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What Makes a Photograph Good?

What Makes a Photograph Good?

There are many elements in photography that come together to make an image be considered “good”. Some of these elements include, but are not limited to lighting, the rule of thirds, lines, shapes, texture, patterns, and color. All of these things play an important role when it comes to photography. One of the most important of these elements is lighting.

Lighting is one of the most important elements of a photograph. If you take a photograph with terrible lighting, the image you are trying to produce will automatically be terrible as well.  There are many different ways to light a photograph. One could use natural lighting (sunlight) or artificial lighting (softbox, ring light, umbrella, flash, model light, ect.). When taking a photograph, one must also change the settings on the camera so that the light will go through the lens and make the image lighter or darker as necessary.



Another important element used to make a good photograph is the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is basically a rule of thumb that photographers use as a guideline for where to place the subject in the image. Rule of thirds is also used to make the image visually appealing, more interesting, and to catch the eye of the viewer. You can also use this guideline horizontally or vertically, depending on the photograph itself.



Another element that photographers use to make images more appealing to the eye, is lines. Lines may not seem very useful or important, but they add a great deal to the overall composition of an image. They also serve two purposes in a photograph. That is to lead the viewer’s eye around the photo, and to also keep the viewer’s attention.



One other element that photographers use to make an image better is shapes. Most images contain one or more shapes, but those photos where the photographer uses shapes in interesting and unique ways really stand out and make a good photo even better. Much like lines, shapes also help catch the viewer’s eye.



Texture is also an element that is used when taking a “good” photograph. Texture is the surface of an object that has shapes, lines, color, patterns, and depth. While capturing texture in an image, details are very important. If a photographer captures the fine details, it makes the photograph more lifelike.



Photographers also add patterns to a photograph to add to the composition. Patterns are a repetition of colors, shapes, and objects. Using a pattern is the key to having good composition in an image. Patterns also give add interest to a photo. Photographers add patterns to images to keep the viewer’s attention, and to also draw them in.



One more element that photographers use while photographing is color. Believe it or not, the color wheel is something that photographers use as a guide to which colors go best together in a photograph. Colors on the color wheel are often referred to as hues. Normally, colors opposite from each other on the color wheel typically go best together. Photographers also typically either use cool or warmer colors in a photo to give off a certain mood that they are trying to accomplish.



There are many elements in photography that come together to make an image be considered “good”. Elements like lighting, the rule of thirds, lines, shapes, texture, patterns, and color all work well together to add interest and a great deal of composition in photographs. These things all add to images in their own unique way and photographers typically use them to their advantage to improve their images and make them as well and professional looking as possible.