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What makes a great photograph?

Posted by on April 19, 2014

551128_564711563569304_589383175_nAre you an aspiring photographer? Want to take jaw-dropping images? Whether it is a still image or a video, who does not like to look back on them years after they were captured? Luckily, every photograph taken with a good camera follows certain fundamental rules, so there`s a method to the madness. A little know-how and your first-hand experience is all you need to be a better photographer! Once you understand the basic settings that you need to make in common situation and understand the important rules of using the right light or framing correctly, you`ll understand why you love some photograph more than others.  At PhotoIonSchool – photography courses we teach basic and advanced principles of photography and look into some of the most successful photographs to understand what makes them so. Let us give you a hint.

A few basic rules revolve around the settings on the camera. High resolution makes for a good photograph, which can be cropped later without losing the essence of the image. It can be slightly challenging to capture good images without proper knowledge of the three main cornerstones of photography – they are ISO, aperture,andshutter speed. ISO is the level of sensitivity towards light. The higher the ISO number, the higher the sensitivity of the camera to light. A high ISO results in grainy images also known as ‘noise’ in the image. Aperture is the most striking feature as it adds a dimension in the picture and makes the subject stand out of everything else.  Lastly, we have the shutter speed which produces dramatic effects in the photograph either by blurring or freezing action.

In addition to this is the rule of thirds that extends from Fibonacci’s sequence or the golden spiral. According to the rule, the frame should be divided into 3*3 grid with dimensions (1, 0.618, 1*1, 0.618, and 1) and place the subject at the corner intersection of this grid. Too much mumbo-jumbo? Okay, non-nerds, basically you place the subject in one third of the way into the entire frame of the picture, not right in the middle. This will add a little balance and interest to your photo.

Every accomplished photographer usually shares his own ‘greatest tip’. But the bottom line remains – never shoot something simply because it is there, put your emotions into it, try to capture action, something alive and vibrant.  Try to find what appeals to you through the lens. Do you find something engaging in the picture? Does your photograph bring to mind any memory or feeling? This is more important than you think.

Also, lighting plays a huge part in making a good photograph and can transform any ordinary setting into a fabulous opportunity for a great shot. Any good photographer will vouch that lighting is everything. Bright light can enhance eye-catching features in your photograph and on the other hand, conceal not so attractive elements in the picture. Natural light can modify the subject of your photograph so you can take some amazing shots. The weather will definitely influence the mood of your photograph, meaning that a cloudy day will lend a subtle feeling to the photo as opposed to a sunny day that will give a vivid vibe to it.

An important tip is to keep your mind open to experiment. Taking a photograph while lying down, or down on one knee, or creating a wave in the environment and capturing it just in time are just some options to explore.Timing also plays a crucial part in making of a good photograph. Nothing is ever the same at two different points in time. If you spot something good and a perfect frame of time to go with it, just take that photo before the opportunity disappears.

Of course, there`s the decipherable part of an amazing shot, about which you`ll learn in our London food photography course, and then there`s the other thing, the mystery and passion behind the perfect shot, something even professional photographers can look for during their entire career.