Tips for participating in the Photomarathon – Part 3: What actually makes a good photo?

Part 3: What actually makes a good photo?

 In this post we give you an overview of the subject of image composition.

Most of us have already asked ourselves what makes a good picture. One possible answer is: Let your picture tell a story. Sensational photos offer content, criticize or pull the viewer out of his environment. His gaze is drawn into the picture.

The building of a good picture

One of the best-known rules of composition is the doctrine of the golden ratio or the rule of thirds. This rule can now be implemented with many cameras using a “grid” that can be faded in in the viewfinder. Photos that are implemented with this rule are perceived as harmonious by the eye of the beholder.

16mm | ISO320 | f/4,5| 1/1250 | Glaskugel an der Saarschleife (Photo: Martin Milde)

In the landscape photography, you can build with this rules the foreground, the center and the background as image areas.

16mm | ISO100 | f/16,0| 1/15 | Spiegelung des Himmels an der Saar (Photo: Martin Milde)

The Big Picture 

The golden section is not the only way to compose a picture. There are a few possibilities in the picture composition you can use to improve your visual language and give your picture a message. Using reflections and structures, an image can appear more interesting. The viewer’s gaze is drawn into the essential points. He see the picture like the photographer during the shoot.

16mm | ISO100 | f/8 | 1/125s | Holzpfahl im Wattenmeer (Photo; Martin Milde)

The clouds are reflected in the Wadden Sea and the wooden pole is on the right line of the grid. It is best for the photographer to place the elements that are important to the image at one of the intersections of the dividing lines instead of in the middle.

A good picture is created when lines, the targeted use of colors, structures and contrasts are coordinated with one another.

We hope that you will practice the described techniques and you can use them directly at the upcoming photo marathon.