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Photography Eyes

By Karla Parrish

Cinder 2017

The thing I love most about photography, is that it is universal. Most people take pictures to post online or on social media, but I take photos to preserve precious memories. Memories are the essence of life itself; without memories, there is no feeling. Feelings and memories work in conjunction with each other. Photography is the best way to preserve these feelings and memories. In order to do that, you must think and see like a photographer. 

If you see like a photographer, you also think like one. There are many ways to improve photography comprehension. When you look at an object or scenery, think about the lighting and spacing. Those are two of the most important factors in photography. If you have those mastered, it will be easy to master the other factors. As for lighting, if the sun is at its peak (meaning 11-2 o'clock in the evening), the light will be harsh. The light is better in the morning around 6-10 o'clock and 3-7 o'clock in the evening. "The Magic Hour" is when the sun is right after the sun rises and right before the sun sets. The lighting is soft, and it gives a very nice warm glow to a photo. It is great lighting, especially for portrait shooting. You can position the subject so they are looking into the light, but they will not have to squint nor will they have to struggle to keep their eyes open for the shot.  

Then you need to consider the spacing between subjects or a center of interest. Spacing is key when it comes to photography. Some of the most powerful photographs ever taken had spectacular spacing. Instead of trying to find satisfactory spacing, find things to avoid instead. One of the key things to avoid is lines that lead your eye away from your subject or center of interest. Also stay away from lines or distracting elements that intersect your subject. Another thing to avoid is shooting when the lighting is harsh. A common mistake that is also made, is cutting off important parts of a photo. This can also include cutting off someone's limbs in a shot, or cropping out a secondary focus point, making the image unstable or unbalanced. 

Once you have those factors in check, then you need to make sure your subject is in the right place at the right time. This could require a stakeout and a lot of patience. It is also wise to make sure your subject is the center of interest in the photo. You can use "guidelines" such as the rule of thirds, symmetrical or asymmetrical balance, and simplify your focus. Don't try to make your photo too complicated or complex. As for the rule of thirds, it is very helpful when it comes to being a photographer. The rule of thirds is a grid of nine total squares. When you are shooting, imagine where your subject would fit on the lines. If you want your subject in the center, put the subject in the center of the boxes. If you want them on the right or the left, imagine putting them on the side boxes. This will help you create a stronger center of interest, and help balance out the image.  

Once you get the hang of it, taking quality photos is a second nature. Of course there are other elements and factors that you can improve to make yourself a better photographer. There is always something you can improve to shape your photos into an incredible memory. Photography is an art, and it takes some getting used to, but it is surely worth it. 

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