Training your eye- Part 1

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What does having a photographic eye actually mean?

When you think about what makes a good photographer? Many people believe it to with the ability to use expensive gear. A while expensive gear certainly helps. If you give anyone a beautiful camera that doesn’t mean they will produce beautiful photo’s. 

I believe photography starts with developing your photographic eye. This simply means being able to look around you and see both the opportunities for a great photo and also see how you would create the shot. This includes many aspects which we’ll go through soon. 

What makes a good photo?

While many aspects of art are subjective, there are some basic fundamentals which almost everyone agrees with, especially within photography. Being able to see the opportunities for a great photo and then knowing how to actually get the photo accurate is all you need to become a great photographer.

Here’s my four things that make a good photo!

A subject. I know this sounds odd, but if you don’t know what the subject in the photo is straight away then the composition needs readdressing. You see photo’s all the time that are ok but it’s not quite right thats because its a picture of the trees. Which tree is the important one? Is it the tree at all? If you photo doesn’t have something that the viewer is immediately drawn to then what you have is a beautiful background/foreground. Find the purpose of a photo.


Light. If you photo is underexposed (too dark) or overexposed (too bright), it’s not a great photo. You either need to manage the light you have or chase the light you want. Or you might want to get creative with your light, and use it frame your subject or help tell the story. (Don’t worry if I’ve lost you, there’ll be more on this later.)

Over- exposed

Composition. You need to consider how you want compose the photo. There are many ways you can compose a photo, all having very different effects on the image. You’ll need to study the photography rules of composition, so you know when to use each one and when to break the rules. Is there something distracting? How are you arrange the elements within the frame to make it a better composition. Sometimes, this will mean actually moving the subject, other times you’ll need to move or change your perspective.

Rule of Thirds
Fil the Frame
Centred and Simplified

Colour. I know what you’re thinking, all photos have colour. But you need to ask yourself two questions. Should it be colour or black and white? If you choose colour, then are the colours contaminated? Sometimes, light carries colour with in and can distort the image. Does the continmation bring something to the photo, or does it need correcting?

Top 7 Questions to ask yourself about your photo

  1. What is the purpose of the photo?
  2. What elements do you want to include?
  3. How will you compose the photo?
  4. What’s the best angle?
  5. Is the light right?
  6. B&W or colour?
  7. How can I portray it better?

Also published on Medium.


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