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The Elements of Photography

I was consumed by the technical aspects of photography during the early days of my career in photography. Getting a sharp image was all that I had in mind. “Which shutter speed should I use to capture birds in flight? Which ISO will give me images with less noise? What aperture will give me a creamy background with a sharp subject? What are the recommended auto-focus settings?”. These cliché questions were the only ones running through my mind most of the time.

Little did I know then that the art of photography was much more than sharp subjects and creamy backgrounds. I don’t mean to say sharpness is insignificant. Obviously, no one would take a second look at a blurry picture. But good photography goes way beyond mere sharpness. In this article titled, “Elements of Photography”, I shall discuss the four elements that would distinguish a good photograph from a casual click.

Light and Shadow

Light is obviously the most important element in any photograph because of the basic fact that photography itself is about recording light. As a beginner, I often used to wonder why my sharp image isn’t as eye-catching as I supposed it should be. It was only later that I realized that even the sharpest of the pictures when shot with bad light end up becoming mediocre ones. The human eye registers only the frequencies of light reflected all around, irrespective of the subject that one is trying to capture.

Photographed during close to ideal light

NIKON D7000 @ 24mm, ISO 100, 1/320, f/8.0