In previous posts, I have talked about lighting, using a tripod, and photo software. Since I don’t know where you are at with your photography skills or experience, I am covering a variety of topics on a variety of levels. If you are not relating to what I am saying, please let me know. This blog is supposed to be helping you to take better pictures and be more creative with your photography. But it is hard to help if I don’t know where you are.
“We haven’t talked yet about what makes a good photograph. So, what makes a good photograph?”
“Yes. The lady in the red shirt…”
“A photograph needs to have a theme”.
“True. What else?”
“A photograph should focus attention on the main subject of the photo”, (from the front of the class).
“Yes, that is important too. Anything else?”
“How about, a good photograph should simplify?” (Someone in the middle area of the class responds).
“Very good. Those are all great answers, and very important to a good photograph”.
“Let’s take a look at each one individually.”
Theme – Good photographs have a theme, that is, a universal message that is communicated by the photo. A picture of some rocks in a lake at sunset
can convey a message of calm and peacefulness. Conversely, a picture of a busy city street, with many cars and people, can convey a sense of congestion and rushing around.
Focusing attention on the subject of the photo – The main subject of the photo should be obvious, and attention should be focused on that subject. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, which I will discuss later.
A good photograph should also simplify – Eliminate everything from the picture that doesn’t add to it. In other words, get rid of distracting elements in the image, such as trees that appear to be growing out of the subject’s head (due to poor placement of the subject in the frame, and the photographer not paying attention to the background).
These are the three basic things common to every good photograph. But how do you make sure your photos have all these elements? You take lots of pictures, and eventually you’ll get it. Or, if you have a natural ability to see a good photograph, you save some film or memory card space, and just take good photos all the time. Most of us, though, use a combination of taking lots of photos and developing an “eye” for what is a good photo.