What Makes A Great Photograph

Photography - 101 Composition, Artistry, And Creating Great Images
4 minutes
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Transcript

We're gonna be talking about what makes a great photograph. Yeah, sorry, I have deep voice syndrome right. Oh God, we've talked all afternoon and my voice is getting deeper. Is that making you guys pay attention more or fall asleep or fall asleep? Well we have we've learned a lot we've covered missing Bowsher exposure of all sorts of composition all sorts of Well, we've done it all on the shoots. A lot of elements we've we've covered a lot but what really now that we've got the foundations Yeah, what makes a great photograph?

I know you've got this awesome acronym, man. Can't say deeper, deeper, man. Oh, yeah. Okay, go Okay, actually, it's not anything sexist or anything like that. It just stands for m a, and I was trying to think of acronyms that would really help you all out and I know this one's kind of tacky. Well, it's not woman.

Right. I could have made it woman longer with a W in it now. But anyway, What M stands for? Okay, so man stands for M, which is capturing basically the moment, okay. And then we have a, which is the artistic side. And then we have n, which is the narrative.

So let's talk about what each of those are. So m, the moment really defines kind of how an image or a great image often captures a really finite moment, I'm talking about things that are a little more simple. I love the simple things. It could be, you know, a smile on your child's face, it could be that first kiss down the aisle at a wedding, it could be any of these moments, it could be a sporting moment that catch, you know, what you're trying to say is just being at the right place at the right time. Absolutely capturing that moment, and kind of keeping it in a photograph immortalizing whatever that moment might be. So that is one characteristic.

And I would say that generally, a great photograph has one or more of these characteristics. It doesn't need to have every single one of them although if you had every one of them, it'd be that much more powerful, right? But at least one or more. Number two is the article Side colors, composition lines, lights, so forth. This is basically that kind of stuff is a photographer that we really get excited about how we light things, what kind of color theory we're using for the shot, those kind of things makes for great images. And really, there are photographers that focus strictly on just that artistic side, right?

I mean, they the graphic elements of it. Yeah, the graphic elements, they focus more on the fine art side. And that's great. It makes him very compelling and makes them awesome. Next, I would say is the narrative, the story, what is the image trying to say, and basically, we actually are going to do a shoot, where we go through and we set up our own narrative. And we really have done that throughout all of our shoots.

But one in particular, we actually set up a scene where my son steals a cookie from the cookie jar. And that is the actual narrative we're trying to convey. Again, all these things can be you know, grand and historical in nature, or they could be very simple things that we just have in our daily lives. But these three components, the moment the artistic side and the narrative, that man acronym, at least that's what I found really makes up a great photograph. So all this stuff we've been talking about this whole time very technical, and yet you didn't mention the word technical in the making of a good photograph, which is interesting, right? Because you can have a photograph that's perfectly sharp, perfectly exposed, everything is right.

And still, it can be dead emotionally. Yeah, if we're going for an image that is, is great. And by great, I mean something that's going to evoke emotion, something that someone's going to enjoy looking at. And an image can be technically perfect in every single way from the exposure to the sharpness to the amount of detail and color, and yet it does nothing, right. And on the flip side, an image can break every signal technical rule, yet be a great photograph and one that's very compelling. And if you look at historical images, I mean, most historical images would fall into that category where they're not particularly sharp.

They don't have great you know, color they don't have perfect focuses. They don't have perfect compositions. They're amazing because of the story. They tell the The narrative because those moments that they've captured in in time, sometimes they're accidental, actually, and they're showstoppers. Absolutely, yeah. So so that's why technical I kind of left out completely of the man acronym.

We do have kind of a piece of it in the artists where you can choose your lighting your color, but that's not kind of the focus driving force. However, if you know all the basics and you know the technical aspects as we've been teaching, then capturing that moment so that you can work on the showstopping component makes it a lot easier. Absolutely. And really focusing on you know, the man acronym is designed so you focus on the moment, the artistry, the narrative, and you use the technical side, to kind of further help all those things. You use it to kind of well, beef it up, if you will, right. Make it part of your beef up your man.

Beef up your man. You like sounds weird. All right.

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