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Elements of a Good Photograph

Posted by on Jul 3, 2015 in Blog, Camera, Photography | Comments Off on Elements of a Good Photograph

photographerEverybody seems to be into taking photos nowadays. Even a 5-year old is capable of taking a photo of his pet or buddy using his mom’s phone. Grannies and Grandpas can take snapshots of their college friends during reunions almost effortlessly. No need for a professional photographer to do the job. Gone are the days when families have to flock to a photography studio to have a family portrait taken. With the aid of technology photos can be taken anytime, just at any place, and by just anyone. No more long waiting time to have films developed into prints. Photos taken at this very instant can be sent digitally to thousands of recipients with just one click.

Most of the photos we see around us though are just taken to record or even report events and experiences and not necessarily meant to express one’s artistic tendencies and abilities. But wouldn’t it be more gratifying if you can snap photos that capture a special moment beautifully? What makes a photo awesome? Why are some photos more eye-catching than others? If you want to level up and take better and more interesting photographs here are some pointers I have gathered from pros, which I would like to share with you. I have tried them and my photos drew raves.

Work on an eye-catching composition


How the components of your photo are arranged have a great effect on the impact the photo you have taken will have. Most people think that the main subject of their photo, being the most important component, should be at the center. But photography pros think otherwise.


Beautifully composed photos follow different rules and methods and the rule of thirds is one popular rule observed by many great photographers. This rule involves mentally dividing an image into 3 equally sized horizontal divisions and 3 equally sized vertical divisions using 2 equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines. This rule suggests that the important compositional element of your photo should be positioned along the lines or at the intersections of the lines to produce more engaging photographs. The rule of thirds produces an off-center composition that is more natural and is more pleasant looking than having a subject placed right at the center of the frame.


Apply the Rule of Thirds


In landscape shots, the horizon is commonly positioned at the center of the frame seemingly cutting the photo into equal parts which is not at all dramatic. Following the rule of thirds, you can position the horizon along any of the two horizontal lines. Adding another element, like a tree, a sail boat, a hut or a person positioned following the ruled of thirds will give your landscape shot a natural point of interest.


When taking photos of people, position them off to one side of the frame to provide some breathing space and to show the environment where your subject is at. By following the rule of thirds you can be sure that solo shots you take will not look like mugshots.


Since we are drawn naturally to a person’s eye, an additional tip is to make the eyes of your subject the focal point of your shot by positioning your subject’s eyes on the rule of thirds grid if it is a close-up shot.


The rule of thirds can also be applied when shooting moving subjects to make the shot look more natural. In applying the rule, pay special attention to the direction toward which your subject is moving. As a general rule, more space should be allotted in front or behind or to the right or to the left of your subject depending on the direction your subject is heading.


emotionCapture an Emotion


Great photographs have the ability to evoke an emotion. They can elicit an emotional response at times so intense as to cause people to resort to some drastic action. The range of emotions may vary from joy to grief, from intense fear to relief, to pity, anger, sadness, melancholia, curiosity, etc. There is no doubt that photographs that vividly present human emotions capture people’s hearts and imagination.

It takes a high degree of sensitivity to be on guard and ready to snap a shot at the right time. Some photography icons say that the best shots they ever took were taken when they were most inspired and mentally active. Timing holds the key to taking moving photographs that leave a mark in people’s minds and hearts.

Photos that are able to stir strong emotions although technically imperfect and poorly composed become memorable shots and are therefore successful. That is how important capturing an emotion is in photography.

Photography is an art that can take on many roles. It can lead to different roads. It can enable you to give joy. It can be so powerful present life as it really is and create change. But bad photos cannot achieve this. If you have fallen in love with photography like I have, you can learn the ropes slowly and surely starting with the tips I have just presented. I am Jennifer Vanham, always ready to share my love for photography with you anytime.

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