Below you can see the photo of the grinder borer, as well as their most common varieties:

  1. Furniture. Dangerous for all types of wood. For several years it is capable of damaging the wooden floor, walls, windows. Parasitizes on a dry dead tree.
  2. Brownie. It feeds mainly with a moistened tree (for example, in a bath), so it is rarely found in an apartment building.
  3. Bread. It feeds on dry, solid foods: grains, cereals, pasta, etc., so it is often found in places of grocery storage.

The borer of the grinder is easily confused with bark beetle. The latter has a distinctive characteristic – it feeds exclusively on the bark of a growing tree and does not parasitize in an apartment building.

How to withdraw?

You can remove the parasite in several ways:

  • with the help of folk remedies;
  • with the help of chemical preparations.

Use folk recipes to fight insects better at the initial stage of their parasitism with a slight contamination of the wooden surface.

The most effective folk methods are:

  1. Treatment of the infected area with a mixture of turpentine and kerosene (3: 1).
  2. Processing with a mixture of naphthalene, black carbolic and resin (1: 1: 1).

How to get rid of a beetle bug in the house with the help of chemicals? If the beetle inflicts significant damage to the wood, a large accumulation of insects is observed, then it is better to use special insecticides from the grinder, for example: Antizhuk, Belinka Belocid, Drevoitoks, Neomid Stop Beetle, Bochemit Forte, WoodMaster Anti-Jook, etc.

You can entrust this work to professionals who will destroy pests in a short period of time with the help of disinfection with cold or hot mist, gas treatment with phosphine.


Corrosive Materials — Hazards

What are corrosives?

Corrosives are materials that can attack and chemically destroy exposed body tissues. Corrosives can also damage or even destroy metal. They begin to cause damage as soon as they touch the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, digestive tract, or the metal. They might be hazardous in other ways too, depending on the particular corrosive material.

Most corrosives are either acids or bases. Common acids include hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, chromic acid, acetic acid and hydrofluoric acid. Common bases are ammonium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide (caustic potash) and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda).

Other chemicals can be corrosive too. Check the supplier labels on chemical product containers.

It is wise to treat unknown materials as very hazardous until they are positively identified.

Corrosive materials are present in almost every workplace. Acids, bases (which include caustics or alkalis), and other chemicals may be corrosive. Everyone who works with corrosives must be aware of their hazards and how to work safely with them.

Please see the OSH Answers How Do I Work Safely with Corrosive Liquids and Solids? for more information.

How are corrosives hazardous to my health?

Corrosives can burn and destroy body tissues on contact. The stronger, or more concentrated, the corrosive material is and the longer it touches the body, the worse the injuries will be.

Some corrosives are toxic and can cause other health problems. Check the MSDS and label on the container for warnings of other possible health effects.

An example is the chemical glutaraldehyde. It has been used as a disinfectant and sterilizing agent in medical and dental settings as well as other uses. It is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Glutaraldehyde can be irritating or corrosive to the respiratory tract, eyes and skin. It may cause permanent eye injury. It is also a skin sensitizer as it may cause (severe) allergic skin reactions.

How are corrosives hazardous to my eyes?

Corrosive materials can severely irritate, or in come cases, burn the eyes. This could result in scars or permanent blindness. The stronger, or more concentrated, the corrosive material is and the longer it touches the eyes, the worse the injury will be.

How are corrosives hazardous to my skin?

Corrosives touching the skin can severely irritate or even badly burn and blister the skin. Severe corrosive burns over a large part of the body can cause death.

How are corrosives hazardous when I breathe them in?

Breathing in corrosive vapours or particles irritates and burns the inner lining of the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs. In serious cases, this results in pulmonary edema, a buildup of fluid in the lungs that can be fatal.

How are corrosives hazardous to my digestive tract?

Swallowing corrosives burns the sensitive lining of the mouth, throat, esophagus and stomach. In nonfatal cases, severe scarring of the throat may occur and could result in losing the ability to swallow.

What is hazardous when corrosives touch metals?

Many corrosives attack and corrode metals. Contact with corrosives can damage containers, equipment, installations and building components made from unsuitable materials. The rate of metal corrosion is greater when the corrosive is stronger and the temperature is higher. When acids attack metals, hydrogen gas is often given off. This is a flammable gas which can burn or explode if an ignition source is present.

Common bases, such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, can also attack some metals like aluminum, zinc, galvanized metal, and tin to produce hydrogen gas. The MSDS for a particular corrosive should explain which metals or other materials, such as plastics or wood, it will attack.

Are there other hazards associated with corrosives?

Some corrosives are also flammable or combustible and can easily catch fire and burn or explode.

Some corrosives are incompatible with other chemicals. They may undergo dangerous chemical reactions and give off toxic or explosive products if they contact each other.

The MSDSs and the labels on the containers should explain all of the hazards for the corrosive materials that you work with.

Add a badge to your website or intranet so your workers can quickly find answers to their health and safety questions.

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Techniques – 10 Characteristics of Great Photos (2019 Update)

People often ask us how to take “good” photos. As a studio, we’ve tried to develop a methodology so that we can consistently create amazing images. While studying our art over the last decade, we compiled a list of ten characteristics most often found in the best photos. While we use examples from our wedding and engagement portfolio for the images below, these rules apply to all genres of photography.

If there is one overarching characteristic whose importance precedes that of all the characteristics listed in this article, it’s that every image needs to have a purpose. The image should tell a story or capture a unique moment in a meaningful way. If you comb through your portfolio and find yourself wondering why you captured a particular image, then there’s a good chance it’s lacking some or all of the following characteristics.

While it is highly unlikely that a given image (even an amazing photo) will include all of these characteristics, try to combine as many as possible and always keep composition in mind.

Without any further delay, here are 10 Characteristics of Great Photos.

10 Characteristics of Great Photos

1 – Compelling Composition (Must Have)

Most basic photography guides include common compositional concepts like the rule of thirds and rules of symmetry, but what other techniques can we use to create compelling compositions? Some less common techniques involve negative space, leading lines, depth of field, and framing. I mention this rule first because it doesn’t matter which particular style, technique, or rule you follow, so long as every image is thoughtfully composed. There will be times when composition takes a back seat in order to just grab the shot, but it should otherwise be considered whenever possible.

The image above uses one of the most common compositional rules, the rule of thirds, in two ways. First, the dunes occupy two-thirds of the image horizontally, leaving the sun & sky to fill the final third. Secondly, the couple has been placed near the upper left intersection of the horizontal and vertical thirds. Although the rule is commonly practiced, this image exemplifies why it is so effective, especially in this scene from Dubai.

This image features the dynamic symmetry of continuous spiral, which is often found in both nature and architecture. There are mathematical equations concerning ratios that explain in technical terms why this is pleasing to the eye, but it’s easy enough to notice how the lines effectively lead to the subjects, who’ve been placed in the lower left third of the image. Of course, the dramatic lighting also plays a role in minimizing distractions and drawing the viewer’s focus to the brightest part of the photo.

The photo above features several compositional components, including leading lines, the rule of thirds, and unique framing. The leading lines in the scene draw the viewer’s eye to the couple, who occupy the space framed by the walls on either side of the walkway at the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In addition, the entire composition is framed using thirds, the left third where the couple resides, and the right two-thirds occupied by the wall and leading lines. The couple’s reflection in the wall on the right also adds a sense of (nearly symmetrical) balance to the image.

Framing is key in the image above, as the couple is framed inside of multiple layers of squares. They’ve also been placed at the intersection of the lower left thirds, and lighting has been used to draw focus to the couple.

In the image above, bokeh, which basically refers to the out-of-focus parts of the image, works in tandem with a shallow depth-of-field to separate the subjects from the background (and in the case of this shoot-through, the foreground as well). The subjects occupy a very narrow margin of space that remains in focus, which also happens to reside in the lower-right third of the image.

Here, we have a great showcase for the power of symmetry. The couple has been placed on the apex of the triangular rock formation in the foreground, creating the first layer of symmetry. The mountain range in the background also adds to the symmetry of the image in that it echoes the triangular shape in the foreground while also providing its own symmetrical element.

You can find more information on composition and how to combine compositional elements here.

2 – Display Of Emotion

As human beings, we are drawn to emotion. Whether we’re laughing or crying, emotion ties each and everyone of us together. Images that capture genuine displays of emotion often prove timeless, and these meaningful moments will always capture the audience’s attention.

The image above was captured during a Vidaai, which marks the end of the Hindu wedding ceremony and the beginning of the bride and groom’s journey as husband and wife. Vidaais can be intensely emotional as the bride’s friends and family wish her farewell (as illustrated above).

On the flipside of sad emotions, genuine happiness also effectively connects viewers to the subjects in images. Usually, the more candid and natural the capture appears (even if it was actually directed), the larger the impact of the image.

[Related Reading: How To Pose And Direct For Natural Portraits: 10 Tips From Working Professionals]

3 – Simple Storytelling

Some of the greatest images simply tell a story. Rather than relying on great composition or featuring other unique characteristics, they instead focus on storytelling. Some of the best storytelling images are found in the news and other sources of photojournalism. From the triumphant shout of a newly crowned sports champion to a protester standing in front of a tank in the Tiananmen Square massacre, these images capture and freeze moments in history for everyone to become a witness. Here are a few examples from weddings we’ve photographed.

You can almost feel the anticipation in the air as the bride’s father walks her down the stairs to the ceremony site at Malibu Rocky Oaks. From this unique perspective, you can see the story unfold as the bride’s family, friends, and groom-to-be anxiously await her arrival.

What is bride prep without a little help from the bride’s friends or family? Here, an ensemble cast of bridesmaids admire the bride’s beauty from all angles while helping her with the final touches in preparation for her big day.

For wedding photographers, the first look at the altar offers a perfect opportunity to capture the anticipation and surprise of the bride and groom seeing one another for the first time on their wedding day (depending on whether or not they did a first look earlier in the day). It’s one of the staple moments of the entire day.

4 – Elliptical Storytelling

Most images that tell a story are already worthwhile, but images that tell stories while leaving something to the viewer’s imagination are even better. You’ve probably heard people say that the book is always better than the movie because it allows us to use our imagination to create the most amazing and personalized special effects in our minds. Images that leave something to the imagination tend to do the same thing. They offer just enough information to fuel our imagination as we fill in the missing pieces.

This image was shot at a local airport during an engagement shoot. While we can’t be sure of the subjects’ identities, we’re given enough clues to imagine they’re embarking on a long-distance trip. We don’t know where they’re going or under what circumstances, but that’s also why the image works so well. The limited clues let you imagine the rest.

We’re given very few clues to determine the situation in the above image, but it’s enough to allow for creative speculation. The close proximity between the subjects implies a close relationship, and the style of the shoes and wardrobe combined with the graffitied background lend an urban feel to this untold story.

5 – Iconic Moments

When capturing an iconic moment, you are capturing a moment created or modeled after meaningful moments in pop culture and/or history. Whether it is a reproduction of a scene from a classic movie or a moment based around something trendy, these shots allow the audience to feel emotionally connected to the moment within the imagery.

While James Dean never rode a motorcycle in his movies, plenty of photos exist of the star as he sits atop an old Triumph, exuding the cool guy, rebel persona he’s often associated with. In the James Dean-inspired shot above, viewers are transported back to the era of cool as we spy a glimpse of a couple in the rearview mirror, just before they ride off into the sunset.

The couples portrait above recalls the golden age of Hollywood through its use of dapper outfits, editorial posing, dramatic lighting, and on-set props (like the retro-style light, which was part of the decor in a room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel).

6 – Unique Moments

What’s an easy way to create an interesting image? Simple, shoot something that is unique to the respective audience. For example, while a Christian wedding may seem quite common in the United States, a traditional Hindu wedding isn’t so common and therefore is automatically more interesting to an audience in the states. Other unique moments might reveal themselves during unusual events or at one-of-a-kind locations.

During his pre-wedding baraat, a Sikh bridegroom peeks through the strands of his Sehra to take in the sights. While baraats are quite common in Hindu and Sikh weddings, they’re unique to those who’ve never witnessed them. In addition, the ornate and colorful clothing worn by most in attendance make for unique photos.

It’s not often that you get to capture family portrait framed under a spectacular fireworks display. The image above took place outside the venue during a wedding reception and used a backlight to separate the family from the background.

You can find more tips on how to capture portraits under fireworks here.

The image above was captured at sunset just after the clouds began to clear at Malibu Rocky Oaks. By using off-camera flash to highlight the couple, we were able to capture a unique couples portrait in an environment whose look and lighting changed by the minute.

You can see how we captured the image above here.

7 – Juxtaposed/Contrasting Concepts

Some of the most interesting images juxtapose (compare) completely contrasting objects and concepts. Examples of this might include a beautiful bride in a completely white and flowing wedding dress shot in front of a background littered with trash and graffiti, thus juxtaposing beauty and purity with ugly and uncleanliness. Or perhaps a homeless person downtown sitting with all of his belongings with a glowing Merryl Lynch sign in the background, contrasting utter poverty with a symbol of wealth and power. See the images below for more examples.

You might be wondering what’s going on in this image. We’re looking out from a makeshift shanty in downtown Los Angeles. This might not be the first place one would imagine using as a backdrop for an engagement portrait, but it aligns with the urban engagement theme and presents a unique setting for lighting and framing the couple.

The image above was shot at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center against a graffiti-esque wall mural. The dapper wardrobes of the bride and groom in this editorial style shot contrasts well against the painted background.

8 – Unique Lighting and Color

Lighting and color is really where a lot of great images start. Great lighting can turn a mundane scene into an amazingly colorful scene full of texture and life. In nature, these types of scenes happen all the time during sunrise and sunset, and while we can’t control the lighting of those fleeting moments, if you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you just may be able to capture it (see point number six above). However, we can control and create unique lighting on our own with the proper knowledge using off camera lighting, flashes and more.

The image above was created using a whip pan technique, which can be used to add dynamic motion with shutter drags. While the backdrop in this image was already appealing (taken outside of the Monarch Beach Resort), the added light technique makes this portrait standout from others captured in this same location.

By lowering the ambient exposure in-camera and illuminating the couple with off-camera flash, we were able to capture this unique couples portrait under the beautiful Arizona sky.

Silhouettes are backlit images that are easy to capture and produce amazing results. In the image above, captured in the dunes outside of Dubai, we placed the subjects directly in front of the setting sun and lowered our exposure to reveal the outline of the couple riding a camel across the sand. White balance also plays an important role in this image as it adds a desert feel with the bright orange sky.

We cover these and other lighting techniques in Lighting 201, as well as our Unscripted Series.

9 – Attention To Detail

In our time and society where everything is about speed and efficiency, images that capture overlooked detail can be enough to make someone stop to smell the roses. While pictures of unique and unseen detail is amazing and breathtaking, you can often get the same reaction out of your audience by simply shooting the detail in everyday life.

This detail image of a bride’s shoes was captured on a hotel tabletop during a wedding in Huntington Beach. The dramatic lighting and reflective surface elevate this photo to a product shot you might expect to see in an ad for the shoes.

While they’re often used to photograph flowers and insects, macro lenses open up a world of possibilities for photographing all kinds of tiny objects, including wedding rings (as seen in the image above). The best part is, aside from purchasing a macro lens, you can use inexpensive lighting to get your desired look.

[Related Reading: 10 Creative Wedding Ring Shots For You To Try]

In the image above, an Indian bride takes a brief pause before heading out to the ceremony site. The ornate dress and accessories, as well as the henna on the bride’s hands and arms, are packed with detail and deserving of a closer look.

For more information on how to photograph details like those featured above, see our Photographing the Groom and Photographing the Bride wedding workshops.

10 – Unique Perspective

Most of us live our lives viewing the world with relatively the same perspective. This is what makes unique perspectives so interesting to the audience. Instead of shooting a child from an adult’s perspective, why not get down low and shoot them from the child’s perspective. Very low bottom-up and higher top-down can often create a much more unique and interesting image.

This image was shot during an event as some of the kids were having a little party of their own. What better way to shoot kids, then to shoot it from their perspective. You can imagine how this shot wouldn’t be nearly as special were it shot from a standing (grown up) perspective.

No drone was needed for this overhead shot of a bride and groom dancing in the rotunda at the Monarch Beach Resort. Whether you have to use a drone, balcony, or even an extended monopod, capturing your image from a higher perspective can elevate your image from ordinary to extraordinary.

The image above was shot from a low angle to capture this unique perspective and show the beautiful background above the couple. Remember that backgrounds can be above or below you!

In this portrait taken at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, we’ve used a wide aperture panoramic stitching technique called the Brenizer Method to showcase the couple. Without using this technique, it would be difficult to capture this large of a frame with such shallow depth of field.

We discuss this technique more in-depth in our Panoramic Stitching Workshop.

We hope you enjoyed this article! If so, please share this article to show us your love! Also, please add your additional ideas on creating great images in the comments below.


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