Posts Tagged ‘photography guelph on’

What Makes a Good Photograph?

Monday, June 4th, 2012

A couple days ago I asked a question on Twitter that got a lot of different and refreshing responses. I asked “If you had one word, what would you say makes a good photograph?”. Here are some of the answers I got: inspiration, passion, persistence, timing, perception, captivating, feeling, emotion, impact, story, and composition. Tweeple – well said!

Now, in more than one word, we have for you 10 Elements that Make a Great Photograph. This article is brought to you by Jana Morgan, a talented photographer located in Hawaii.

photography, guelph, on

1. Depth.

Creating depth is simple when you are in full control of your camera in manual mode. Using depth in your images bring a dynamic element to your images, bringing a sense of reality to the viewer.

photography, guelph, on2. Lines.

Lines are everywhere from trees, walkways, streets, poles, etc. Find some lines in your area to incorporate into your images to frame your subjects. You can use these lines to help guide your viewers’ eyes right to where you want them to focus, making an effective image.

3. Movement and Motion.

Capturing movement helps to emphasize the action that is taking place at that moment. You can use a fast shutter speed to freeze a moment, or a slower shutter speed to show a motion blur.

4. Perspective.

It’s easy to pick up the camera and just shoot straight towards your subject matter. Take the environment into consideration and think about a different way you can photograph the subject in it’s environment. For instance, if you are in a church, is there a balcony that you can go up to take pictures down into the church to get an overview? Or if you are in a courtyard with beautiful trees, think about getting low to the ground and shooting up at your couple.

5. Composition.

Take the rule of thirds into consideration when composing. The theory is that if you divide the photo into thirds both vertically and horizontally and place points of interest either at the intersecting points or along the lines, the picture becomes more balanced and pleasing to the eyes.

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6. Lighting.

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Do something unexpected with your lighting other than only using straight, direct lighting. Try backlighting for silhouettes, side lighting by a window with natural light, or bouncing your external flash off of a wall to light your subject.

7. Capture the Unexpected.

When you are not busy posing or directing people, they can be themselves. The real stuff can never be redone, so it is key to keep an eye out for those  READ MORE

The Secret: What Makes a Great Photo

Monday, June 4th, 2012

photography, guelph, onThis is the most important article on this website.

More important than the thousands of others, I will attempt to explain the elements that make up a great photograph.

These fundamentals are mandatory knowledge to all artists.

Photography makes it easy for anyone to create images without needing any artistic ability or training: just set AUTO and go.

You can’t paint unless you study and practice. In studying painting, you are always taught image structure.

Anyone can take pictures. Formal courses of photographic study rarely, if ever, cover the basics of image structure. All they teach is technical mumbo-jumbo, which is a waste because cameras do all of the technical stuff for us today anyway.

Even professional photographers are rarely taught about the basics of image structure, which is why so many photographs are so awful.

The lack of structure is why so many photographs don’t make it.

This article is critical because I hope to explain the basic structures that are so crucial to making strong images. Images that get the basics right always get people to go ooooh and ahhhhh, and those without their fundamentals in order are boring.

Armed with this information, hopefully you’ll start recognizing the elements which make images that make people’s jaws drop, win top honors at photo contests, and are the first images an editor picks when buying images.

Once you learn these simple basics, you’ll be able to take awesome, award-winning shots with any camera. Once you can do this, you’ll no longer need to waste so much money on camera gear or haul so much of it around with you. You’ll just take great pictures.

The Basics        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations

Every image needs a basic structure. Without an underlying structure, it is just another boring photo.

Every image needs strong underlying compositional order so that it grabs the eye from a hundred feet away.

If it can’t grab the eye from a distance, it will never be an interesting photo, regardless of how many fine details it might have. Details don’t matter if there’s no story behind it.

The reason my image above has won so many awards in so many countries and is picked continually as one of my best images is because of its strong structure.

What is this structure? It is the broad underlying colors, shapes and contrasts between light and dark upon whose structure all the other far less important details lie.

In this image, we have a big red diamond in the middle. It is surrounded by blue-gray. The big red rectangle is the obvious, positive space. The blue-gray around it is called negative space.

Red jumps out at you, especially when put in front of blue. Red does that.

I used an ultra-wide lens. Ultra-wide lenses get darker in the corners, an effect called falloff. This makes the center relatively brighter, adding emphasis. This central emphasis, in addition to being red, is what grabs your eye and pulls you in from a mile away.

This is what makes this shot a winner. Nothing else matters much compared to the way the big red diamond grabs you.

Only after its caught your eye does anything else matter.

This is crucial: if this image didn’t catch your eye like this, it wouldn’t mean much.

Once a photo has caught your attention, it needs to READ MORE


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