Photography Classes – Learning The Basics

Photographs serve many different purposes: from serving as graphic memories in an easy store format to acting as a good method of breaking the monotony in reams of printed matter e.g. newspaper story, magazine article or even to educate the public or customer as in a doctor’s pamphlet or marketing material.

Where illustrations were used earlier, now vivid and beautiful pictures are being utilized to bring out the true meaning of the story alongside it, which is just as eye-catching and sometimes even more interesting to view as a glossy decoration – so the photograph has come a long way from being just a break in the newsprint to a wonderful identity by itself. On special occasions such as weddings, formal swearing in or award ceremonies, party or even important social events, the importance of having photographic proof and memory of the episode cannot be stressed enough for those involved in it. Besides the media, there are many different agencies and businesses that use the camera to record events and this includes individuals and agencies like family members keen to build a collection, newly-weds and new parents recording special moments, travel companies and product manufacturing companies keen on popularizing their products etc. In such circumstances, the main aim of taking the photograph is to create a favorable impression for the onlooker and get a positive reaction out of them.

As J.W. Click and even Russel N. Baird’s book, ?Magazine Editing and Production,? believes, the main purpose behind people hanging paintings and snapshots on their walls is only because they want to beautify these.

Thus, there are many other people who take to photography as a hobby merely as a way of giving vent to their creative urges and therefore, for them, the skill of photography is purely aesthetic.

If we go by this concept, we can conclude that photography is nothing more than art that has been captured and restrained by way of using technical and mechanical support devices such as cameras, memory cards, zoom and other finer technicalities that allows one to present advanced graphics in a unique manner. Awesome is mostly the reaction of those looking on at exceptional photographs that are award winning in the way in which they may have captured the essence of a moment, stilled in time a particular expression on a famous person’s face, arrested an ordinary moment and made it look wondrous in the light it was photographed in or simply by focusing right on an unlikely subject aroused viewer interest.

Thus, a good photographer needs to keep in mind that all necessary materials (tripod, battery, background, film, lenses etc.) must be handy; ensure camera is steady, subject is ready and presented well by focusing right after determining the perfect angles one can capture the shot in.

What Makes Award Winning Photography?

Like many of you, I have entered my fair share of photography contests before. I have even won a few awards. Now that I have a website that sponsors its own photo contest, I guess you could say I have a new perspective. Having judged photos for over 4 years, I now feel qualified to share some insight as to what those people who judge photos are looking for.

Have a dominate subject or theme…that doesn’t mean it HAS to be a single subject all by itself, but if you have to guess what the subject is… that’s not a good sign. Don’t get me wrong; there can be multiple elements in a single photo and still be effective, but there has to be something specific to keep your attention.

The Simpler the Background the Better… that doesn’t mean the background HAS to be so soft focus that you see nothing else, but do NOT let unwanted details pull your attention away from the subject. Robert Capa once said, “If you’re pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” This may sound extreme, but if there is no background, obviously it can not distract.

Lines and Shapes Must Support the Subject… too often and lines or shapes can lead your eyes off the page and or to a totally different area of the image. The most common mistake I see with portraits is what to do with hands. When you shoot a couple and you see these little fingers wrapped around the waist of a young lady, what happens? Those small visual lines point right back to the young lady’s waist or stomach. In most cases, I feel safe in saying that is NOT where they want your viewer to be looking.

A Great Image must have Emotional Impact… we all see 1,000’s of images a day. The Greats Ones are those that stay in our mind. We can feel, touch, or smell that image in our mind because of the creative use of Texture, Depth of Field, or the Rule of Thirds, etc. Great photos make us want to look again and again. Not all Artists are Photographers, but all Great Photographers are Artists! I have seen thousands of movies in my lifetime. Those that make me laugh, cry, or even feel upset I tend to remember. It’s the same with still photos. If you can make someone feel something they were not feeling before they viewed your work, then you have a strong possibility that it’s award winning material.

These are not the only factors in who wins and who does not, but they are the most common. If every time you enter a photo contest; your entry passes these four tests… the odds of winning have just increased by a thousand fold. It is true that creativity is in the eye of the beholder, but unless you think about these four areas, you may be the only one beholding your image. In most cases, winning photographs don’t just happen. They are designed to win.