8 Principles of Photography: A Comprehensive Guide for Photographers

Learn about 8 essential principles for creating stunning photographs: similarity, planning, influence, evolution, creativity, luck, preparation and balance.

8 Principles of Photography: A Comprehensive Guide for Photographers

Similarity is a concept that creates a calming effect on its viewers. Our eyes are naturally drawn to patterns as a way of making sense of our environment, and this doesn't change when we look at photographs. Using patterns in photography can create a sense of visual harmony and familiarity. In images that contain patterns, for example, the small elements that break the pattern may be something of a contrasting color.

It's part of our survival instinct to observe something that doesn't fit properly with its environment. Many excellent photographs have a supporting concept that justifies the photographer's reason for taking the image in a specific way. To achieve this, the photographer must plan several things. Many creative people care about the “element of inspiration” in their creations.

In recent years, many creative disciplines have increasingly accepted the concept of “influence”. The final image usually reflects, to a certain extent, all the influences to which the photographer has been exposed before. As Josef Koudelka once said, “with photography you never stop learning.” Large images are the result of a certain level of evolution in the photographer. The only thing we can say about the equipment is that, before taking anything, photographers must know how to control their photographic tool.

If they understand the logic of exposure, they'll figure things out easily with any camera. Every photographer should be their team's best teacher, not the other way around. Personally, I like to have few equipment options, because by having fewer options I can find more creative and risky solutions and avoid being distracted by the things I have in my camera bag. Great photographs show a certain level of creativity. A little creativity is more evident, as in advertising and artistic photography, but each image shows a creative solution not only to capture light, but also to reflect reality.

Being prepared can also include luck, the luck of being in the right place at the right time. Being prepared is the supreme skill of any photographer who has produced great photographs, even if the images weren't taken in controlled situations. Being prepared is different from planning, because it is the sum of all the photographer's experiences. Many of the great images we recognize come from photojournalism. In these cases, the “concept” might not have been a factor due to the photographer's lack of control over their situation. If you want to take great photos, then you need to understand and master some fundamental principles of composition.

These principles are far from new: photography borrows some elements and principles from classic art and design. This article will explain all the elements and principles of photography that you need to know. The elements and principles of photography are essential components for creating stunning images. Balance is arguably the most important principle in photography as it is crucial for good composition. While there are no unbreakable rules in photography, mastering some fundamental principles of composition is a must for any serious photographer. Keep in mind that these concepts are far from new: photography borrows some elements and principles from classic art and design.

The purpose of composition principles is to emphasize the parts of the image that you want the viewer to notice and to create an overall sense of balance when looking at the image. This principle of composition is not only about using straight lines, but you should also look for diagonal, curved, zigzag and radial main lines in the scene. By understanding these elements and principles of photography you will be able to create your own stunning photographs. You will be able to use these elements and principles to create an image that conveys your message or story effectively.