THE THREE ELEMENTS OF A GOOD PHOTOGRAPH

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by amira, Nov 23, 2008.

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  1. amira

    amira TPF Noob!

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    I’d like to take the opportunity to remind you of three key
    factors that can give you a leading edge in taking and selling amazing
    photographs.

    ** 1. Subject. This is the who, what, and where of your photograph. It
    should be strong and clear, leaving no doubt about what your subject
    is.

    One way to get better at this is to get closer, filling your frame
    with nothing but your subject, leaving no room for other distractions.
    (If you’re using a point-and-shoot camera, be careful to stay within
    your camera’s focusing distance... usually no closer than about three
    to five feet from your subject.)

    ** 2. Composition. Learning the art of composition is not terribly
    difficult -- it just takes some practice. If you’ve done any painting,
    drawing, or other kinds of art, composition might be second nature for
    you. If not, consider going to a local gallery or art museum to study
    how the masters do it (think “Rule of Thirds”). You can work the
    composition of your photographs just like master painters have for
    centuries.

    Placement of your subject in the frame makes all the difference to the
    visual impact of your photo. If you remember nothing else about
    composition, remember this: keep your subject (and your horizon line)
    out of the center of your image.

    ** 3. Lighting. Photography is nothing without light. Study the light
    around you, taking mental notes of how it looks. Is it bright? Flat
    and dull? Does it glow? What do the shadows look like and where do
    they come from? How do the people or the places around you look in
    this light? As you get more familiar with light and its qualities,
    these kinds of questions get easier to answer. Doing so will help
    immensely with your photography as it informs the where and when of
    your shots.

    Also remember these two other important points about light: 1. The
    pop-up flash on your camera is good for candid shots at a party... but
    that’s about it. Open up your camera manual and find out how to turn
    off your flash (remember how to turn it on again for that party), 2.
    The best light of the day is early morning or late afternoon. Unless
    you have plenty of cloud cover, avoid shooting in bright noonday sun.
     
  2. jwsciontc

    jwsciontc TPF Noob!

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    filling the entire frame with jsut the subject? no thanks
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sorry, but for most photography, i'm going to categorize this under 'bad advice'! You're right, the subject should be clear and prominent, and the image should be distraction free, but elements aside from the composition are often key to composition. Case in point:

    [​IMG]

    Were the image nothing but the chair, I submit that it would be rather less interesting. Certainly there are times that filling the frame does work,but not as a rule.


    Sorry, have to disagree here as well; learning the basic Theory of composition is not terribly difficult, the rule of thirds, the golden mean, etc, but the art of composition is something else entirely and is not so much learned as understood through practice.


    -- it just takes some practice. If you’ve done any painting,
    drawing, or other kinds of art, composition might be second nature for
    you. If not, consider going to a local gallery or art museum to study
    how the masters do it (think “Rule of Thirds”). You can work the
    composition of your photographs just like master painters have for
    centuries.

    Generally speaking, this I agree with.
     
  4. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    Talk about coming out with guns blazing...Only the 7th post and already preaching... Yikes!!!
     
  5. Dionysus

    Dionysus TPF Noob!

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    ya, definitely dont agree w/ the subject thing...and mastering composition is as hard as defining yourself and your style. It's not as easy as learning the theory, which is easy on paper...its a lot of "felt" cues, and instinct that only comes w/ experience and time.
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well you know, that the trouble with youth these days, they are so very temerarious. :lol:
     
  7. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wow. Had to go look that one up!
    That was a new one for me!

    (Oh, erm ... I couldn't even be bothered to read all the "good advice" of the OP ... all I did was groan inwardly and ask myself who ever on the forums had asked for this piece of advice to begin with?)
     
  8. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    so according to you this is a well composed picture?
     
  9. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Heehee. You're funny, goodoneian! :D
     
  10. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get closer to that, here is a suggestion, perhaps maybe learning how to use the Background distractions to guide the viewer to the subject.

    Our of the center what....Gee, I guess these are instant failures, and this one too

    This Photo taken by TPF user Efergoh used a pop up flash....shame on him


    A handful of shots from under the mid day sun...these are no good :(
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=133077
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=138995
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=126226
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=136824


    Wow...I am such a failure, I should just put my camera down.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    *is unsure how to comment to this thread*
    On the one side debate about composition, improving photography and different methods used is something worthwhile and something that (I don't think) we talk about enough - at least not in depth in threads of their own - though we do get quite a bit of talk round photos posted on the site.

    On the other side preaching has started this off to a bad start - and now people are getting defencive. The post is rather out and bang in its style and does not promote discussion of the elements presented, but I think that or more individual tips/advice was intended.
    The overall problem is that whilst generalisations can be made, once you start putting it into practise some people change their tune*, whilst others point out that difference styles and subjects warrent different compositional elements to best show them.
    come on people we can still turn this thread around!
    *ps for better work with the popup flash I have found that toiletpaper or tissue paper (white of course) when held in front of the flash can diffuse the light and helps to lessen the harsh impact of the popup - worked well for my macro before I moved up to bigger flashers. (err flashes)
     
  12. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sadly I do not believe this is going to be possible, atleast not wile the thread title is in caps lock and you know what they say about caps lock
    [​IMG]
     
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