Basic Elements of A Good Photo
Learn what they are so you can incorporate them in every photo you take.
There are pictures that wow you instantaneously, but there are also ones that bore you to death… Why? Since I am an extremely analytical person, I have broken down the basic elements of a good photo. I would like to share them with you, so you know what exactly to look for when you go out and shoot.
#1 — Light and shadow. These are what define contrast, and they are the essential elements in every photo. When you look for interesting scenes to shoot, you want to look for either a balanced or dramatic combination of lights and shadows. It can be a beam of light shining on an interesting subject in a dark environment (similar to this evening picture of someone riding a bike), or a silhouette shot that has a dark object but a beautifully lit sky in the background. Sometimes, it is the smooth transition between lights and shadows that makes your photo pleasing to look at or other times it is the sharp cut between the two that makes it pop. Next time you go out, with or without a camera, learn to spot the scenes that have this kind of interesting combination of lights and shadows.
#2 — A clear focal point. There are lots of theories when it comes to composition — rule of thirds, leading lines, frame in frame, etc., etc. (I might write a new story about composition) — and the main goal is always to get the viewers’ attention to focus on the one thing the photographer wants to emphasize. Look at this gentleman standing in a Tokyo noodle shop — in fact, I don’t even need to ask you to look at him, because naturally, he is the first thing that your eyes focus on. A good photo, through composition or other subject separation techniques, almost always has a clear focal point at the most interesting subject in the scene. Before you learn all those techniques, just ask yourself the next time you see an interesting view that is photo-worthy — if I take a picture, will people think…