- Learning to See Creatively, Third Edition: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography
- Bryan Peterson's Understanding Composition Field Guide: How to See and Photograph Images with Impact
- DSLR Photography for Beginners: Take 10 Times Better Pictures in 48 Hours or Less! Best Way to Learn Digital Photography, Master Your DSLR Camera & Improve Your Digital SLR Photography Skills
There are a lot of elements to consider if you want to take the perfect photograph, but over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that it all boils down to two things: lighting and composition.
You just can’t mess with either of them and look for great results. Lighting is the core of photography and mastering it is not optional. In my opinion every photographer out there, regardless of what genre he or she is shooting should know how to work with ambient light and at least one flash. Using natural light most of the times should not be an excuse for not knowing how to integrate a flash into the scheme. If you use it correctly, a flash will add a sense of drama and weight to your image. If you get it wrong, it will just be another dull photo shot with flash. I trust you get the picture.
(Success Tip #1: Improve your photography with weekly challenges.)
Composition skills are also mandatory. A good composition and the right light are going to get you a lot closer to the perfect shot. If you’re a beginner of haven’t spent that much time shooting yet, apply the rule of thirds as much as you can. It’s sort of a fail-safe way to get correct composition. However don’t dwell on it too much. If you spend a long enough time using one rule or another, you will fail to see the opportunity that change can bring and thus experimenting, which needless to say is necessary in all art forms, will seem unattractive.
(Success Tip #2: Take portraits of people anywhere and turn them into profits)
Good composition and lighting will also help you make a popular subject that’s been photographed a lot look interesting. Travel photographers are very aware of this and that’s why they need their composition to be interesting and the light to complement it.
Here’s a great field demonstration with Bryan Peterson in this video from Adorama TV.