Hi Kim, I generally find that many or most of the most arresting photographs are really simple, almost "graphic-art" like - there are no distracting elements in the photo at all, all you really have is the subject. This isn't always easy to achieve, but being able to do it, even when it's hard, is what makes the difference between a snapshot and something more. Look at benny's photo of the riccia with the bubbles, for example - it's very simple, you can instantly see what the subject is; there isn't anything particularly distracting about it. In your picture, the other plants around the shrimp and the Cabomba plant are a little distracting. Tighter framing and a more limited depth of field might have been helpful, but I am not sure what the limitations of your camera are; not all cameras let you make all the decisions you might like to be in control of. One of my favourite functions on my SLR is Depth of Field Preview, which lets me have a pretty good idea what the DOF in the final shot will be like - very handy in macro and landscape photography (the two things I most like doing). I once got a couple of step plan off some random photo site which I cannot remember. It had three steps; they stand me in good stead something like: 1) what is the subject? 2) focus attention on the subject 3) simplify. There are circumstances when you want a more "environmental" shot - what the animal or plant looks like in its surroundings. But most often, you want more of a "portrait" - which is all about that organism itself - what it looks like, or sometimes, what it's doing. I guess a third thing would be to fill the frame with the subject as much as you can. Sure, you need some "breathing space" sometimes, but fill up that CCD with as much subject as you can. (Of course, here in macroland, the laws of physics can make things tricky, particularly for basic P&S cameras which generally have very limited macro capabilities). Ultimately, photography is not only about subjects, it's about feelings. Does that photo *feel* right? Is there a way you can change it to make it "feel" better? We're very visual animals. Innately, I think, we can look at a photo and go: "Yeah, this one *really* works. This one, not so much". Self-critique your own photos too - scathingly. And do so to all images you see around you - in magazines, books, billboards - whatever! Identify what you like and what you don't, and try to figure out why and how to emulate that look/feel. I think I self-critique all my photos to the point I think almost all of them are terrible. Don't go quite that far. Incidentally, well done for avoiding "bullseye" central subject placing on the horizontal axis. A lot of people do that, and it's very "static", in terms of drawing attention, but try to avoid placing things vertically in the middle too - but ultimately, go for what looks right to you. Hope this helps. J.