You are out photographing and you come across something interesting to photograph, how do you go about converting that into a good photograph? This could be an intro to a long discussion of composition, but I wanted to discuss it at a more fundamental level.
Here's a series of steps which might help you make a good photograph.
1) before going any further - is it interesting in a way that can be shown in a photograph - because if not, we might as well quit now?
2) is there a position from which it can be seen without extraneous material getting in the way, keeping in mind that what's in the way may relate to the object and could possibly form part of the picture. Sometimes there simply isn't a clear view from anywhere and you have to drop the scene.
3) are there in fact other items around this subject which could be used to enhance the image, to tell a story, to explain the object?
4) Is there a position which will let you show better what it is that's interesting about it?
5) Is this better photographed as an 'environmental portrait' , that is including the surround, or is it better to move in tightly, possibly so tightly the edges of the subject don't even show and it becomes more of an abstract?
6) are there in fact several interesting things that can be photographed in a way that shows the relationship?
Maybe this is a little bit different way than your usual hunt for good images. Give it a try.