Photography is an art of selection. You select the information you want to communicate in your photograph from all the possible visual elements. Visual elements can be anything you see in the viewfinder of your camera. Choose your visual elements carefully; they are the vocabulary with which you communicate.
Look for images which engage you and make you care about them. You will be:
• Communicating thoughts and feelings
• Expressing unique points of view
• Exploring the world around us
• Creating new visions
• Recording important events
REPETITION of one of the art elements is what makes many classical photographs so dynamic.
There are many kinds of CONTRAST: figure/ground, old/young, rough/smooth, shiny/dull, dark/light, etc. The conscious use of contrast is important.
Decide on a focal point or CENTER OF INTEREST. Discover what it is by closing your eyes. Open them, and make note of the first thing you see. That may be the portion that demonstrates the principle of EMPHASIS.
Take advantage of PATTERNS found in nature, calling attention to them through composition and point of view.
Fill your viewfinder with your subject. Get in close. Keep the background simple or use the background to reinforce your subject.
Don't cut off important parts of your subject... ie. never cut off hands or feet if your taking a photo of a person. (No one wants to walk around on their ankles.)
We need to improve our photography collection so we have photos to work with on different projects. Here are some categories/subject matter that you can try searching for in photos. Check out the links of interest to the side for more tips.
Beginning Photo Assignments: Lets start with the hints above and make them into categories:
REFLECTIONS - buildings, chrome, mirrors, kitchen appliances... frame your shot to use the reflection as the most important subject in your view. Allow the original part to fade as the reflection becomes the focal point.
CONTRAST - don't limit your possibilities out there. Dark/Light is used most often but there are many others... see the list above under hints.
CENTER OF INTEREST - Also known as the focal point. Something should grab your interest and make an impact on "you" the viewer. I'd try to choose something unique, original, maybe from a different vantage point or angle of view.
PATTERNS - Patterns are in many everyday objects and scenes. Find patterns in a repeated line of elementary students standing in line, mechanical objects or pieces of a machine, plants, animals. Find something unique. Be aware of your compositional choices and angle of view.