What Makes a Great Photograph? The Basics Explained

great photograph

The first modern cameras that we are familiar with today made their first appearance in the 1830s in France. These cameras were rudimentary compared to the mini-computers that are on the market today. Today anyone can capture a great photograph.

However, you still need to know the basics of photography. Understanding composition, light, timing, story, and processing help you to craft stunning photographs that will grab the viewer’s attention and hold it.

Keep these tips in mind and learn how to be a better photographer.


The first step in learning how to be a better photographer is mastering composition. Some people are lucky enough to have this skill come naturally. Others need to learn it.

The composition is how the elements in the image are arranged. It’s natural to place the subject in the center of the picture. But the rule of thirds says to place it in one-third of the frame.

This gives your image a visually pleasing setup and a more dynamic look.


The right amount and type of light will vary with the different types of photos. Landscape photography benefits from the lighting that happens during Golden and Blue hour. This is the time just after sunrise and right before sunset.

Consider these types of light when taking your photos and choose the one that will showcase your photo’s subject the best.

  • Hard or soft
  • Defused
  • Warm or cold
  • Natural
  • Studio flash


Sometimes, all you have is a split second to capture that once-in-a-lifetime moment. Timing is everything when it comes to capturing those perfect moments. This site is a perfect example of a photographer mastering their timing.

Try using the timer function to take automatic pictures at a set interval. Some modern cameras can take hundreds of pictures in a split second. There are also settings for delaying the shutter speed for those stunning time-delay images.


Why are you taking the pictures that you’re taking? To be a great photographer, your images should tell a story. This could be simple and obvious or more abstract.

Story and timing work together and can present unique challenges. Perhaps you want to capture a peaceful and romantic moment, but the surrounding atmosphere is chaotic. It’s your job to work with these variables to capture the image and tell the story you want to tell.


Some talented photographers believe that you should use images exactly how they are when downloading them from the camera. This approach has its place but isn’t your only option.

The right amount of editing can take a nice picture and turn it into a stunning one. Learning how to edit your images takes time and finesse. Start simple by adjusting the white balance, light, exposure, and color saturation.

Time to Take Some Great Photographs

There are many types of photographers, and they all have a few things in common. These qualities are common among professionals and hobbyists alike to create a great photograph. So consider these tips and take your photographs to the next level.

Check out our other how-to articles and expand your skillset and breadth of knowledge.

About the Author: Mithilesh Chaubey

Mithilesh is a part time blogger from Noida. He loves to write on various topics of technology, Gadgets, Health & sports.

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