Photography 101: Basic Elements

Instruction for a do-it-yourself design that everyone can handle.

People have always told me I have an eye for the unseen.

Photography has played an important role in my life and I can't imagine it any other way. The camera has introduced me to another world. One where reality pauses and moments are captured. My vision for beauty has led me in many directions.

I do agree that people are born with certain talents. However, skills are learned throughout life. If you love something enough you can gain certain elements that will help you achieve success. If you don't have it, you just don't have it. But you should always try!

Being able to take great photographs is really not that hard. All you need is a unique vision, a camera and a little guidance. Here are some key elements when taking photos. They are simple but very important. If you have confidence and follow these tips, you will be taking brilliant shots in no time.


The main thing about photography is knowing your environment. Observing what's around you is a great way to do this. Don't just look, observe. Take it all in and ask questions. How does it make you feel? What does it make you think about? These answers will guide you to look deeper. 

When you can truly see the soul of something, your photo will mirror that to the world. The research that's done to understand your subject can really make all the difference. Capturing a certain emotion or look can be mesmerizing. Stealing the moment when the breeze sails through the trees just at the right time will forever take you back. This is the magic of photography.

For some architectural inspiration, visit the on Denton Avenue. You will find some really nice detail in the building. Also, check out the on Saint James Place for variation in textures and depth. 

You can capture some great photos at on Merrick Road. This historic landscape is a playground of inspiration. Not to mention, the stories! For some fun and exciting shots go to the on Rocklyn Avenue and you will surely find some interesting subjects.


Seeing the world in sections will help you choose a successful composition. Add frames to your subjects so you can contain certain elements. Looking through a lens is a great way to train your eye to do this. Soon you will be seeing everything as a snapshot and it will be much easier.

Also, when deciding on a final shot, experiment a little. Play with angles and viewpoints. Try to see the subject in different ways. Variety can't hurt so take a few shots to see which one is the most interesting.

To read more about composition, stop by the , located on Carpenter Avenue and Eldert Sreet,. and check out their photography section. 

Definition & Meaning

As you study your subject explain to yourself why it attracts you. Does it make you happy or maybe a little sentimental? Is it visually stunning? Your style and taste come into play here. Some people love vibrant colors and others find pleasure in black and white or more subdued hues. If you enjoy taking portraits, then what is it about people or animals that pulls you in?

Figuring out what the subject means to you is important. What is the message you are trying to share? What emotion are you hoping to evoke? What part of you are letting people see? Define your vision so your work is clear and conveys a sense of life. Just pointing and shooting will result in empty images most of the time. You want others to take something away from it.

Taking an art class can help you clarify emotions and teach expression in many fields. Take your kids to the  on Atlantic Avenue and sit with them. Even though you are not taking the class yourself, it will help you look more into your subjects and even bring on some inspiration.

Tell a Story

Sometimes it's good to tell a story with your photo so others can imagine how you felt while taking it. It's also nice to allow some room for viewers to use their imagination. Think of it like your setting the stage for wonderful things to happen. Creating a space where a unique world can exist is what art is all about.

Why not take a little trip to to take portraits of people being active. You can also get some nice action shots at  on Merrick Road. Even just walking around town can bring inspiration.

Think of these tips the next time you are at a party, on vacation or even at home with your family. Capture those brief moments and share them with the world. Showing others your perspective on life is a gift and we should all take advantage of it when we can.


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