Good Photography is Good Photography

It seems like, more and more, in the smartphone photography space in particular, especially among casual, mobile snappers, those that typically shoot with little-to-no journalistic or artistic intent, tend to, generally speaking, be those that jump from photographic micro trend to micro trend.

But the reality is, good photography is good photography. You don’t need to chase popular, cultural trends in photography to get noticed and be remembered. Want to get really noticed? Focus on the foundations and fundamentals of photography heart and soul of what defines and describes good photography.

While chasing trends can be fun and exciting, it’s the timeless principles that truly elevate your photography.
As a photographer who has been capturing moments for years, with both dedicated and iPhone cameras, I’ve learned that the magic of photography lies in understanding and applying the basics. I’ve seen countless trends come and go, from the rise of filters, actions, presets, LUTs, and techniques to the obsession with certain camera brands or editing styles. But what never changes is the essence of what makes a photo remarkable and memorable.

Composition: At the core of any great photograph is composition. Whether you’re taking a portrait or a landscape shot, how you frame your subject matters. The rule of thirds, leading lines, and balance are concepts that have stood the test of time. Learn to use these techniques to create visually pleasing and compelling images.

Lighting: Lighting is the paintbrush of photography. It can transform an ordinary scene into a work of art.

Understanding how different types of light affect your subject and adjusting your exposure accordingly is fundamental. Experiment with natural light, low light, and artificial lighting to master this skill.

Framing: Beyond the rule of thirds, consider how you frame your subject within the photograph. Pay attention to foreground and background elements that can enhance or detract from the main subject. Sometimes, it’s the subtleties in framing that make a photo exceptional.

Focus and Depth of Field: Achieving the right focus and depth of field can be a game-changer. Experiment with aperture settings to control the depth of field and draw attention to your subject. A well-executed shallow depth of field can make your subject pop.

Storytelling: Photography is storytelling with images. Instead of just capturing a moment, think about the story you want to tell through your photo. This could be the joy of a child playing, the serenity of a quiet street, or the chaos of a bustling city. The best photos evoke emotions and convey a narrative.

Editing: While the core of your image should be strong from the start, editing can enhance your work. However, it’s important to use editing as a tool to improve, not to cover up poor photography. Over-editing can detract from the authenticity of your images.

Patience and Practice: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are your photography skills. Embrace the journey of learning and improving. Practice regularly, be patient with yourself, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s through those mistakes that you grow.

Inspiration from Masters: Study the works of iconic photographers like Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Dorothea Lange. Their timeless photographs are a testament to the power of fundamentals. They knew how to capture the essence of a moment, and their work continues to inspire generations of photographers.

Feedback and Critique: Don’t be afraid to seek feedback on your work. Constructive criticism from peers and mentors can help you identify areas for improvement. It’s a valuable part of the learning process.

Personal Style: While it’s important to understand and apply the fundamentals, don’t forget to infuse your personal style into your photography. Your unique perspective and creativity are what will set your work apart.

In conclusion, it’s not about following the latest trends or buying the most expensive gear. The heart and soul of photography lie in your ability to capture moments in a way that resonates with others. By mastering the fundamentals, you’ll create images that stand the test of time. So, as you embark on your photographic journey, remember that good photography is about more than just chasing trends; it’s about creating timeless art that tells a story, evokes emotion, and leaves a lasting impact.



Jack Hollingsworth