3 Signs of a Good Photograph: Distinguishing Good and Bad Pictures

Photography is a wonderful pastime and a great way to preserve memories. Therefore, it's nice to know when you have taken a good photo and when you might want to learn a little more about the art of photography.

Good Photography Composition

Whether you're into studio photography or landscape photography, here are some tips that can help you improve your photos and know when you have taken a good photo:

Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is based on an ancient Greek mathematical discovery that is based on the Golden Rectangle. In this mathematical theory, an well-composed image should be cut into three portions that are directly proportional across the horizontal and vertical planes of the page.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

The Rule of Thirds is based on an ancient Greek mathematical discovery that is based on the Golden Rectangle. In this mathematical theory, an well-composed image should be cut into three portions that are directly proportional across the horizontal and vertical planes of the page.

Objects of importance should be placed on the lines. If possible, objects of special importance should be placed at the crosses of the lines. These lines cut the photograph into thirds.

For this reason, many cameras have a view-finder with a similar-looking grid. Use the rule of thirds to set up your photograph in order to achieve surprisingly well-composed results!

Focus

One of the tell-tale signs of a new photographer is that the images in the photo all tend to be just a little bit fuzzy. While it may be important to focus on one image and blur out the background, it is generally a rule of thumb that at least one subject in the image should be sharply focused.

Photography focus

If you have a photograph with images that are out of focus, you may want to learn more about focal length and focusing in general. Often, images will be out of focus because of improper camera handling. However, if you have a manual camera, you may also want to adjust your eyepiece to suit your eyesight.

Boundaries

Good photography generally has all of the main subjects of the photo clearly within the boundary of the photograph. In such photos, even if it is a group shot of friends, every part of each person's body will be in the photo. In bad photography, often half of a body will make it into the photo.

Take your time to set up a photo to make sure that everything that you want to be present in the final image makes it into the frame.

A good photograph focuses on at least one subject, makes that subject clear in the photo, and composes the entire image in a way that is visual appealing (usually relying on the rule of thirds.)

Beginning photographers (and even many advanced photographers) have to take many photos in order to get that one perfect shot that they are most proud of. Therefore, do not be discouraged if your first photographs are not all that you expected. Good photography, after all, requires practice and mastery of these three components:

  • the Rule of Thirds
  • Focus
  • Boundaries