Students: Are they natural-born photographers?


An example of using contrast in a photo.

Kinser Mayhew, Staff Writer

Mrs. Barnett, art teacher, who teaches the photography class.

Phones, a piece of technology that has revolutionized the modern world. As phones progress, so does the camera on them with the picture quality progressing as well. But what exactly makes a picture good? And what makes someone a “photographer”? Keep reading to find out.

People take pictures every day with their phones, whether it be selfies with friends or showing off something that you’re doing. It may be of some surprise, but every student in this school can be a photographer. According to Mrs. Barnett, art teacher, any individual who is willing to put in that determination to get a good picture and has the eye for seeing the aspects of a good picture can become a photographer.

Now obviously an individual with a phone and a professional photographer may sound miles apart, but they really aren’t too far off. What really sets in stone how good a picture turns out is decided by the effort and thought the individual taking the pictures puts into it. From my experience taking photos, one of the key aspects I have come to realize is that there are many factors to take in when taking photographs. Mrs. Barnett stated that a common mistake she sees teaching her photography class is individuals tend to lose track of what is in the frame.

As mentioned before, there are many, many aspects to consider when taking a picture. Here are a few things that, while small, can add up very quickly to make most photographs into a work of art.

The rule of thirds is a very common one. Most phones and almost all digital cameras “cut” the screen up with two vertical and two horizontal lines. Objects that are placed on or along the lines are more appeasing to the eye.

An example of using the rule of thirds with the bird as the focus.

In my time taking pictures, I have always found contrast to be a useful tool. Contrasting your subject with the background will help more the subject “pop out” more. This can make almost any picture instantaneously better.

Try not to let other objects clutter the background or foreground too much either. Having nonessential subjects in your picture can deter viewer’s eyes off of the intended subject and onto other objects within the photograph. This fits closely to advice from Mrs. Barnett as well, who said that there should be only one subject or area as the focus, and that the photo should be properly edited and balanced.

This last tip is very crucial. When taking a picture of another person or group of people, make sure you get their feedback before finishing the shoot. Constructive criticism is a key tool that can make a significant difference. Make sure you know what your subject wants.

One aspect of photography that people tend to miss out on is the ability to edit their photos. Not every picture is perfect. If you are using a phone, the ability to customize the photographs to your liking is going to be more limited than if a digital camera was used. There are plenty of ways to edit photographs, whether it be an online software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photopea, or just using what your phone gives you.

There are plenty of websites and even people that could give you an unlimited amount of advice for taking pictures. Photography is a skill that never stops growing, and every person has that capability to put it to use.