by Marco Traiani

Photography / Courses

The basics of photography

Photography is based on rules and principles that determine a good result from a qualitative point of view. As photographers, we make decisions at the moment of the shutter click, from the choice of the subject in the photo, to the relation with the environment, the position (framing, perspective). All these elements take part in the photographic composition.
Then there are technical choices made by the photographer, such as the regulation of the exposure and the focus.

The classic rules that permit the realization of a solid photographic composition are followed by some very successful photographers like Steve McCurry (see the pictures Here you are:

  1. The rule of the thirds – insert the most important elements in the intersection of the two vertical lines with the two horizontal lines.
  2. The guide lines – use the lines in the frame to guide the viewer’s gaze.
  3. The diagonals – frame the diagonals in order to guide the viewer in the vision of the subject in the well-defined way of the photographer.
  4. The frames – use every element such as doors, windows etc. in order to frame the important elements of the scene.
  5. The contrast between subject and the background – positioning the subject against a high contrast scene.
  6. Fill the photogram – get close to the subject.
  7. Dominant eye in the centre – positioning the dominant eye of the subject in the centre of the frame creating more incisiveness.
  8. Repeated elements – catch the naturally repeated elements, pleasantly attracted by the viewer’s eyes.
  9. Symmetry – frame the subjects in a symmetrical position, to make it enjoyable for the viewer’s eyes.

We suggest you to deepen Steve McCurry’s job, popular American photographer who puts brilliantly into practice the rules we talked about.