A Quick Tip: Great Photos Come From Great Composition

Practice Makes Perfect.

One interesting thing about language and talking about a hobby, sport, craft, or job is that you often hear words like fundamentals, basics, and best practices being bandied about. 

pink flower macro photography
Photo by Xuan Nguyen

From the tenor of these words alone, you wouldn’t be remiss in thinking there must be something important about the beginning of a process and how one approaches that. 

To extend things further, you will note how important it is to have the proper “foundation” in any craft, and, like in structural engineering, it is upon that rock you will build the rest of your skills. 

In fact, how serious a student is about the beginning often determines their level of success later on in their career. 

Solid fundamentals and a good foundation of knowledge are not only essential to other endeavors, they are a core feature of the art of photography itself.  

When we start out, an idiosyncratic approach is not uncommon; we’re still trying to find ourselves as photographers, after all. Best practices and technical details give us a way of communicating with each other whether we are just beginning or veterans of the practice.  

That’s why it is often advisable for newbies to take their time when it comes to photography composition. The idea here is that the more consideration you put in upfront, the more second nature it will become later. 

At this point in the game, you’re just trying to get your feet wet and learn the practices that will help you build your proficiency as a photographer. 

Photo By Walter Winiana

Do you want to know one tip that will help you out immensely? Here you go: Those pictures you don’t like can tell you a lot about your photography style and aspirations. See, you thought we were going to say that you should copy what you love and that is true, too. Yet we learn much more from our mistakes. Look at a picture you don’t like and outline why. Be concrete and look for real areas of improvement if you were to do it again.

Moving ahead a little further…

When it comes to photographs you like and admire, develop the technical language to describe why you like and admire them. Think about it from the standpoint of the photographer that took the shot and try to imagine the mindset – as well as everything else – that created the image you love.

This task is actually much harder than you might think because many photographers just starting out don’t have the language to describe photographs in a technical way and are often intimidated by jargon. Even so, try to describe what it is you like even if you don’t know the term for it. 

And don’t settle for flippant explanations like “who doesn’t think an exploding volcano is impressive?” Be serious, be real, look for substantive aspects of the photo and drill down into technical details. 

Try to think about the image in different formats such as horizontal or vertical. 

Imagine if the subject was off-center or not. How would this one change impact the rest of the photograph? 

silhouette of childrens illustration
Photo by Margaret Weir

One awesome exercise? Mental Photoshop. 

Edit the photo in your mind until you can reverse something brilliant into something terrible. How did it get there? What took something considered a masterpiece and reduced it down to the mundane?  

Through this process you will learn how it isn’t what is being captured that gives life and dynamism to a photograph, it is the technical aspects of photography that highlight such a scene in dramatic fashion.

Eager to know a little bit more? Want to develop a common language for discussing photography? We have a solution for you.

The amazing Understanding Composition guide. 

If you want to learn more about utilizing the elements of composition for more dynamic photography, then you’ll want to check out our Understanding Composition Guide TODAY!