Photography is exhilarating in my opinion.

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It’s moving, beautiful, horrific, and especially thought provoking.So many things go into taking a photo.  These days photography seems to be more popular than ever, with Myspace and Facebook giving users the opportunity to post pictures of whatever they like.I find photography to be an amazing form of art, nothing like it’s cousins. One picture for me has breathed life into a broken frame, it has helped me when everything else is as dark as night.

There are so many photographers, it’s almost overwhelming.  How do we know what a good photo is? I think a great photo is inspirational and ground breaking. Anyone can be a great photographer, but everyone that wishes this must first learn the basics of course. 

You must learn how to photograph clean simple lines, straightforward colors, simple compositions, and highly contrasted objects. Once you have an understanding of these basics you can use them to create photos that provoke emotions and open minds.  You can almost manipulate the way a person feels once you have learned these basics and tweaked them to create something that is all your own.

My favorite photographer of all, Mary Ellen Mark, took numerous photos in her lifetime.  She took the idea of basic lines, shadow and compositions and created intriguing photos that slant and tantalize you.

My all time favorite photo "Amanda and Her Cousin, Amy Valdese" inspired many of my own photos.

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She spent her life taking photos of the unseen, the things that were all around us but ignored.  She took photos of the broken innocent (like the photo I referred to), and many of her photos involved circus workers.  Her photos of the circus are

beautiful and almost disturbing shedding light onto a whole other world that has been tainted by opinions of ignorance.

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Photography to some is like, to others it is a past time, yet either way photography is everywhere we look and affecting our decisions and moods in unknown ways.

Now delving into the basics here I’ll start with composition in this post. Composition is extremely important in creating an “appealing” photo. Having too many objects in the shot can become too chaotic. Most teachers on photography would advise to stay away from shooting an object, such as a person, in the center of a picture. Instead many suggest making it more interesting by moving it horizontally a little bit. With this affect many people also use objects with lines, or spirals, or simply objects in general that are smaller to draw attention or lead the eye to the focal point of the picture. Many people who draw or create montages also use this technique. Each basic technique inevitably leads to another. One person starts with composition, then they use lines to emphasize, and after that contrast to focalize and intensify.

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This photo uses composition, putting the focal point at the bottom of the frame. They also the lines of the doorframe to lead the eye from the top of the photo down to the Woman in it.

This post was written by Elanor Randel

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