They say “an image is worth a 1000 words”. I couldn’t agree more. I recently saw an image that pierced me in places I didn’t know existed. It was a picture of a frail old man, a panhandler, standing with a stick for support in one hand and a begging bowl in the other. His head hung extremely low and the people around him in the photograph just seem to walk on past him. Was he invisible to them? My heart just broke.
I wondered. What really is the purpose of this image or images in general?
It is my belief that the purpose of an image then is to be evocative, to haunt you with the unspoken, to alter your state of mind for a brief moment, to transport you to places, to make you wonder, to give you a glimpse of someone else’s life, to capture a fleeting moment, to inspire, to tell a story … the list is endless. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional photographer, each capture is a once in a lifetime event.
But then how does one distinguish good photography from bad? Coming back to the old man narrative in the preceding section, what I didn’t mention then was the fact that this image was black and white. It was dramatic; it had an arresting center of interest (the subject), the lighting albeit natural – set the right mood and had a strong impact. If the same image was in colour, I believe it would have lost almost all those qualities.
There are certain key elements in good photography in any genre of the art form whether it is stock photography, street photography, nature photography, so on and so forth.
1. Timing and Composition – Perfectly timed images make for perfect images.
2. Lighting – It sets a striking mood. And your image will be striking when it’s used effectively. Do not be afraid to experiment with natural lighting.
3. Editing and publishing – Be selective in choosing your images and pick few to publish. There is sense and satisfaction in exclusivity.
4. Effects – The right effects can achieve and say a lot about your image.
5. Consistency – Maintaining the same feel and movement in your body of work, especially individual projects.
6. Steering away from the obvious – No one wants to see clichéd pictures of sunsets and tourist attractions! Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to see what no one else does! Do not overlook tiny details.
One can write endlessly about the zillion technicalities involved in image making but to me “the” most important element in good photography is that individual’s vision behind the camera lens.
All you really need is your imagination and curiosity to set you apart from the crowd. How far are you willing to go to tell your soul stirring story?
Article Credit : Udita Singh Udita is a dreamer. She works in the creative department at http://www.StockImageBank.com. A cheerful, bright spot that she is, she is very observant. This ability has created a very honest expression of her point of view on images and photography. We though it was worth sharing with all of you ! Hope it changes the way you look at the image.