An eye for photography

Are we born with an eye for photography, or is it something you develop over the years and training? unfortunately i believe in the latter. With enough practice and understanding of what makes a great photo “great”, you will soon start to hear those compliments you were dying to hear from your friends. It’s not hard to get an eye for photography. You just have to start paying attention to the photographic opportunities around you.

4 things that has to be on your mind at all times.

The ability to locate all of the things that can make a photo wonderful, that is what you call an “eye for photography”. Some of those things happen out there in the real world. A lot of the times you will have a vision and sometimes you just need a camera to catch it but it doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. Keep these four things in mind to help you catch your dream photo on film:


Composition is the placement of relative objects and elements in a work of art. A good composition is one that has just enough detail. Too few elements is bad because it robs the work of art of necessary detail that makes correct interpretation possible. It also ruins the balance of an image. And too many elements can be very distracting as well. Good composition requires good balance.

Composing an image means arranging elements within it in a way that suits the core idea or goal best. Arranging elements can be done by actually moving the objects or subjects. A good example for this case is portrait or still life photography. Street photography involves anticipation, since the photographer doesn’t usually have the choice of moving his subjects himself, but has to wait for them to take the most suitable position within the frame. Another way of arranging elements is by changing your own position. Such a way is appropriate in circumstances that do not allow the photographer to physically move anything, like landscape photography.

Composition is a way of guiding the viewer’s eye towards the most important elements of your work. A good composition can make a stunning photo even out of the dullest of objects and subjects in the plainest of environments. On the other hand, a bad composition can ruin a photograph completely, despite how interesting the subject may be.

The subject

People with “the eye” also spend a lot of time thinking about what to include and what to exclude in a photo. You’ve got to ask yourself what the most important part of the scene is. Do you want to include the traffic light in the background, or is it simply too distracting for your viewers?

This photo is excellent because the photographer includes enough of the background to keep it interesting without losing focus on the subject.

The quickest way to get your friends to tell you that you’ve got an eye for photography. Just get a little closer on every shot. If you’re taking a portrait, only include the face of your subject. Don’t include your subject’s friends, the dining room table, the neighborhood dog, or the T.V. in the background. Find a focus and emphasize it by keeping everything else out. Think of your photo like it’s the V.I.P. lounge of an expensive nightclub. Only allow the most important elements in.

The lighting.

The most beautiful photo with the right composition and the best elements wont look great if it’s not properly lit. To get an eye for photography, you need to get an eye for light. That means understanding the difference between harsh light, soft light, twilight, side light, overhead light, and all of the shades of light in between.

It’s easy to imagine a photo when you know what you’re working with. If it’s overcast outside, your options are limited to closeups and macro photography. You should also know it’s not the best day to be doing landscape photography. So pick and choose your shots based on the available lighting. Go with the ones you know you can get.

Having an eye for light also means you’ll know exactly what to do in a studio situation. When you’ve got all the lighting equipment, you’re free to create shots however you please. Being able to see a photo coming together means understanding the balance between light and shadows. Once you know how to get rid of harsh and distracting shadows, it’s simply a matter of troubleshooting until you get the result you want.


Seeing colour, or more importantly, seeing the contrast between two or more colours can give you that amazing photo. Not every subject is colourful, so this part of “having the eye” often comes down to doing your research beforehand and picking subjects that present a nice colour contrast. Adding to this, you have to learn to see how different colours interact in the same scene. Notice how the placement of colours can determine where your attention goes as you view the image.

Light determines colour too. The morning sunlight, the light tends to make colours a lot more intense and high contrast. But as you get closer to noon, the light gets so intense that you have to shoot everything close up in order to get the same brightness of colour. You can try to take a landscape photo, but you’ll end up with whitewashed skies or very dark subjects.

See how the photo makes you focus on the owl’s eyes first before you notice anything else. There are many other ways to take these kind of photos.

Nobody is born with an eye for photography. It’s developed over the years as you practice with composition, lighting, colour, and subject selection. Keep all four of these things in mind and your photos will be the topic of conversation in no time.

Natanya Karow