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Good vs Bad Photography

Learn about several key techinques of photography, complete with good and bad examples.
by

Sierra Schedin

on 10 February 2014

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Transcript of Good vs Bad Photography

Good vs. Bad Photography
The Bad
The Good
Rule of Thirds
One of the simplest rules of photography:
Don't put your subject in the middle of the picture!
The Bad
Okay, so there's a lamp. It's an odd lamp, and it's in an interesting position, sure, but you can't see much of it. Let's face it; this is a boring picture.
The Good
By adjusting the viewpoint of the camera, you can make the picture so much more interesting! A simple change in perspective gives a lot more shape and active lines to the photo.
Viewpoint
The point of view of a camera can really make or break a photo.
The Bad
The goal of the depth of field technique is to focus on either what's closest to you (in this case, Kyo's head) or what's furthest away and have it gradually blur. This photo just simply doesn't illustrate that.
The Good
Depth of Field
Focus on one end of a long subject or a
line of subjects to make a more interesting
picture.
The Bad
The Good
Get Closer
Want to capture an interesting texture on an object? Get closer!
This picture is cluttered, and you
can't see the texture of the moss
very well.
Putting the lens right up to the side
of the brick allows the camera
to capture all the interesting details
of the moss.
The Bad
This photo may have attention-gripping colors, but the tree in the background is a little distracting.
The Good
Much better. A plain background lets Misty have the spotlight.
Simplify
Cluttered backgrounds make for distractions. You want your viewers to focus on the subject of the picture, right?
The Bad
See the fountain? It looks like the water is falling onto Mae's head! It's quite distracting and makes for an awkward picture.
The Good
Angle the fountain off to the side and the problem is fixed, easy.
Avoiding Mergers
Sometimes objects in the background will have similar colors or widths to your subject, and, if positioned incorrectly, can make for some wacky (in a bad way) images.
The Bad
...It's a pile of laundry. Unless these clothes belong to a departed, dearly loved one, I doubt this will invoke an emotional response from anyone.
The Good
Now this, an old, abandoned swing, is much more likely to stir emotions in people. With the faded, cool colors, it could be a sobering, melancholy picture, reminding the viewer of better days long gone. Or they could just be sad that the swing is no longer in use. Who knows.
Evoke an Emotion
One of the reasons photography is considered an art form is that it has the power to induce emotional reactions from people. A good photo is one that tells a story.
The Bad
Although Mae's smile is very nice, it is clear this was a posed picture. There's nothing truly emotional about it -- it didn't capture a genuine moment as it was happening.
The Good
This subject in this picture did not notice a photo being taken at the time, allowing the camera to catch natural actions and expressions.
Capture a Moment
Posed photos may be pretty, but taking a picture of an event as it happens, no posing, can make a much more interesting piece. It looks more natural, and you don't get any fake emotions from your subjects (if you're photographing humans, that is).
Centered in the middle, the cup is boring;
the viewers' eyes aren't drawn anywhere
else, and they have no urge to explore
the rest of the picture.
When your eyes go to the middle
of this photo, they find no subject,
forcing them to scan the entire picture. If you want people to notice your background, you need to have your subject to the side!
The Bad
All the people in this photo are clustered to the bottom left corner. The viewer may get confused at what they're supposed to be looking at -- is the escalator the subject? Or the people?
The Good
With one person on either side of the picture, you can still have your subjects distributed without confusing your viewers.
Last but not least, the position of a photo's subject in relation to the objects around it is very important. You can use balance to your advantage to create better, more intriguing pictures. Do it wrong, however, and you could get some awkward results.
Symmetrical Balance
This is a proper example. A portion of the subject is in focus and it fades into blurriness. Not to mention this is a much more interesting point of view than the last one.
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