The Aesthetics of Photography

photo by Saichu Anwar

photo by Saichu Anwar

To be a good photographer it is necessary to master both the aesthetic and technical aspects of the medium. The aesthetic part is whether or not the picture pleasing to the eye- and this determined by several factor ; the light, the choice of object, the expression (if it is a portrait) and the composition.

Choosing the  Composition

The term composition refer to the elements you choose to include in the viewfinder or on the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen, and how you arrange them. Good composition involves thinking for a moment before pressing the shutter, taking a quick look around the frame and deciding if the picture can be improved by zooming in or out a bit more, by moving the camera slightly up, down or to the side, by finding a higher or lower viewpoint, by moving closer or further away, or by tilting the camera, perhaps to the vertical format. You make these decisions every time yo take a picture, even if only at subconscious level, but paying more attention to these processes will result in much better composition.

Choosing The Lighting

The other main factor influencing a picture’s aesthetics is the lighting.  Hoe is the light falling on the subject – hard and shadowy, or soft and diffused ? Is it a warm or cool light ? From which direction is it coming – from the front, side, above or behind ? If you are photographing in natural light you cannot easily change its position but you can change your position in relation to it.  By moving round to the other side of building you can shoot the sunny side or shady side, by asking a person to turn around you can get the sun behind them instead of shining in their eyes. By coming back to the same spot at a different time of day you will get a complety different type of light altogether.

Technical Points

The technical aspect of photography involves setting the lens, aperture, shutter, and the various digital functions, such as resolution, compression, and ISO sensitivity ( the International Standards Organization setting that adjusts how sensitive the camera is to light) to obtain a good result.  Modern digital cameras can control all of these technical features automatically, but these also have bearing on the aesthetics  of the image, so if you leave all these decisions to the camera you are not completely in control over the final image.  An understanding of these technical aspect can be used to create visually pleasing images, rather than just records of events.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>