The Key Elements of the Perfect Photo

dreamy landscape photograph
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The perfect photo can be elusive. It is like finding a restaurant shoes dishes are always perfect, or hearing your four favorite songs in a row at a nightclub, or getting a winning hand the first ten times you play slots or video poker on online casinos.

If you look around the Internet you will many sites claiming that can help you take the perfect photo. And some of them offer great advice, but many more give you information that requires you be a professional to use. But you don’t have to be a professional to take a perfect photograph, you only need to know the right techniques and things to focus on. Although this is not a definitive guide for taking a perfect photo, it does give you the areas that you must focus on so you can gather more in-depth information to become a master. And there is one element of the perfect photo that we focus on. It is the one that is more important than all others.

Iconic photos have the unique ability to capture a moment in time, which we will likely never see again – an element that makes them exceptional, and heighten their emotional resonance. This is true even online. Just click here to see perfect use of photographs in online promotions.

There is a list of basic fundamental considerations that if followed, will greatly enhance the chances of getting a perfect photo. These include:

  1. Choice of Subject
  2. Picture Composition
  3. Capturing the Right Moment
  4. The Color

All of these elements are critical, but experts agree that the most important aspect is light.


Photography literally means painting with light, and the single most important element to creating a perfect photo is getting the light right. Lighting in a photo cannot be overemphasized and its correct use will determine whether things look below average or special. Having a good understanding of lighting can make the difference between a faded, dull image, and a vibrant warm feel that draws you into the scene. A great photographer trains himself to understand how light interacts with our environment and how to capture a scene utilizing this interaction. The camera becomes the recording medium that will capture an image produced by the light.

Light is governed by many laws of physics. These laws can be manipulated in ways that produce predictable results. Anyone can get a perfect photo; by understanding these laws and manipulating them accordingly. Whether it be natural or artificial light the quality, direction and full understanding of how to use of light is what’s important. Light helps to create a particular mood within the photograph and can bring emphasis to key elements within a frame. Likewise, light can help create depth and textures in an image by creating a mix of highlights and shadows.

When working with light, there are important things to consider:

Direction – Where is the light source located relative to the scene? Is the subject side lit, or back lit?

Quantity – How strong is the light? How do you create contrasts with the light?

Quality – What kind of light is illuminating the subject? How “soft” or “hard” the light is, and the difference between “warm” and “cool” light.

Composition – Stunning photographs have a compositional form that is pleasing to the eye. It strikes a perfect balance between the darkest and brightest regions in a photo, where details become obscured.

Timing – Catching the right light at the right moment for the shot.

Use these guidelines to help you to improve your photography. Practice taking pictures anywhere and at any time to understand better how light works. After a while you will be on your way to taking the perfect picture.


FAQs on the Key Elements of the Perfect Photo

Q: Should you use direct eye contact with your subject?

A: Direct eye contact will be potent in a picture. If you’re planning for the perfect picture of a person, you should keep the camera at his/her eye level to obtain the most amazing smiles and gases. Get to the level of kids, but don’t force your subject to stare at the camera. The mere eye level angle will create an intimate and comfortable feel, pulling you into the picture.

Q: What is the rule of thirds?

A: Your composition will be exciting when you follow the rule of thirds. The principle requires you to place the most significant elements in your photos away from the center. Imagine you have a tic-tac-toe grid for your shot. You may put the subject and other vital items in the shot along with the lines, or where the four points will meet.

The principle helps you get the perfect photo even if you’re not a professional. You don’t want your portraits to have a mugshot feel, so using the imaginary grid will balance the subject and the background a lot better.

Q: Should you use the leading lines for the perfect shot?

A: The leading lines are the line shapes that orient the viewer’s eyes to the main point. Anything creating a line in the photo, such as buildings, roads, fences, trees, or shadows may become lines. The best part is that you may direct the viewer’s attention wherever you wish it to go. You may take them directly to the subjects, or lead them on a visual trip through the composition.

How you’re using the leading lines may also change the mood in a composition. For instance, vertical leading lines lead to a dominant feeling, whereas horizontal leading lines will be connected to peace and tranquility.

Q: What is the Bokeh effect?

A: The Bokeh effect will give depth to a photo. Bokeh refers to the voluntary out-of-focus blur effect that you notice in many professional images. Professional photographers use the result to maintain the subject clear and crisp, whereas the background is blurry and soft. Your topic will stand out from the background, giving you the perfect picture.

One effortless way to do it is by getting the subject close to the camera, shooting it in front of a far background. It’s even better if you’re using a zoom lens. It would help if you utilized it at the maximum focal distance to reduce the depth of the field and create a more substantial Bokeh effect.

Q: Is the flash required for perfect pictures?

A: Typically, the bright sun will lead to less attractive deep facial shadows. You may very well use the flash and remove the shadows as you lighten the face. If you’re shooting people on a sunny day, you should remember to turn the flash on. Use the fill-flash mode for 5 ft distance from the subject, and the full-power mode for longer distances. You may take a look at the results with the picture display panel when using a digital camera.

Q: How should you use patterns and symmetry for the perfect photo?

A: Using patterns or symmetrical elements in your pictures will improve their value. People typically have an eye for designs, so you should use it in your favor for better pictures.

You may want to include symmetry, patterns, and repetition of colors and shapes in your photographs. Using an element for disrupting the pattern will lead to a lot more interesting focal point. A fence missing picket will always create a more powerful impression than a perfect one.

Q: How close should you be to your subject?

A: For subjects smaller than a car, it’s better that you get closer to the subject (a step or too), while zooming. You want to fill the picture area with your subject as much as necessary. Being close to the topic will highlight details, such as freckles or sprinkles. If you’re getting too close, it will be too blurry. The closest focusing distance is three feet for the majority of the camera. If you’re more intimate than the closest focusing distance of the camera, your photographs will blur.

Q: Do you or do you not move from the middle?

A: The middle of a picture doesn’t always give the best picture. You may very well revive your photograph by moving the subject away from the center. Use the reminded tic-tac-toe grid, placing your theme at any intersection of the lines. If your camera has auto-focus, you may have to lock it.

Q: What steps should you take for locking the focus?

A: When the subject isn’t in the center of the photo, you will have to lock the focus, creating a sharp picture. It’s common for auto-focus cameras to focus on the center of the image, no matter what is in the center. As you’re trying to obtain a perfect picture, it’s going to be necessary to move your subject far from the center.

You will need to use three steps for locking the focus. Centering the subject is the first step, as you’re pressing and holding the shutter button halfway. Next, you will reposition the camera, as you’re still holding the shutter button, so that your subject is a distance from the center. You may finish by pressing the shutter button, taking your picture.

Q: How do you use the light?

A: Light is the second most crucial aspect after the subject for a picture. Light may change how things look in a photo completely. Bright sunlight will increase the wrinkles, whereas a soft light will soften them.

If you don’t like how light falls on your subject, you may always move the subject or yourself. When shooting landscapes, you should photograph early in the morning or late in the day, when the light is warmer and better for your shoot.

Q: Why it’s important to also take vertical pictures?

A: Not all cameras will give great vertical photos, but many things around us look better when vertically photographed. Keep in mind that vertical images always have a better feel, so turn the camera sideways as often as possible.

Q: Do you know how to use the flash?

A: The most common mistake when taking pictures is photographing over the flash’s range. When you take an image beyond the maximum flash range, your photo will be too dark. Less than 15 ft, which is five steps away, is the maximum flash range for most cameras.

Make sure you check the camera manual very carefully, to find out the flash range. If you cannot find it, you should play with it for a bit. After all, taking a perfect picture will require some trials and errors.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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