Ever notice how you’re more drawn towards certain photos than others?
No, it’s not just about the equipment. Even smartphones take great shots today.
High-quality cameras help. But it’s merely a tool, like a pan when cooking up a great meal. The taste of the meal still depends on the ingredients and the skill of the cook.
Yes, photography takes skill as well. It isn’t about just seeing a good scenery and snapping a picture.
There are a lot of thought put into the best photography shots: composition, lighting, and more. All of these are what’s inside the photographer’s minds when they’re shooting an image. These are also what you see in the final product.
Read on to know more about what makes a great shot.
The composition is not a set of hard rules that determine whether a photo is good or not. Rather, it’s a set of ingredients you can use to your liking to get the type of meal you want.
Composition literally means “putting together. Hence, the best photography has well-defined and well-executed placement of the ingredients.
There are a lot of composition elements, but the basics are:
Lines can either draw the eyes to a certain point in a picture or create a feel. Photographers will find lines anywhere – from roads to horizons. The right framing can strengthen such lines.
The lines, in turn, create shapes. The shape in photography simply comes from the movement of your eyes from subject to subject.
When taking patterns, it’s better to isolate them from their surroundings. This means taking out the other elements of a photo that will draw the eyes away from the pattern.
Photographers also often use negative space to bring focus to the subject. The negative space can be anything that represents a blank canvas, such as the sky or the stark white of the snow. The subject is then the positive space.
An example of the artful use of this element is taking a photo of a boat against the vast sea. This photo can create a sense of isolation or peace, depending on the composition.
Balance in photography is all about arranging the visual elements in the photo. Photographers can frame shots so that all parts of the photo hold equal visual weight. This leads to perfect balance and symmetry.
However, there are times when photographers throw symmetry out the window to produce even greater shots. They can achieve asymmetrical balance through the perfect balance of light and heavy.
This only confirms that the best photography isn’t about following rules. It’s about choosing what works for the moment.
The viewpoint is the angle from which the photographer took the picture. It can create a lot of interesting scenes, such as those taken from the eye level of a bird or a child.
The subject doesn’t matter much in this element. Rather, the photo focuses on the texture, how an object feels. It should create the exact feeling of when you touch it physically.
Colors not only grab the attention of viewers. They also set the mood for the image.
The absence of color can also create interesting shots. Black and white photos invoke a certain feel, but it won’t work every time. The best photography techniques can combine both to create contrasting images.
Different subjects, such as food or events, call for different composition techniques. Good photographers will adapt their composition style according to the scenes they’re taking. This is why figuring out the subject is important as well.
Sometimes, the subject matter isn’t as important as the composition. The composition itself might dictate what the subject should be. But if a photographer has a subject, they should create the composition around it.
Creating a composition around a subject means figuring out how to emphasize it best. Photographers can make it take up the whole space or they can step back a little to capture it against negative space. They can also play with focus and perspective to define a subject.
The lighting is the technical aspect of photography. Light defines the shapes and lines, which marks its value in compositions.
Outside, natural lighting can be more than just a supporting element. It can be the subject. A sunset, for example, can show streaks of amazing colors in the sky.
Photographers can play with lighting to create shadows and highlights. Lighting can also establish the mood of the image. Low light will create dramatic shadows that may invoke brooding feelings.
Hence, photography involves getting the right lighting or using the available lighting to your advantage.
Story and Intrigue
What’s the story behind the photo? Does the image create a story to tell the audience?
The composition, lighting, and the subject matter should tell a story. These factors don’t matter at all when there’s no story for the viewers to interpret. Photographs are there to make every audience a witness, whether to history, to events, or to simple moments in life.
The best photography shots may also invoke feelings of intrigue. Intrigue can capture the viewers and invite them to create their own interpretation of the image.
Emotions and Energy
As Jose Soriano Photography states, photography is about capturing the feelings.
A person viewing a photo should feel a certain emotion. The photographer is successful if that emotion is what they’re trying to convey.
The best photography is also about seeing the core energy of the subject. A good photograph, for example, perfectly captures the strength of a huge wave. It can also exude the calming energy of a scenery in nature.
Photographers can capture these emotions and convey them via good composition and lighting.
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